The life and death of Googie architecture in Toronto

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The life and death of Googie architecture in Toronto

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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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