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Walking Tour Brochure: Art Deco Towers Of Bay Street
Art Deco Architecture in Toronto OTHER ART DECO BUILDINGS AND NEIGHBOURHOODS IN TORONTOArt Deco has been described as the last world-wide,comprehensive decorative style before the arrival of § Apartment buildings: Eglinton Avenue West betweenModernism after World War II. The style we associate Chaplin and Bathurst; St. Clair Avenue West betweenwith the skyscrapers of Manhattan or the streamlined Yonge and Avenue Road; Bathurst Street between St.hotels of Miami Beach also made its presence felt in Clair Avenue and Eglinton Avenue; Garden CourtToronto in the later 1920s and 1930s. Apartments on Bayview Avenue at Davisville Avenue § Waterfront commercial buildings: FormerOn this tour, we’ll walk past speculative office towers, warehouses on Queen’s Quay and Lakeshorefinancial institutions and a department store that all Boulevard, from Bay Street to west of Bathurst Streetdisplay the soaring lines and rich decoration of this § CNE grounds: Horse Palace Annex and Allstreampopular architectural style. Centre (former Automotive Building) § Municipal buildings: fire station at 849 GerrardDEFINING ART DECO ARCHITECTURE Street East; former police stations at 1313 Queen1920s Deco Street West and 2398 Yonge Street; maintenance§ Buildings are taller, usually with a symmetrical building at 511 Richmond Street West (all designed by plan and façade City of Toronto Architect J.J. Woolnough between§ Windows arranged in vertical strips on façade 1930 and 1932); R.C Harris filtration plant on Queen§ Building profile ‘steps-back’ as it rises up Street East designed by Thomas Pomphrey§ Façade often features ‘multiple planes’ § Movie theatres: located throughout the city;§ Sometimes employed mass-produced materials including the former Eglinton on Eglinton Avenue§ Decoration found around doors, windows, west of Avenue Road; former Allenby Theatre on building edges and top; often depicts animals, Danforth Avenue; Bloor Hot Docs cinema on Bloor forces of nature, or technology; motifs usually Street West; Royal cinema on College Street flattened and geometricized § Arenas: former Maple Leaf Gardens at Church and Carlton Streets; Air Canada Centre (former PostalSTREAMLINED MODERNE Delivery Building) at Bay Street and Lakeshore§ Buildings lower in height, sometimes with a Boulevard symmetrical plan and façade§ Windows in horizontal bands on façade§ Frequent use of horizontal ‘speed stripes,’ plus rounded corners on facade§ Usually employed mass-produced materials (glass block, vitrolite, stainless steel)STRIPPED CLASSICAL§ Often symmetrical plan and façade§ Echoes the traditional classical façade arrangement of ‘base-columns-entablature’ but with simplified and flattened treatment of the various elements§ Façade usually built of natural or cast stone Walks led by Heritage Toronto volunteers.§ Decoration often traditional motifs (e.g., coat of Researched and written by Tim Morawetz, 2012 (www.artdecotoronto.ca) arms), with simplified and flattened treatment
5. CONCOURSE BUILDINGTOUR START POINT: . . 100 Adelaide Street West, west of Bay Street55 York Street (Prudential House) Architects: Baldwin & Greene, 1928.just north of Front Street /Fairmont Royal York Hotel This 16-storey speculative office tower avoided step-backs since they would have reduced the1. Former YORK MERCANTILE BUILDING amount of rentable floor area. The mosaic above (now PRUDENTIAL HOUSE office building) the door depicts the concourse of earth, air, fire and 55 York Street, south of Wellington Street West water, while the seven mosaics under the arch Architects: Kaplan & Sprachman, 1929. depict modern transportation and communication. This warehouse building is a fine example of a All were designed by Group of Seven artist J.E.H. Manhattan-style 1920s Deco skyscraper, with MacDonald and son Thoreau. The abstract plenty of jazzy decoration around the entrance, coloured tiles at the roofline are based on First just above the ground floor and at the roofline! Nations motifs. Kaplan & Sprachman designed over 80 percent of Canada’s cinemas from this era. 6. VICTORY BUILDING 80 Richmond Street West, west of Bay Street2. Former TORONTO STOCK EXCHANGE Architects: Baldwin & Greene, 1929-37. (now DESIGN EXCHANGE) This second tower by Baldwin & Greene (now 20 234 Bay Street, south of King Street stories tall) did not get its first tenants until 1937 Architects: George & Moorhouse, with 1 due to the Great Depression! Regrettably, the Samuel Maw, 1937. former black marble base of the building has been This limestone and granite building elegantly O replaced with a new pink granite skin, but the combines the Streamlined Moderne, 1920s Deco spandrel panels are still wonderful. and Stripped Classical styles. Its giant carved stone frieze, front door medallions and eight 7. ADDITION TO FORMER SIMPSON’S interior painted murals that depict the industries Northeast corner of Richmond and Bay Streets listed on the Exchange were designed by noted Architects: Chapman & Oxley, 1928. Canadian artist Charles Comfort. N In response to rumours that rival department store Eaton’s was planning a new flagship store at Yonge3. BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA HEAD OFFICE & College (today’s College Park), Simpson’s 44 King Street West, northeast corner of Bay St. decided to expand their existing building at Yonge Original design: John M. Lyle (1928); completed L and Queen over to Bay Street. The initial plan by Mathers & Haldenby with Beck & Eadie Map is not to scale. start O end L called for a 20-storey tower at the Richmond-Bay (1946-51). corner, but only nine stories were ultimately built, This building was initially conceived before the including the Arcadian Court restaurant on the Great Depression, but completed after World War 4. Former CANADA PERMANENT BUILDING eighth and ninth floors. The top of the western II by different architects. The initial decorative (now CIBC MELLON) addition features wonderful 1920s Deco stone scheme was to feature John Lyle’s favoured 320 Bay Street, southwest corner of Adelaide Street motifs, while the lower two levels boast stylish Canadian-themed motifs but this approach was Architects: F. Hilton Wilkes, with Mathers & metal grillwork that matches the former Simpson’s abandoned once the (now-demolished) Bank of Haldenby and Sproatt & Rolph, 1937. building in Montreal. The store’s shopping aisle Montreal building (that incorporated Canadian A wonderful example of the Stripped Classical style from Yonge to Bay is the world’s longest! decoration) was erected in the 1930s. Instead, the applied to a skyscraper. The bronze ground-floor designers opted for symbolism going back to elevator doors (polished to look like gold) contain TOUR END POINT: ancient Greece and Rome. figures said to be modelled on King Tut’s tomb! Northeast corner of Richmond and Bay Streets