The street lights on Palmerston Boulevard, between College Street and Bloor Street, are noteworthy. Alfred Holden, an authority on historic street lighting, describes these as “an authentic street lighting installation … an electrical time capsule.” They date from the time the street was being developed, (1905 to 1910). Termed single pole-top lamps or light pillars, they incorporate single upright standards of decorative cast iron, and glass globes. By 1920, these lamps were commonplace in North American cities for street and park lighting. Business districts usually were illuminated with two fixtures on an ornamental pole, while prestigious downtown streets often featured three lamps per pole. Palmerston Boulevard is one of a very few places in Toronto which still have this style of lighting. Similar lamps still exist on Chestnut Park in Rosedale and the west end of Oriole Gardens in Deer Park. Street lighting in the early twentieth century was often inspired by the City Beautiful movement where beauty and effect were the principal considerations. This style of lighting was designed to illuminate the way for pedestrians, not motorists, as automobiles were not yet come in common use. As lighting for automobile drivers became important, municipal lighting fixtures changed. Pole-top lamps became higher, and moved closer to the street. Bracket-type standards were introduced to hold the lamp over the street rather than the sidewalk. And illumination levels were increased. In many cities, soft incandescent lights were replaced with brighter but harsher sodium-vapour lamps.


see tell me about the palmerston street lamps