Toronto Through My Lens

Category: Condos

Roehampton Avenue Sculptures

Continuing on in the Yonge-Eglinton area, I came across a couple of interesting sculptures on Roehampton Avenue:

What’s Your Name?
by Ilan Sandler (2011)

This sculpture is located at 70 Roehampton Avenue beside “The Republic” condo building. What’s Your Name? identifies North Toronto Collegiate Institute (NTCI) students past and present by reproducing their proper names and handwritten signatures on the sculpture’s stainless steel surfaces.

One sheaf shows all the first names of students who have attended the school since 1912, beginning at the top of the inner page. Each name is present only once, and at the moment it first appears in the school record. The chronological list includes new names through to 2010 with a total of 2053 different names. The names of the last students to occupy the original NTCI building appear at the bottom of the outer page.

The second sheaf creates imprints of the students’ public and private identities by contrasting the names of those who attended the school over the past century with a selection of signatures from alumni and current students.

‘What’s Your Name?’ is often the first question we ask someone, and by answering we announce ourselves to each other and to the world. During adolescence our relationship to proper names tends to change; a name is no longer something given but something made, crafted and personalized through the deliberate art of the signature. Schools, and particularly high schools, are where the proper name and the signature intersect.

Paper and print, which are the core tools of education, become dynamic sculptural forms on which an imprint of students’ public and private identities is inscribed.
Ilan Sandler

Points of View: Looking North
by Tony Cragg (2023)

Located outside the condos at 101 Roehampton Avenue is a work entitled Points of View: Looking North. The stainless-steel sculpture combines precise geometries with expressive organic form — an exploration between the rational and emotional aspects of material forms:

The entire material world, whether natural or man-made, consists on a fundamental level of rational geometries-ratio. Our appreciation of their complex appearances is, however, our emotional response. ‘Points of View: Looking North’ combines these apparently very different worlds and traits of human thought.
Tony Cragg

“Stargate”

Outside the condo buildings at 150 and 155 Redpath Avenue, there is an interesting 2-part sculpture entitled Stargate.

Designed by Toronto and Krakow-based artists Blue Republic (Anna Passakas & Radoslaw Kudlinski), the 2016 installation includes alien-inspired pieces on the two west side corners of Redpath Avenue, fronting the entrances to the condo towers at 150 and 155 Redpath.

The crew of blue and yellow characters, each weighing thousands of pounds, create a window into outer space, both through the bold creatures themselves and their surrounding landscape of swirling vortices.

150 Redpath Avenue

Our inspiration for this piece came from the unique diversity of this city. For some, moving to a new neighbourhood is like moving from one universe to another. So many people bring various experiences and cultures with them from all over the world. We are both science fiction fans, and we felt that “Stargate”, drawing from this popular genre, could be the glue between these narratives.
Radoslaw Kudlinksi of Blue Republic

155 Redpath Avenue

Inspired by both Eastern and Greek mythology and science fiction, Stargate serves as a connection between different worlds and a call to explore the unknown.

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.

A Walk Up & Down Avenue Road

It was a crisp fall day when I started my Avenue Road photowalk at Bloor Street West. I made my way up Avenue Road, reached Dupont Street, then returned south until I hit University Avenue and Dundas Street West. Here’s a little of what I encountered along the way.

