They’re demolishing Harvey’s. Where are the heritage preservationists when you need them?
For a time, when I was doing some work at Maclean’s from their offices at One Mount Pleasant Road (or OMP as it’s known to those inside), I would head out for a Harvey’s lunch at Bloor and Yonge. I did so partly for nostalgia: it brought me back to my earliest days as an office drone in the early ’90s, when I toiled away in downtown Montreal writing pension plan summaries under the draconian supervision of actuaries, ate regularly at Harvey’s and gained about 30 pounds. The kids in the YouTube video know my passion and may soon know my once-thickened midsection if they keep it up. It was also an act of national pride: I prefer to get my artery-clogging fast food fix from a Canadian institution. Then there’s the plain fact that nothing beats a Harvey’s burger loaded up with pickles and tomatoes. So today I shed a patriotic, Morgan Spurlockesque tear for my favourite burger: this afternoon, an excavator is slated to begin razing the Bloor-Yonge Harvey’s.
From where I stand, condo towers are turning Harvey’s hamburgers into a threatened species on Bloor. Just a few blocks west, the development at Bedford and Bloor, One Bedford at Bloor, stole a Harvey’s from us as well. Where are the heritage preservationists when you need them? Heritage isn’t just about buildings; it’s about the yummy food served in them, and we are all the poorer when we can no longer get extra slices of pickle and tomato for free.