Telephone poles on Indian Road

Indian Road is one of the oldest streets in Toronto’s west end, and is thought to have once been a Mississauga Indian path that ran north from the lake.

I came upon this 1912 photo in the Toronto Archives earlier this year, simply labeled “Telephone poles, Indian Road,” and I’ve spent way too much time in the last few weeks trying to discover the specific location of this snowy valley and so figure out how much this little corner of my neighbourhood has changed in the last hundred years.

Telephone poles, Indian Road—March 21, 1912

The clue lay in the rather unique house at the centre of the picture, the one with the square tower. Turns out it’s still there, at 570 Indian Road, and you can just see it through the trees in my 2013 view.

Indian Road, looking north from Bloor—March 12, 2013

The large house to its left is there, too, at 552 and is currently undergoing some serious renovations. From this, everything else quickly falls into place. The duplexes and triplexes at the left of the photo still sit on top of the hill that defines the north side of Indian Road Crescent, and the boxy building behind the large pine is probably now part of 524-528 Indian Road.

But I’ve just gotta wonder what happened to all those telephone poles.

UPDATE: This Then & Now was re-posted on the Vintage Toronto’s Facebook page, where it generated a surprisingly large number of comments for such an obscure Toronto intersection. Even the folks at Colborne Lodge chimed in to offer a bit more historical context.