Toronto Through My Lens

Category: Condos (Page 1 of 2)

City Walk on a Foggy Day

This post was originally from a couple of weekends ago when the weather was not cooperating. I am reposting this one as I don’t believe it was published recently given all my trouble with my automated sender.

This post is one-part city walk mixed with two-parts photography experiment.

Does anyone remember what sunshine looks like?

It’s a distant foggy memory, much like the weather we’ve had recently. Given that, I thought it would be interesting to take a walk in the fog/darkness and shoot in black and white to emphasize the moodiness.

I love shooting in black and white; it makes everything look so different and dramatic – details stand out, creating emotions. In addition to shooting in soft black and white I used a diffusion filter which removed much of the “digital edge” from modern digital cameras, leaving a soft B&W treatment looking like it was shot on film. The shots are intentionally dark and muted, and the fog enhanced the effect.

Condo on Jarvis Street, below Gerrard Street East. Taken from Mutual St.
Mutual Street below Gerrard Street East
Condos at Jarvis Street & Dundas Street East. Shot from Mutual Street
St. Michael’s Hospital, Shuter Street
Fran’s on Shuter Street
Diamonds on Shuter Street

Inside OctoZone

Located at 247 Yonge Street, across from the Eaton Centre, is OctoZone. OctoZone is a huge claw machine-themed gift shop. The interior is very Asian-styled, infused with copious amounts of bright turquoise and hot pink neon (the effect lost, of course, in my black and white shots). I’ve passed this place several times and have always wondered what it is; this time I decided to take temporary refuge from the fog and drizzle, go in and check it out. It’s quite an interesting place: click here if you’d like to watch a short YouTube video about OctoZone.

Later, Back On Yonge Street…

Looking north on Yonge Street. Shot from Yonge-Dundas Square.
The electronic billboards of Yonge-Dundas Square in the fog
“I see you”: Eaton Centre in the fog
The Aura condo in the fog. Shot from Yonge-Dundas Square.
The World Food Market at 335 Yonge Street, below Gould Street
336 Yonge Street, below Gerrard Street
Ryerson, from Gould Street
The corner of Church Street & Carlton Street

Next stop: home, where it’s warm and dry! 🙂

The Tip Top Lofts

At 637 Lakeshore Blvd. West just west of Bathurst Street sits the Tip Top Lofts. Just behind it lies Lake Ontario. This building has a long and prominent history in Toronto. Formerly known as the Tip Top Tailors Building, it was constructed in 1929 and housed the manufacturing, warehousing, retail and office operations of Tip Top Tailors Ltd., a menswear clothing retailer founded in 1909 by Polish-Jewish immigrant David Dunkelman.

The building was designed by Bishop and Miller architects, incorporating the Art Deco style. In 1972, the building was designated as a heritage structure by the City of Toronto.

In spring 2002, Dylex (the company owning the building) sold the property to Context Development, who converted it into condominium lofts. The conversion was designed by architects Alliance of Toronto. The conversion included the addition of six stories on the roof. The neon Tip Top Tailors rooftop sign was retained and given a slant. Inside, there are 256 beautifully renovated lofts.

A few notes on the interior lofts courtesy of the website condos.ca:

Offering “hard” and “soft” lofts: When the building was converted into lofts in the early 2000’s, Context Developments was smart-thinking to create both hard and soft lofts. What that means is that Tip Top Lofts offers both the classic, exposed brick and woodbeam “hard loft” style, as well as more modern “soft loft” styles that will feel like a contemporary condo.


A Few Historical Photos

Courtesy of the City of Toronto Archives and torontolofts.ca, here are a few photos tracing the history of this magnificent Art Deco building:

1926
1930
1940
1980: Tip Top Tailors building in the background with a Joy Gas Station in front
1985

Bloor Street United Church

Passing by the Bloor Street United Church at 300 Bloor Street West a couple of weeks ago, I was quite surprised by the renovation/demolition taking place there.

Located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood, the 19th century Neo-gothic structure is undergoing a major interior and exterior restoration and renovation that includes the redesign of 20,000 square feet of community and commercial office spaces. For the time being the congregation is worshipping with St. Matthew’s United Church at 729 St. Clair Avenue West.

The mixed-use project aims to add approximately 40,000 square feet of leaseable space which will support the congregation’s ongoing programs. The completion of the project will carry out the original mission of the church, providing a community space for gathering and worship.

A glimpse into the future

Respecting the heritage building, the commercial and residential program form a podium and a 29-storey-high tower – the Cielo Condos – that is set back from the church. The tower takes cues in geometry and materials from its neighbourhood. The brick fabric of the Annex is reflected along the accordion-like podium of the building and features panels of windows that connect residents to the city and neighbourhood. In contrast to the intricate detailing of the church, the tower’s minimal form and gold detailing complement the existing structure.

A Bit Of History

The church began as a Presbyterian congregation in 1887 to serve the rapidly growing population of then-northern Toronto, with the church building opening in 1890. In 1924, the church voted by a substantial majority to join the United Church. Three years later, a portion of the church was demolished when the city decided to widen Bloor Street.

The church grew in size in the 1940s and 1950s as an influx of immigrants arrived in the area. The congregation was so large that on several occasions, Massey Hall was rented to hold some services. It was decided to renovate the church in 1954. As it was nearing completion, however, a fire broke out and the church was badly damaged, with most of the sanctuary destroyed. Money was quickly raised to rebuild the church; in the interim the congregation met at nearby churches and U of T’s Convocation Hall.

Renovation Pics

Changes on Sherbourne Street

Up until a few years ago I would pass through the Sherbourne Street area near Bloor Street East twice per day, on my way to the subway. Not the most uplifting of ‘hoods, the area has traditionally been slightly down at heel. That has all been changing recently. This past weekend I went up Sherbourne Street, not having done so for quite a while, and was shocked by the recent changes on Sherbourne and neighbouring Howard Street.

Apartments and restaurants on Sherbourne Street demolished between Shoppers Drug Mart and Eggsmart restaurant


Howard Street

After years of neglect, the heritage building on the corner of Howard Street and Sherbourne Street finally gets some attention (and a new condo built above it):

Northeast corner of Howard Street and Sherbourne Street
Northeast corner of Howard Street and Sherbourne Street
Northeast corner of Howard Street and Sherbourne Street
Future Demolition, North Side of Howard Street
Behind the Eggsmart restaurant on the corner of Sherbourne and Howard Streets
Future Demolition
North side of Howard Street, east side of Eggsmart restaurant
Beside the stores on Howard Street, looking over to Sherbourne Street
Looking east down Howard Street. New construction on the left and new condo ahead left (corner of Howard & Parliament Streets)
Will they stay or go?
A couple of remaining shops on the north side of Howard Street beside the construction site
Will they stay or fall to the wrecking ball?
Remaining shops on the south side of Howard Street

Glen Road

I shot these while heading to the subway via the wonderful little street known as Glen Road. I’ve always loved Glen Road; so much character – to me it has an almost-Brooklyn look and feel. It’s a huge bonus that the once-derelict period houses on the west side of the street were recently renovated and revitalized:

Glen Road Apartments
Glen Road Apartments
This side of the street was once derelict and abandoned…
…now beautifully restored
Beautifully restored
Subway entrance at the end of Glen Road
Time to go underground for a while

Sherbourne Street continues to change and gentrify. Over the last few years several upscale condos have gone up near the corner of Bloor Street East, making the area a little more desirable than it was a couple of years ago.

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