Today’s blaze was not only devastating to the residents of Queen Street West who now find themselves homeless, but also to the business owners who served the community. Duke’s Cycle—second home to many of the city’s bicycle couriers—has been run by the same family in the same location since 1914. The owners of National Sound, which operated in the area for forty years and at that location since 1988, don’t have fire insurance. Clothing design shop Preloved lost their entire one-of-a-kind spring collection. Suspect Video was the essential destination for fans of obscure and hard-to-find films. Some of the destroyed historic brick and timber buildings were built as far back as the 1860s, and were only recently granted heritage protection.
Torontoist Flickr Pool contributor Kevin Steele stitched together this panorama of the strip in its pre-fire state, photographed in June. Click the image below to see a high-res version.