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retro spotting: gas and groceries

April 18

It is not news that mid-century modern design is popular at the moment. I too have been a fan for a while now, and not just of the modern masters of furniture design and of Danish teak, but of the simple, clean-lined architecture that is found in most all North American suburbs from 50 plus years ago as well. When I spot a bit of retro in the urban landscape, I stop to admire.

This Esso station is on Royal York Rd. in Toronto’s west end (formerly the City of Etobicoke), in what was a suburb at the time it was developed in the mid 1900s. It is wonderful to see that it appears to remain in design tact from when built. The low, clean, horizontal lines and the modern typeface and construction of the signs are in wonderful contrast the natural heavy stone exterior, a material that is continued onto the street-side sign. On the day I took these photos, an older car was sitting in front, lending to the retro setting.

Further up the road is this plaza, likely from the same vintage, although it is difficult to see through the ‘improvements’ made in the 90s with the addition of the stucco facade.  But the dramatic MCM zig-zag roof of the Metro grocery store is evidence enough of the era of the complex.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21 1:40 am

    That flagstone wall on the right in the top photo is classic Mid Century Modern. Most every coffee shop had at least one wall or planter with that exact stone color & texture. Great captures.

  2. September 16 7:04 pm

    OMG. That gas station is so Mid-Mod! I must drive by some time. Thanks.

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