Bloor & St. George

Bloor & St. George
Bata Shoe Museum.

At the corner of Bloor and St. George is a museum dedicate to one of the least subjects for a museum, the Bata Shoe Museum. But when you consider that people have been wearing shoes for thousands of years, a museum that documents the history of shoes makes sense. Al Bundy would be proud!

Beside the Shoe Museum is the former Rochdale College. It was built in 1968 as a student coop residence and free university, in the optimistic spirit of the 1960's. But to the very conservative Toronto at that time, Rochdale was seen too much as a seedy hangout for hippies and potheads. By the 1970's, the experiment fizzled out, and in 1975, the building was expropriated by the federal government and converted into a seniors residence.

Site of former Varsity Stadium
Site of former Varsity Stadium.

The old Varsity Stadium, a major landmark of this neighborhood, was torn down a couple of years ago. When I was in school, the stadium hosted the Canadian university football championship game. In 1978, my school, Queen's University, reached the final game against, I believe, UBC. I was one of the thousands of Queen's students attending that game.

Ten years earlier, Queen's won the national championship. At that game, the raucous crowd stormed the field with 23 seconds left and tore down the goal posts. Now then, if you know anything about Queen's, you know that tradition is an important part of campus life. And so at the 1978 game, with Queen's well in the lead, tradition demanded that at 23 seconds left, the goal posts had to be torn down again!

Afterwards, a couple of us were shopping downtown, and a group of revellers went past carrying part of a goal post. A few minutes later, another group asked us if we'd seen a goal post go by!

For quite a few years, though, the football final was held at the Skydome (now Rogers Centre). Also, unfortunately for tradition, goal posts are now made of much stronger materials.

Shop across from site of former Varsity Stadium.
Shops across the street from the site of former Varsity Stadium.

Path on university campus.
A path leading into the U of T campus off Bloor Street.