published by
2574 Subscribers

Issue No. 254 | October 28, 2016


Add your Story

Feature Stories

  1. Dundas' Parkside School- Mid-Century Modern At Risk
  2. Copenhagen has lots to teach Canadians about Building in the North
  3. Threat to Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site, Ottawa


National Trust Conference 2016
October 20 - 22, 2016
+ read

Friday November 4th
+ read

Unbuilt Hamilton
December 3, 2016
+ read

Unbuilt Hamilton
November 15, 2016
+ read

Unbuilt Hamilton Exhibition
Now through February 20, 2017
+ read

Unbuilt Hamilton Launch
October 28
+ read


ad ad ad ad ad ad ad

Built Heritage News Sponsors


1. Dundas' Parkside School- Mid-Century Modern At Risk
Shannon Kyles

In 1960, Parkside High School won both National and International awards for design and innovative use of materials. The swooping curve of the entrance was created with a revolutionary method for  precast concrete panels with exposed stone. As the BBC, CBC and Netflix producers send their locations managers out to find Mid-century modern sets, Dundas, through the works of the City of Hamilton, is tearing down its best Mid-Century  school because of a comedy of errors.

First the Ontario School Board (OSB) decided that small local schools in Dundas and West Hamilton should be gradually torn down and  replaced by a huge, central school, accessible by bus. The idiocy of that decision is outside the boundaries of this article. So, without noticing that it was an incredible piece of architecture, the OSB left Parkside High School to rot and then closed it. By law, the OSB must offer any land for sale to either the local or the provincial governments before it is handed over for open bidding to the public.

In 1998, the Harris government took a vote of all the citizens in Dundas, Flamborough, Ancaster and Waterdown to see if they wanted to become part of the City of Hamilton. An incredible 95 percent of the populace voted against this, but it seems the vote was rhetorical. Dundas was eaten up by Hamilton. Now, the major decisions concerning Dundas are made by 13 councillors, 12 of whom do not live in Dundas. 

 Dundas has become a destination of choice for people who want to live in a small house or apartment in a very well preserved and maintained small town. Consequently, developers from out of town have been successful in proposing buildings, and sometimes building structures, that exceed the ideal proportions and  destroy the downtown core. Population growth in  Dundas has outpaced growth in other communities, but there is still money to be made.

In an effort to keep out the high rise developments on a prime piece of downtown parkland, our  Dundas Councillor proposed that the City of Hamilton buy the property. Land was needed to preserve the grave yard, and this quick thinking at least saved the park and its beautiful view of the escarpment from being obliterated by High Rise Hell. 

 No one noticed that the front portico of Parkside High School has long been considered one of the architectural icons of Dundas. No Conservation Plan or salvage plan was ever done. The Hamilton Heritage Committee was apparently not involved or not interested. Two or three small groups proposed that the building be converted into condominiums and civic space, but this might have taken time and money. Hamilton just wanted the problem gone.

 With two weeks until the start of the demolition, our Dundas Councillor, on my request,  is asking for quotes to remove the sweeping portico intact. Anyone who has a need for such a beautiful piece of work can contact me. A few of us are trying to work on stalling tactics as the portico is just adjacent to a circular driveway that is to be preserved. If anyone would like to pay to have this portico moved to their location, or, better,  has an idea on how to stall this process and leave it ‘in situ’, I am all ears.


Shannon Kyles

2. Copenhagen has lots to teach Canadians about Building in the North
Catherine Nasmith

View from the bike lane in Copenhagen
New Canal Development Area, Sluselobot, buildings mass broken down in scale

 I am just back from an architectural exchange program with Copehagen, which involved visiting architects and several newly created urban areas in Copenhagen. Design is celebrated there, making it a bit of heaven for an architect to visit. Elegant, restrained appropriate for its purpose for the most part.

What is wonderfully noticeable is how the Copehagen gets so much right. It’s a northern city and has evolved with wide streets and medium scale buildings of generally the same height to take the best advantage of the available light and minimize wind, particularly in winter. As is often the case, the best areas of the city are the oldest, where the subdivision of land into small building parcels allows for lots of variety in ownership and activity. Yet there is a common understanding of typology, building heights and widths, even setbacks.