The Prince Arthur Condo
38 Avenue Road
The Prince Arthur Condo, 38 Avenue Road
I’ve always loved this entryway – so elegant, dramatic
New Condo Construction: 183 Avenue Road
Construction on the northeast corner of Avenue Road and Pears Avenue in Yorkville. This is a proposed 10-storey mixed-use condominium building designed by BBB Architects for K P Isberg.
Hazelton Lanes Residences
55A Avenue Road
Galerie de Bellefeuille
87 Avenue Road
Future Site of “The Webley”
121 Avenue Road
Bike Memorial For Adam Excell
On the corner of Avenue Road and Davenport Road. Adam Excell was riding his bike on Avenue Road, near Davenport Road on June 13, 2015, when he was struck and killed by a car that did not remain at the scene.
David Drebin Mural
On the northwest corner of Avenue Road and Davenport Road. David Drebin is a Toronto-born professional photographer.
David Drebin Mural & “Super Convenience”
Northwest corner of Davenport Road and Avenue Road
The Hare Krishna Temple
The Hare Krishna Temple is located at 243 Avenue Road. The building is the former home of Avenue Road Church. It was built in 1899 and was originally the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. The building was designed by Toronto architects Gordon & Helliwell.
The Church of the Messiah
240 Avenue Road. This Anglican church was founded on March 24, 1891 by members of the Church of the Redeemer further south on Avenue Road. The building, and the rectory next door, were designed by Gordon & Helliwell, the same architects who designed what is now the Hare Krishna Temple across the street.
Fall Leaves
Somewhere on Avenue Road
Mural Outside Havana Coffee Bar
233 Davenport Road, southwest corner of Davenport Road and Avenue Road
Flower Markets
Avenue Road, south of Davenport
Giant Ring
Outside Louro & Sons Jewellers, 104 Avenue Road
“Mixer”
These cast bronze figures are entitled “Mixer” by sculptor An Te Liu, a Taiwanese-Canadian artist living and working in Toronto. “Mixer” envisions its installation as a stage inhabited by a pair of cast bronze figures engaged in dialogue with passersby, hotel visitors, and each other. Bold and distinctive in silhouette and richly finished in a lustrous deep gold patina, the sculptural ensemble forms a vivid and iconic tableau establishing the Park Hyatt as a singular destination. As a public artwork, “Mixer” is monumental in scale – visible from afar and instantly recognizable. Open and intimate, the work invites visitors to experience the artwork fully and in the round. People become a critical part of the scenography, which unfolds within the architectural proscenium and extends out into the city.

“Mixer” finds shape and expression in the rich history of Park Hyatt Toronto, merging classical figurative allusions with industrial, artisanal, and organic forms culled from glassware, vessels, and couture. The forms also stem from a reinterpretation of the artistic legacy of Henry Moore, a seminal figure in the history of the modern era in Toronto. “Mixer” captures the allure of social encounters and celebrates imbibing in all the senses. They form a continuity between the illustrious past of Park Hyatt Toronto and its present renaissance as an exemplar of elegance and luxury. An Te Liu’s inspiration for this work comes more specifically from an archival photograph of the Park Hyatt Rooftop Lounge, commonly known as “The Rooftop bar at Park Plaza,” years ago. An Te Liu would visit during his years as a student at the University of Toronto – understanding its’ social significance as a landmark in the city. Park Hyatt Toronto invites visitors to experience the artwork in the round, as this ensemble of works seems like an encounter or conversation. The hotel program inspired this meaningful concept as a place of social convergence, where friends and strangers cross
Lillian Massey Building
Building used by University of Toronto, 125 Queen’s Park
“Freedom Fighters”
Queen’s Park
“Freedom Fighters”
Queen’s Park
Fall Leaves
Queen’s Park
Al Purdy Statue, Queens’ Park
Al Purdy was a 20th-century Canadian free verse poet. Purdy’s writing career spanned 56 years. His works include 39 books of poetry; a novel; two volumes of memoirs and four books of correspondence, in addition to his posthumous works. He has been called the nation’s “unofficial poet laureate” and “a national poet in a way that you only find occasionally in the life of a culture.”
Iranian Demonstration
There was an Iranian demonstration happening that day at Queen’s Park, and this guy was ripping up and down Queen’s Park and University Avenue with his balloons and flag
U of T’s Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre
112 College Street, at University Avenue
“Happy Lunar New Year”
Canada Post box at University Avenue and Dundas Street West
The United Building
481 University Avenue. On the corner of University Avenue and Edward Street. Converting into luxury condos.
The United Building
481 University Avenue. On the corner of University Avenue and Edward Street. Converting into luxury condos.

© 2024 TO Cityscapes

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Subscribe to TO Cityscapes

Subscribe to TO Cityscapes

Join my mailing list to receive an email alert when I publish a new post.

You have successfully subscribed! Check your email for further info.

Pin It on Pinterest