RICHARD LONGLEY writes in NOW, TORONTO’s left-leaning weekly that “this city has turned to building above, behind and inside heritage buildings with mixed results” – many of them not-so-great., bizarre even.
<PHOTO ABOVE – a former bank is now a condo lobby, 230 King Street East>
“In a TORONTO that’s clear-cutting, replanting and regrowing itself at a pace that’s transforming its skyline month by month, facadism is epidemic, with results that include the bizarre, the grotesque and the ridiculous, but rarely the sublime.”
<PHOTOS ABOVE – QRC West, 134 Peter Street, Hector Valasquez/blogto>
The QRC West is sublime. It’s the first heritage rebuild undertaken by Allied Properties REIT. Architects incorporated two 100 year-old Weston factory warehouses into a 17-storey tower. Two elderly brick buildings with an atrium between them and a tower on top – “It’s a stunner” – blogto.
The Royal Canadian Military Institute on University Avenue has been rebuilt entirely underneath a 26-storey condo tower. NOW – “The facade replicates the original but it’s made of new materials that make it look like a death mask.”
<Red brick row of exquisite Sultan Street town houses was dismantled, and their facades rebuilt as part of a 12-storey high rise>
<The John Lyle Studio, 1 Bedford Road, former home of one of TORONTO’s leading architects whose many landmarks include the Royal Alexandra Theatre and Union Station. NOW – “Today its facade, removed, rebuilt and reduced to a sticker on the face of a Bedford Road condo”.>
<NOW – “The 1925 neo-Gothic McLaughlin Building, showroom of Canada’s first automobile company is a limestone jewel. The 48-storey Burano building behind is set far enough back to form a backdrop that resembles a waterfall.”
<The Royal Ontario Museum with its controversial Daniel Libeskind addition applied to the Italianate neo-Romanesque original. NOW – “In 2007 the ROM acquired 100,000 square feet of new exhibition space, a new entrance and a new facade.”
<The Westinghouse Building, 355 King Street West. NOW – “Only the two most prominent walls will be saved, to become the facade of a hotel at the base of a twin-towered, 48 and 44-storey condo, King Blue.”>
<PHOTO ABOVE – the Westinghouse Building undergoing its rebuild, 2016, Derek Flack/blogto>