Ghost Sign – Broadview and Queen E

Banner photo is of Broadview and Queen, looking north along Broadview, in 1918.  From the City of Toronto Archives.

698 – 700 Queen St. E., at Broadview – Built circa 1914

Next door to the recently departed Jilly’s and newly purchased Broadview Hotel, are two storefronts with a long history. They’re small beans compared to their handsome, hulking neighbour but no less interesting to me.


What is now Pizzaiolo began life as Mrs. Mary Briggs’ confectionery and then became Vane Dine’s shoe polishers. Following WW1, it spent several years as an army surplus. You can just make out the faded lettering of an old sign under the Pizzaiolo logo that, I believe, dates from its days as Jas D. Warren’s RAF Goods.  By, roughly, the early 1930’s khakis made way for gems and it became the Riverdale Jewellers.

698’s twin, at 700 Queen St. E., had a more glamourous life as the Teck Theatre.  It is listed in the Toronto City Directory as a theatre from 1914 and appears to have been in business till at least the mid 1940’s.

Broadview and Queen 1932
If you’re not familiar with Janet Gaynor, look her up some time. She was a lot of fun to watch.  The Teck Theatre in 1932.  From the City of Toronto Archives.

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