My Toronto Art Deco Trip – part 2

(continuing on from part 1 of my trip to Toronto)

It was just before 7:00 am and I was at Maple Leaf Gardens. Built in just under 6 months in 1931, it was ready for the start of the hockey season. Now that the Maple Leafs have moved on to the Air Canada Centre (which incorporates pieces of yet another Art Deco building), this building is home to Loblaws and Ryerson University.

I like the glow of the yellow brick used for this building.

The reason I know that it was before 7:00 am was because I tried to go into Loblaws and buy breakfast, but they weren’t open yet.

I continued west on Carlton a little way and arrived at the Toronto Hydro Building (14 Carlton). The architects were Chapman & Oxley, and the building was constructed from 1931-1933.

There are some nice bas reliefs on the front:

There are some details at the top that the camera captured better than I could see at the time:

I continued westward until I got to College Park (444 College @ Yonge). This was built from 1928-1933 (architects Ross & Macdonald) for Eaton’s and was intended to be just the beginning of an enormous office tower complex which would have had over five million square feet of space. The Great Depression meant that only a small fraction of this vision was ever realized.

There are plenty of Deco details that attracted my attention on this building:

Continuing westward to University, I proceeded south after this obligatory shot of Queen’s Park to the north:

My next Art Deco stop  at 620 University was initially built for the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario. The building was built in 2 stages: the first 5 floors in 1935 and the remaining 12 floors in 1940.1

The building is now part of a hospital. You can really see the pyramidal massing typical of many Art Deco skyscrapers.

I liked the waterfalls at the entrance:

And the rippling glass blocks above the door are a lovely touch:

It’s taking me far longer to write about this than it did to walk and take pictures, so I’ll be back in a couple of days with another installment. I’ve only talked about 8 of the Art Deco buildings I visited so far, and there’s lots more to cover.

1: Tim Morawetz, Art Deco Architecture in Toronto (Toronto: Glue, Inc., 2009), 28.


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3 Responses to My Toronto Art Deco Trip – part 2

  1. kmkat says:

    For another look at “…the pyramidal massing typical of many Art Deco skyscrapers…” do a google image search for “Wells Fargo Tower Minneapolis”. The original bank tower burned on Thanksgiving Day in 1982 (some vagrants who were squatting in the empty department store on the other half of the block lit a fire to keep warm, and it got away from them — destroyed the entire block), and this was built. It is absolutely stunning at night because of the lighting design.

    That Hydro building is really something!

  2. Daisy says:

    So cool! Thank you!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Another art deco era building in TO is the Glengrove, a slightly seedy hotel up Yonge opposite Glengrove Ave W (where my aunt lives). I’ve stayed there several times while visiting Toronto and never ever had a good night’s sleep. Too noisy, not enough ventilation. It’s had hardly any renovation, which is both good and bad. Bad because it’s uncomfortable; good because the ride up the elevator with the metal cage that encloses you makes you feel as though you’re in an Agatha Christie murder mystery!