In the newer parts of the city we visited, Danes have done a lot right. Two harbour areas have been filled and developed for housing, with some small shops along minor commercial streets. But because it is being developed by one hand, and large capital, the grain is much bigger. In one newly developed neighbourhood, full of canals, Sluselobot, the scale of the buildings was been broken down by having several architects design small facades. It gave a very attractive result, augmented by beautiful boardwalks. It looks like a vibrant area, but it can never offer the variety that evolves in older finer grained areas.

Downtown bikes are everywhere…the policies of organizing the streets to invite people to cycle instead of drive have been wildly successful. Lots of places to park bikes, and wide separated bike lanes, no mingy bits of paint or riding alongside parked cars. People ride because it is the fastest, safest way to get around. Few wear helmets. You also notice how few people are overweight, the city encourages active living. With more people using bikes, the city is quiet….the drum of traffic is also noticeably absent. Its not that Danes don’t drive, they do, but to own a car Is a luxury because of heavy taxes. Trucks are also noticeably absent because deliveries happen at night, and only small trucks can come into the City centre. Cargo is transferred at the edge of the city for urban delivery.

It would take Canadian cities a long time to adopt similar policies, we have built our cities around cars for decades and there isn’t much interest in changing. A visit to Copenhagen reveals just how much we have to learn about building cities in northern climes.

3. Lunenburg Demolition Approved
Brian Arnott

Lunenburg Votes to Demolish Another Heritage Building

For the second time in six years, the Mayor and Council of the Town of Lunenburg have voted to allow the demolition of a heritage building within the UNESCO and National Historic Site area of Old Town.

The building known as the Anderson Barn is specifically identified within the Towns Heritage Conservation District Plan as one of two structures in Old Town having additional heritage value. The assessment by the Towns Heritage Officer further confirmed this value against five criteria.

The unanimous vote by the Mayor and four Councillors was taken after a brief discussion at a special meeting of Council on Wednesday October 5th. The Mayor and three Councillors are standing for re-election on October 15th.

The right to demolish was granted subject to the approval of the new building under municipal design guidelines and the provision of a commemorative plaque.

Councils decision to allow demolition was made with the endorsement of the Towns Heritage Advisory Committee but against the advice of the Lunenburg Heritage Society  an organization which the Town is obligated under by-law to consult.

The Lunenburg Heritage Societys opposition to the demolition was supported by the National Trust for Canada, the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals, a number of distinguished Canadians in the fields of architecture and built heritage and many local citizens.

The Lunenburg Heritage Societys opposition was based, first, on the Towns fundamental obligation to protect its heritage assets and, second, on the technical inadequacy of the application by the developer, Lunenburg Heritage Homes Limited.

No heritage professionals were involved in the developers proposal and those heritage professionals who were asked by the Lunenburg Heritage Society to review the developers submission found that the analysis was superficial and the conclusion was foregone.

None of the claims made by the developer to substantiate his decision to demolish was proven. No attempt was made by the Town through the process which lasted over six weeks to seek or request independent validation of the developers claims.

Lunenburg Heritage Homes will now construct a larger building on the Anderson Barn site to accommodate a residential six-plex designed in a historical style by a retired architect.
This decision to demolish the Anderson Barn has local implications including raising questions about the Towns will and ability to manage the heritage assets in its trust and whether a precedent has been set that no heritage building in Old Town Lunenburg is now safe from demolition.

The process has also pointed out that, while Lunenburg is rich in heritage assets, its heritage literacy is very low. Almost no one on the side of the Town and developer showed any real grasp of heritage conservation practice. Mayor Rachel Bailey, for one, admitted during the public hearing on this matter that she found many of the terms related to heritage conservation confusing.

This decision by a local authority to demolish a building which is an integral part of a National Historic Site may also have implications across Canada, possibly enabling developers to argue that if demolition is allowable in Lunenburg, it should be allowable anywhere.

