You know you’re almost downtown when BMW’s 30 x 60 foot ‘matchbox car’ display comes into view. The BMW Building is positioned on 10-acres overlooking the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway interchange. Resting on the original steel frame from its soap factory days, with an additional heavy steel frame to support the machineries, the rebuilt structure glistens in the TORONTO night.
The building was updated and redesigned by QUADRANGLE ARCHITECTS LIMITED.
TORONTO has a habit of turning empty real estate into something altogether different. Case in point: a defunct store at 955 Bloor Street West is now home base for the Red One Theatre Collective and guest companies. This fall, six shows will be staged there. The Storefront is one of 30-plus small theatres scattered around the central city.
For the adventurous theatre-goer, check The Storefront Theatre website: http://www.redonetheatre.com/storefront-theatre/
The Pottery Road Pedestrian Crossing is part of a larger project to provide interpretation, accessibility, and environmental control for Crothers’ Wood. This is one of the few remaining fragments of Carolinian forest in both TORONTO and throughout Canada. The site is part of the City of TORONTO’s Terrestrial Natural Heritage System along the East Don River Valley.
The area is under pressure from its urban location, with a dangerous crossing at Pottery Road, and heavy usage by bikers, hikers and walkers. PLANTArchitect Inc. – http://www.branchplant.com – took matters in hand. They designed a network of shelter kiosks, benches, registry markers and pathways that create a more formalized experience of the site while also protecting its fragile conditions. For their efforts, the company received an Urban Design Award/2013.
Eight streetside parkettes along Dundas Street West, between Lansdowne and Dovercourt, were awarded a 2013 Urban Design Award – Small Open Spaces category. The City of Toronto and the Dundas Street West BIA sponsored the project, and PMA Landscape Architects – http://www.pmalarch.ca – did the work.
The Toronto Transit Commission operates the most extensive streetcar network in the Americas, with brand new cars arriving in 2014. Tearing up and putting down tracks is nothing new around here. York Street at Adelaide in the Financial District is one of the latest rebuilding sites.
<PHOTOS BELOW – City of Toronto Archives> 1) Rebuilding tracks at the intersection of Spadina Avenue & College Street, 1930’s 2) Digging up tracks on Yonge Street for subway construction, 1950’s>
Layers of city grime are being removed from one of TORONTO’s most beautiful churches. ST. MICHAEL’S CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL, originally built in 1845-48 by William Thomas, is an example of the English Gothic Revival style of architecture. The Cathedral, in the centre of downtown, has undergone two major renovations: the completion of the tower and spire in 1865-67 by Gundry and Langley, and the addition of dormers by Joseph Connolly in 1890. <SUNSET PHOTO BELOW – Skeezix1000/Wikipedia>
Under all that soot, a yellow-brick beauty is emerging. The steeple alone is impressive, rising 261 feet above Bond Street. St. Michael’s Choir School and St. Michael’s Hospital are close by.
I’m sure he meant well. EARL SWEATSHIRT (whose legal name is Thebe Neruda Kgositsile) describes TORONTO as a “city of grandmas” in the New York Times Magazine, Sunday, September 15. He goes on to say that the rapper DRAKE (a Torontonian) is “grandma nice. Drake loves moms.”