PARKDALE: Queen St. West and Macdonell Ave., looking northeast, around 1910.

If the camera had pivoted just a bit to the right, it would have seen this view, down Queen looking east past Jameson on the right and Lansdowne on the left. Circa 1920.

(Photo courtesy Toronto Public Library collection. T 14031)

QUITE LITERALLY THE STREET WHERE I LIVE, almost a century ago. I recognized this view instantly as I was sifting through boxes of postcards at the old paper show. I won't deny that it fills me with a longing - for a time machine, for a further glimpse of what this familiar corner felt, smelled, and sounded like.

You're looking at a prosperous merchant's strip, the main drag of a fiercely independent community that would only be dragged kicking and screaming into union with the growing city of Toronto. Every building you see here was built roughly twenty years before, in a burst of development that would define Parkdale for the next century.

It's almost all still there today, which is why I recognized it in an instant. The little cupola on the top of the corner building is gone, as you'll see, as is the lovely ironwork on the roof and all those beautiful ranks of canvas awnings. The awnings - and the horsecarts and carriages parked curbside- pretty much define a more genteel age for me.

But there would be changes, as you'll see.