At the time of writing, only hours after the decision came down, it is not clear what course of action is open to the local, provincial and national heritage communities by way of response. Interested parties may want to contact the Chair of the Lunenburg Heritage Society.

Brian Arnott

4. Threat to Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site, Ottawa
Heritage Ottawa

 The Central Experimental Farm is the target of potentially life-threatening surgery. Former Minister John Baird promised 60 acres to the Ottawa Hospital, with no consultation, not even with the owner department, Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada. The Farm is not only a national historic site, but also a globally important agricultural research station. The new federal government has asked the National Capital Commission to re-examine the choice of sites and the criteria by which they would be assessed. Now until October 6th, you can have you say on the criteria and the sites at Please rate criteria that address heritage, research and greenspace highly! Check us out at and on twitter@protectthefarm.

Leslie Maitland Coalition to Protect the Central Experimental Farm Heritage Ottawa

5. Award-Winning Canadian Heritage Conservation Project Featured at IUCN World Conservation Congress
Alexander Temporale

Associate Mark Driedger Presenting at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress

ATA Architects Inc. (ATA) had the honour of sending its Associate, Mark Driedger, to the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii where he presented ATAs award-winning heritage project, the Harding Waterfront Estate (formerly the Holcim Waterfront Estate). The World Conservation Congress is the worlds largest democratic conservation event, meant to focus the expertise and influence of its members into tackling some of the most significant issues of our time. The IUCN draws its members from all over the world and from various fields, including politics, business, science, art and academia. This year, the Congress had over 10,000 participants, including President Barack Obama, NASA, Google, and many of the worlds leading conservation authorities.

ATA's contribution to the Congress was a digital media presentation focused on the Harding Waterfront Estate in Mississauga, Ontario. It was the only architectural project at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, focussing on the efforts made by all parties to conserve the landscape of the estate and its cultural and historical value. The heritage conservation work done within this project has parlayed into success for the property and a boon to the City of Mississauga. ATA is well-known for its expertise and success in conservation work within the Greater Toronto Area and our acceptance into the Congress served as a recognition of the value of heritage to the conservation movement and global sustainability.

ATA's presentation at the Congress, Linking Past, Present, & Future, consisted of current and past photographs of the Estate, Bell Gairdner family videos, explanations of the process, challenges and successes of the project, as well as a full background of the cultural and historical connection the Estate has to the surrounding community. The Harding Waterfront Estate, a relatively small project, was able to make it onto the world stage because both large and small efforts contribute to world conservation.

6. CBC--Mimico Factory Bites the Dust
Kate McGillvary

City loses 'race against time' to save historic Mimico factory

A historic Mimico building was partially demolished Wednesday, despite a decision made that afternoon by the Toronto Preservation Board to recommend it be preserved under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Stollerys demolition raises questions about city heritage rules
The former factory, built in 1917, is owned by Freed Development, and signs at the site indicate plans to build five residential apartment buildings.

For most of its life, 1 Audley Street was a factory that produced sporting goods. (City of Toronto)

The building, located at 1 Audley Street near Royal York Road and Newcastle Street in south Etobicoke, had been on the city's radar as a historic property for at least a year, when Mimico historian Michael Harrison recommended it be earmarked for preservation.

"It's one of the earliest industrial buildings in Mimico that still exists," Harrison told CBC News. But he said historical value often doesn't stop buildings getting demolished.

"If they're not designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, they're not safe," he explained.

Not long after it was first built, the factory produced engine parts

But for much of its existence, the building was owned by the Schindler Company, which produced sporting good such as fishing line.

Chris Moore, president of the Mimico Residents Association, agrees with Harrison that the building should have been preserved.

"Every time I walk through there I've always enjoyed walking by that building. It just has a certain character that not much else has in the area," Moore said.

Building was weeks away from heritage status

The building at 1 Audley Street did go before the Preservation Board, but it still had to be approved by Etobicoke community council and Toronto city council before it could be designated an official heritage building.

"In cases where there is a potential imminent demolition it can become a race against time," said Mary MacDonald, senior manager in heritage preservation services for city planning.

In a statement to CBC News, Freed Development said it had received all the necessary permits for demolition.

