The life and death of Googie architecture in Toronto

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The life and death of Googie architecture in Toronto

The life and death of Googie architecture in Toronto

The Googie architectural movement didn’t last long. For about two decades, starting in 1940s post-war Southern California, the distinctively whimsical building style became the go-to aesthetic for motels, drive-thrus, gas stations, and other (mostly) auto-centric structures across the U.S. and Canada.

In Toronto, Yonge-Finch Plaza stands out as a classic example of Googie. For $1 in the 1960s, drivers could pull in for a carnauba wax at the car wash and grab a hamburger from one of Ontario’s first McDonald’s. The hamburger stand, a carbon copy of the chain’s drive-up restaurants south of the border, had a capsule-like dining room anchored by two giant golden arches.

If there was ever going to be a McDonald’s at Clavius Base, this is what it was going to look like.

Before being demolished for the Xerox Tower, the McDonald’s became a Wimpy’s. The new owners lopped the tops off the McDonald’s arches, but there was no disguising the origins of the building when the photos above and below were taken in 1972. […]

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