TO SAVE OUR CITY’S HERITAGE, DEVELOPERS ARE WRAPPING VICTORIANA IN MODERNITY

HOUSES1The John Irwin House, built in 1872-73 on Grenville Street has been saved – chimneys and all – and is now part of a high-rise development.  It will soon be bookended by second tower. Queen Victoria would not be amused.

HOUSES3On St. Thomas Street at Sultan, a red brick Victorian row is being enveloped by a new curvy office building. The row is being painstakingly reassembled and when finished it should be quite fine – although it won’t be quite the same.

<The Design Exchange, formerly the TORONTO Stock Exchange, is tucked into a TD Bank building on Bay Street.  It’s all there.>

TO GET INTO OLD CITY HALL, IT HELPS IF YOU’RE IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW

OLDCITYHALL1TORONTO’s wonderful old pile on Queen Street West at Bay is off-limits to casual visitors.  Once our city’s third City Hall, it’s now a provincial court house.  X-ray security, some questionable characters, folks on the wrong side of the law, formally attired lawyers, no photographs allowed – that’s Old City Hall these days.

OLDCITYHALL2OLDCITYHALL5The building, which opened in 1899, was a sandstone creation by architect E. J. Lennox.  He designed several other important buildings around TORONTO.  From its clock tower chimes, scowling garygoyles, oak doors, mosaic floors, stone arcades, to murals by GEORGE AGNEW REID, the ‘Union of Commerce and Industry’ by stained-glass artist ROBERT McCAUSLAND, and multiple court rooms, it’s a structure with a glorious past and a colourful present.

OLDCITYHALL3OLDCITYHALL4PHOTOS – City of Toronto Archives – http://tayloronhistory.com

RED BRICK MONTEITH STREET KEEPS THE FAITH WITH ITS VICTORIAN ROOTS

MONTEITH8Built between 1883 and 1887 MONTEITH STREET is a block of Victorian-era townhouses facing Barbara Hall Park in the Church-Wellesley Village.

Creator: Harvey R. Naylor Date: April 27, 1971 Archival Citation: Fonds 1526, File 61, Item 78 Credit: City of Toronto Archives www.toronto.ca/archives Copyright was transferred to the City of Toronto by the copyright owner.

<PHOTO ABOVE – the white painted town houses on Monteith face a Loblaw’s grocery store & parking lot, ca1960’s; by Harvey Naylor, City of Toronto Archives>

MONTEITH2<PHOTO ABOVE – these days the cleaned up red brick houses look onto Barbara Hall Park>

MONTEITH7At one end of Monteith is the summertime patio of Church Street’s Smith Restaurant.

MONTEITH5At the other end – the birthplace of Canadian media baron ROY THOMSON (Lord Thomson of Fleet). Thomson was born at #32 on June 5, 1894 to Herbert Thomson (a barber at the Grosvenor Hotel) and Alice Coombs. These days the house is worth well over a million dollars.

MONTEITH4The street is under heritage protection. Garbage bins and parking are forbidden.

MONTEITH3

A GAP BETWEEN TWO WAREHOUSES LEAVES JUST ENOUGH ROOM TO SQUEEZE IN TOKYO SMOKE

TOKYOSMOKE2Steven Fong Architect collaborated with design entrepreneur Lorne Gertner to turn a small gap between two converted TORONTO warehouses into a ‘next wave’ coffee shop and showroom. The shop is a modified shipping container inside the loading dock of a former tobacco factory at Adelaide and Stafford, just south of West Queen West.

TOKYOSMOKE1<PHOTOS – A-Frame/Ben Rahn>

ONTARIO ASSOC. OF ARCHITECTS NAMES 4 TORONTO PROJECTS ‘DESIGN EXCELLENCE’ WINNERS/2016

OAA5Selected from almost 200 submissions, the Top 10 includes four TORONTO projects. The Design Excellence winners “exemplify outstanding creativity, context, sustainability, good design, good business and legacy.”

OAA3        1. AGA KHAN MUSEUM, Moriyama & Teshima Architects in association with Maki and Associates; image credit – Gary Otte

OAA12.  HARBORD TOWNS – Superkül Inc.; image credit – Ben Rahn/ A-Frame

OAA83.  SKYGARDEN HOUSE, Dubbeldam Architecture + Design; image credit – Shai Gil

OAA24. TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY, Scarborough Civic Centre Branch, LGA Architectural Partners Ltd. and Phillip H. Carter, Architect in joint venture; image credit – Ben Rahn/A-Frame

NATIVE CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES BUILDING CONNECTS THE CITY WITH NATURE

NATIVEBLDG1From the outside, it’s just another 1980’s-era office building.  But inside, Levitt Goodman Architects have created a welcoming oasis for urban aboriginals in the heart of TORONTO.  From its lush rooftop garden on down, the Native Child and Family Services project, 30 College Street, combines family, mental health and social services within a friendly natural environment.

NATIVEBLDG3There are teaching hills; plantings of sweet grass, tobacco, corn and squash; an aboriginal artists studio; and space for assemblies of all kinds.  <PHOTOS – Ben Rahn/A-Frame Inc. & Jesse Colin Jackson>

NATIVEBLDG2

CHARLES CORREA’S ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTRE NOW SHARES SPACE WITH THE AGA KHAN MUSEUM

ISMAILICENTRE4The new Ismaili Centre for TORONTO’s Islamic community has risen adjacent to the Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive. Indian firm Charles Correa Associates designed the cultural centre in partnership with TORONTO’s Moriyama & Teshima Architects. It sits in a seven-hectare park designed by Lebanese landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic.

ISMAILICENTRE2Panes of translucent glass diffuse bright sunlight during the day, and allow the dome to glow at night. The dome will no doubt become a landmark beacon to drivers on the nearby Don Valley Parkway.

ISMAILICENTRE1ISMAILICENTRE3

RYERSON’S NEW STUDENT LEARNING CENTRE STANDS OUT AMONG YONGE STREET’S POTPOURRI

SLC2 Despite its rather mundane moniker, the SLC (or Student Learning Centre), newest addition to Ryerson’s campus, makes quite the statement at Yonge and Gould Streets.  An award-winning design, 155,000 square feet of connected and versatile space, home of the Digital Media Experience, Launch Zone and Student Learning Support, and with a bridge walkway to the University’s library, the SLC is altogether 21st century.

SLC4Among the features: touch screen kiosks, dedicated graduate and silent study space, an amphitheatre, eight levels each with a distinctive character, a transparent glass skin, 61 collaborative work rooms, study areas in direct sunlight or diffused lighting, three green roofs and a focus on sustainability.

SLC8SLC6SLC5Architects: Zeidler Partnership Architects, TORONTO and Snøhetta of OSLO and NEW YORK CITY.