"These activities were pursued with the full and complete permission of the City and in keeping with the permits that were granted," it read.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Until we create laws that require conservation of buildings, making conservation of built resources, irrespective of cultural value, the rule not the exception, we will continue to lose every time. Designation is only as strong as the commitment of the Council that passes it, and can be undone at the OMB. It is a painfully slow process to implement with limited chance of long term success.

7. Globe and Mail: Façadism not so great
Dave LeBlanc

When façadism falls flat: Heritage faces cowering under new builds

It didn’t help that the first time I approached the heritage façade at 70 High Park Ave. it was pouring rain. Had the sun been shining, however, it still would have reminded me of it: in very old cemeteries, often there is a wall where the most fragile and fractured tombstones have been set into concrete so that great-great-grandchildren can visit without fear of further damage.

This condo tower has a tombstone at its base. It was once the 1928 Third Church of Christ, Scientist by architect Murray Brown.

I think what annoys me most is that Mr. Brown’s façade is set so deep into the shadows behind the new building’s massive columns it looks bullied, small and sad. And although the octagonal lobby with original plasterwork and terrazzo floors has been retained (the “entry sequence” in architecture-speak), I just can’t get past – literally and figuratively – how the façade just hangs there, suspended in a blank concrete wall.

I wish the developer hadn’t bothered.

Click here for Link

8. Globe and Mail: Toronto Old City Hall Fake Condo Prank
Daniel Rotsztain

Why I pranked Torontonians with fake condo signs

It was a mock proposal so realistic that, for a moment, Toronto collectively gasped – was Old City Hall really being turned into a condo? The artists behind the stunt, self-identified ‘urban interventionists’ known only as Glo’erm and Tuggy, intended to spark outrage when they erected a fake public notice last week. They wanted people to be angry – so angry that they started caring about how this city is developing. Now, creator Daniel Rotsztain is stepping out of the shadow to ensure the discussion continues. As soon as we loaded our homemade development proposal sign out of the rental van and placed it on Old City Hall’s front lawn last Friday, it disappeared into the streetscape, fading into a city with such indistinguishable signs on almost every corner. Most people streaming along the sidewalk between the Eaton Centre and Bay Street didn’t notice it at all. The few that did were in shock at the proposal to convert the civic landmark into a parking garage with a 90-storey condo. “This is one of the most important buildings in Toronto,” reacted one passerby, echoing the sentiments of others who pointed and stared. “I can’t believe they’d do this.”

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:I got some shocked and appalled notes from people who took the signs at face value....Toronto is so crazy these days it could be real!

9. Hamilton Spectator: Unbuilt Hamilton
Mark Osbaldeton

Author Explores the City that Might Have Been

Picture this: The province has offered to build a rapid transit system for Hamilton, but some local politicians are skeptical. With the issue set to go back to council for a new vote, it's a hot topic of conversation.

And so is Raiders of the Lost Ark. Because it's 1981.

Hamilton's history is filled with building, planning, and transit proposals that never left the drawing board.

For any number of reasons — economic, political, practical — the ambitions of the Ambitious City have their limits.

Sometimes that "unbuilt" history repeats itself.

In the case of the 1981 transit plan, regional council voted against construction of an elevated transit system that would have looped around the downtown core before tunnelling up the mountain to run along Upper James Street to Mohawk Road.

Click here for Link

10. Inside Toronto: Façade, heritage plaque unveiled at Broadview Hotel
Joanna Lavoie

Riverside Toronto landmark re-opens to the public next year

The Broadview Hotel, which was built by businessman Archie Dingman and initially called Dingman’s Hall when it first opened in 1891, is viewed by many as the cornerstone of Riverside’s once-again burgeoning commercial district. The stately building, which features intricate sun, moon and weather-related motifs in its terracotta brick inserts, was built with bricks from the Don Valley Brick Works. By the end of 19th century, Queen Street East was one of the emerging city’s first main east-west arteries and had two railway stations (the Riverdale Station at Degrassi Street and the Don Station just west of the Don Valley) serving the community. Several hotels, including The Broadview Hotel, at 704 Queen St. E., were needed to lodge and feed those travelling to and from Kingston, ON. Further, Queen Street East from the Don River to Degrassi Street is also in the process of being designated as a heritage conservation district (HCD). This is being done in an effort to be pro-active when real estate developers, like Streetcar Developments, purchase historically significant buildings in the neighbourhood, which dates back to the mid 1800s. The HCD designation allows city council to protect and enhance the special character of groups of properties in an area, whose character is established by the overall heritage quality of buildings, streets and open spaces.Last night, Streetcar Developments, which purchased the 125-year-old Romanesque Revival-style building at 704 Queen St. E. in May 2014, and Dream Unlimited Corp. unveiled the newly revitalized façade as well as a Heritage Toronto plaque. The event marked the first milestone in the building’s transformation into a 58-room boutique hotel, restaurant, lobby café/bar, and rooftop bar and the start of welcoming a new generation to the iconic east-end landmark at the northwest corner of Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue. The circa 1891 Broadview Hotel, which is set to officially open its doors to the public in 2017, is a City of Toronto-designated heritage property. “Our goal is to re-invigorate the architecture and culture of The Broadview Hotel, while respecting its history and original design,” Les Mallins, Streetcar Developments’ founder and president, said in a Sept. 28 release.

Click here for Link

11. Spacing: Another Modernist Landmark to be demolished
Chris Bateman

When will Toronto love its Modern architecture?

October 21, 2016 | By Chris Bateman

Carlton Tower in the 1960s. Image: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 727.

What do you picture when you read the words heritage building.? It probably isnt the Carlton Tower at Yonge and Carlton streets.

The 18-storey office building was completed in 1958 in a Modern style typical of Torontos post-war boom era. It predates TD Centre, Toronto City Hall, and is an early example of the tower-on-a-podium style used practically everywhere in Toronto today.

This week, its owner submitted plans to demolish the building for a pair of 72-storey condominium towers. The Carlton Tower, which is currently home to a Shoppers Drug Mart and Bulk Barn, is part of the planned Historic Yonge Street Heritage Conservation District, but it is deemed non-contributing, which means it lacks legal protection from demolition.

The Carlton Tower, like many Modern Toronto buildings, is in late-middle age, when indifference and neglect are at peak levels. Every architectural style goes through this period before enough people become willing to love and defend it.

Old City Hall was the subject of at least two demolition proposals in the 1960s and 70s, when it was roughly the same as the Carlton Tower. During planning of New City Hall, the venerable old municipal building was derided as being fortress-like and unworthy of protection by the Globe and Mail.

Many of Torontos great post-war buildings have met the wrecker in the last few years. The Inn on the Park, the Half- Round at Riverdale Hospital, the Don Mills Curling Rink, and the Bata Shoe Headquarters, just to name a few, were all cut down before reaching a vintage suitable for a concerted public outcry.

The proposal to demolish the Carlton Tower is in the early stages, but if no-one speaks up, it will also be knocked down before it can be cherished.

The proposed Hotel Carlton that would have been built beside Maple Leaf Gardens. The developer, Atlantic, went into receivership before work could begin. Image: University of Calgary, Panda Associates fonds, 73A/80.8.

Carlton Tower was a collaboration between two architects: Edward I. Richmond and Alan R. Moody. It was originally supposed to be one of a pair of buildings on the north side of Carlton Street, east of Yonge Street.

A 21-storey hotel, the Hotel Carlton, was planned by the same developers for the lot beside Maple Leaf Gardens, which is now home to a Holiday Inn.

A group of New Yorkers that included real estate executive Morton S. Wolf, the operator of Ritz Towers and Delmonicos Building, agreed to lease and run the finished building for 25 years from Toronto-based Atlantic Development and Investment Corp. Ltd.

Had it been built, the $10 million hotel would have opened in late 1957 or early 1958 with 493 soundproof rooms. A vice-regal suite, eight luxury penthouse rooms, dining space for 400, two cocktail lounges, and a 1,000-person ballroom were also included in the blueprints by Edward I. Richmond and New York architectural firm Kahn and Jacobs.

Kahn and Jacobs has previously worked with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson on the Seagram Building in Manhattan, and Ely Jacques Kahn, a named partner in the firm, provided important inspiration for author Ayn Rand while she was working on her novel, The Fountainhead. Rand was an unpaid typist in Kahns office while she worked on the novel.

Falling demand for hotel rooms in downtown Toronto forced Atlantic Development to temporarily ice the Hotel Carlton project in favour of an 18-storey office building on a site to the west, at the northeast corner of Yonge and Carlton streets.

The Carlton Tower under construction in 1958. The Westbury Hotel, which features several similar design elements, is visible in the background. Image: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1058, Item 726.

Construction started in late 1957 and was almost completed about a year later. The architects drew heavily on the work of Peter Dickinson, who designed the adjacent Westbury Hotel, and the headquarters of the Salvation Army by John C. Parkin.

The podium level of the building above the stores was a multi-storey parking garage wrapped in a concrete wall decorated with a diamond pattern. Due to the proximity of the Yonge subway line, the architects decided to cut costs by building the 250-space lot above ground.

Building code ventilation requirements necessitated the rectangular openings in the concrete. Some were located at exhaust pipe level with the others at eye and ceiling of each parking floor level.

The large vertical wall on the south side of the Carlton Tower was enlivened by a large illuminated clock and the main entrance off Carlton Street had a large public artwork on the outside of its glass doors.

Up above, the Carlton Tower didnt look much like an office building. The windows were sectioned off, making the whole thing appear to be comprised of small units; hotel rooms or apartments, perhaps. Glazed black brick spandrelsthe walls below the windowshelped break up the visual monotony, and recessed windows provided important shade.

Woolworths leased the largest retail space in the Carlton Tower, on the west side of the building where the Shoppers Drug Mart is now. The corner store at Yonge and College streets was occupied by Laura Secord chocolates, and there was a branch of the clothing store Evangeline and a Honey Dew Coffee Shop.

Canadian Builder magazine called the tower a significant landmark among Canadian building.

Street level view of the Salvation Army National Headquarters on Albert Street in Toronto. The diamond brick pattern also appears on the Carlton Tower. Image: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, Item 2.

Unfortunately, the owners werent kind to their crisp Modern tower.

The clock on the outside of the building was taken down in the 1970s (look closely at the image below and you can see where it used to be,) and in the early 1980s the parking garage was painted teal. Advertising billboards were allowed to spread unchecked over the exterior, especially at the corner of Yonge and Carlton streets.

It also appears that the artwork at the main entrance to the office floors on Carlton Street vanished around this time.

A recent renovation restored the Carlton Tower to its original white, but failed to bring back the clock or the artwork.

The Carlton Tower with its parking garage painted blue in the late 1980s or early 1990s. The faint outline of the clocks hour markings are visible on the exterior. Image: City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 387, Item 12.

Over the years, the offices have hosted the Ontario Motor League chapter of the Canadian Automobile Association, Ontario Press Council, Superior Finance, and Toronto International Film Festival Group before it moved to the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

In the world of media, 2 Carlton Street has hosted the offices of the Ontario Press Council, the Film Reference Library, and currently Pink Triangle Press, the publisher of Daily Xtra.

Among the documents owners of the building submitted as part of their plan to demolish 2 Carlton Street is a Heritage Impact Statement by GBCA Architects. This paperwork articulates the historical value of the current building.

It claims no event, belief, person, activity, organization or institution, to the best of our knowledge, is connected with the building and that, when viewed in context with its surroundings, it is nothing more than a backdrop to the more important adjacent sites.

Overall, GBCA believes Carlton Tower is of no real heritage value, which is a shame because the office tower represents an important phase in Torontos history.

Carlton Tower was built during when this city truly came of age. Unlike New York and Chicago, Toronto had its boom period after the Second World War. The Carlton Tower and buildings like it went up when Toronto was young and optimistic.

So many of that eras architectural wonders have been carelessly demolished or left to crumble without protest.

If we lose the Carlton Tower and its contemporaries now, we will never get them back.

Every building tells part of the Toronto story. We just need to decide which chapters we would like to remember.

Click here for Link

12. Toronto Star- The Destructor in, Schindler Building Out
Shawn Micallef

Heritage won with the Wellington Destructor, lost in Mimico

ACO Next Gen gathering in front of Destructor

The Wellington Destructor. Is there a better-named building in Toronto? It sounds like something left over from a superhero film shoot, perhaps last year’s Suicide Squad production. Built in 1925, it was instead a magnificent palace of garbage incineration, a practice that continued until 1973.

Decommissioned for decades, a 2014 City study suggested the Destructor could be transformed into a community space. Last year Mike Layton, the local councillor, said “the sky’s the limit” with regard to its future and that “we need to start dreaming.”

Last Saturday the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario’s “NextGen” group of students and young professionals took that sentiment to heart, hosting a charrette in partnership with Fort York, just to the south and across the railway corridor. (Full disclosure: I’m a volunteer director on the Friends of Fort York board, a not-for-profit, arms-length community group).

The charrette was a brainstorming and design session exploring potential uses for the Destructor, a place with industrial beauty even in its current state. “Old buildings were designed with how they looked on the street in mind, not how they’d look tall,” says Pauline Berkovitz, co-director of NextGen and the charrette. “Nobody thinks about that anymore.”

Citing precedents like the Evergreen Brickworks, Distillery District, and Wychwood streetcar barns, the two dozen students came from engineering, architecture and other design backgrounds. Many of them addressed the coming West Toronto Rail Path cycling extension and Fort York cycling and pedestrian bridge that will turn this place into a hub.

One group included references to the buried Garrison Creek that runs underneath the Destructor. Another related their design to the shuttered Quality Meats abattoir next door that’s going to be redeveloped as housing, as is the former coffin factory further east. A deathly district, they proposed renaming the building the Canstructor as a gesture to the future.

All these ideas and more are possible because the Destructor was put on Toronto’s inventory of heritage structures in 2005. Historic commercial structures on private property are much more at risk than residential. By law, the City can’t arbitrarily deny a demolition permit for a commercial building. Without a heritage designation, there is no protection.

Last week a historic building in Mimico succumbed to this unprotected fate. 1 Audley St., or the “Schindler Company of Canada Ltd. building” was built two years before the Destructor and located in an industrial pocket along the railway corridor, a few hundred metres east of the Mimico GO station. Though not as grand as the Destructor, 1 Audley housed numerous businesses over the decades, including the manufacture of strings for musical instruments, tennis racquets, and fishing lines. Once made from animal guts, the wooden tower on the site is said to have been for drying the intestines used in string manufacturing.

Click here for Link

13. Toronto Star: 10 Super-Towers Coming to Toronto by 2020
Joseph Hall

Toronto's skyline is about to join the big-leagues: What the city could look like in 2020

Toronto’s skyline is entering the stratosphere... at least by North American standards. A look at what 10 new projects will mean to the city, its residents and its image.

Toronto's vibrant downtown holds some advantages over many vertically ambitious cities, says the city’s former urban design and architecture chief.

On warm evenings, urban designer Ken Greenberg likes to serve dinner on his balcony and watch Toronto’s skyline light up in the dusk.

“It actually is magical,” says the city’s former urban design and architecture chief, whose perch near King and Bathurst Sts. puts him in the front row for the nightly performance.

That impressive show may be set to go full-blown Broadway on Greenberg, with a host of towering new players — in various stages of planning and approval — poised to hit this city’s downtown stage over the next five years.

Predicting skyscraper development is a mug’s game, says Greenberg, with economic and engineering contingencies almost exclusively driving what actually gets built and how.

But as it stands, 10 projects boasting towers of 240 to 300-plus metres are slated to join Toronto’s skyscraper cast by around 2020 in what’s being called the “Manhattanization” of the city’s skyline.

These include a two-tower project by Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry and theatre impresario David Mirvish in the Entertainment District. At 92 floors and 305 metres, the larger of these jagged King St. W. skyscrapers would become the city’s tallest habitable building.

Click here for Link

14. Urban Toronto: High Rises coming to Toronto
Joseph Hall

The Top 10 Tallest Towers Coming to Toronto's Skyline

The recent announcement of Mizrahi Development's proposed tower 'The One' seems to have hit Toronto like a bombshell. The involvement of world-renowned architectural firm Foster + Partners has the attention of Toronto's architecture buffs, as does the potentially record-setting height for the many skyscraper enthusiasts out there. If built as planned, The One would take the longstanding title of Tallest Building in Canada from First Canadian Place, the record holder for the past 40 years.

The One isn't the only high-profile development currently aiming to join the ranks of the city's tallest as there are plenty more skyscraping towers in various stages of the development process. Starting with the tenth tallest development currently on its way, we will work our way back up to The One to see who may also soon bring high points on our skyline.

Click here for Link

15. Toronto Star: Death of Architect Bing Thom
Canadian Press

Architect Bing Thom left mark in Vancouver, around the world

Bing Thom, who died Tuesday at age 75, is being remembered as a city builder and mentor who believed in “the transformative power of great architecture.”

VANCOUVER—Bing Thom, a Vancouver-based architect whose unique work transformed communities around the world, died Tuesday at the age of 75.

A statement from his wife, Bonnie, said Thom was in robust health but died of a brain aneurysm in a hospital in Hong Kong.

A news release from Bing Thom Architects said Thom was one of Canada’s most admired and accomplished architects and a dedicated city builder whose global reputation was closely tied to Metro Vancouver, “a region he cared for deeply and did much to protect and to improve.”

Thom was never afraid to speak his mind, was a mentor to many and shared his passion for creating beautiful spaces, the statement said.

“He saw himself first as a public servant and held a fundamental belief in the transformative power of great architecture to uplift not only the physical, but also the economic and social conditions of a community.”

Bonnie Thom said her husband’s life’s work culminated in the Xiqu Centre in Hong Kong, a modern home for Chinese opera.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Toronto was robbed when ROM chose the Liebeskind scheme over Bing Thom's graceful proposal. He is a great loss to the country.

16. Preseve cultural monuments with 3D images
Herbert Maschner, The Conversation, US

Preservationists race to capture cultural monuments with 3D images

January 26, 2016 5.43am EST

In March 2001, the Taliban blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, two of the tallest Buddha sculptures in the world. This horrific attack on an important and beautiful example of the patrimony of central Asia shocked the world. It also forever changed the landscape of cultural preservation, archaeology and global heritage.

Even back then, we had some of the 3D scanning technologies that could have allowed us to digitally document and preserve the Buddhas. We did not yet anticipate the scale of destruction that would leave hundreds of global heritage sites damaged or obliterated in the 15 years since that event.

The loss of this cultural heritage has spurred teams of researchers and nonprofit organizations to race to make 3D scans, architectural plans and detailed photographic records of heritage sites around the world, knowing they could be destroyed at any time. Advances in 3D scanning technologies, drone use and even tourists online posting of images are giving preservationists a new set of tools to prevent the permanent loss of cultural artifacts.
The preservation race begins

In the 1990s, several international heritage organizations were created to highlight the importance of cultural heritage to history, tourism and ethnic identity. One such group is UNESCOs World Heritage Centre, founded in 1992. The archaeological and heritage communities cheered these efforts at preservation of important places, sites, buildings and landscapes that were being threatened or destroyed by expanding cities, hydroelectric projects, coastal erosion and other perils.

They also acknowledged that heritage, largely for the first time, had become a target of military campaigns. Once heritage sites became identified with particular cultures, beliefs or histories, those places became vulnerable to people, including the Taliban and the Islamic State group, seeking to destroy those identities.

Just last week the destruction of a sixth-century Christian monastery in Iraq caught the attention of the world. This is just one in a long list of sites destroyed by the IS group that began in 2014, and caught the attention of the world with the February 2015 video release of the destruction of the Mosul Museum, where some of the most important early Assyrian sculptures were housed.

Project Mosul, created one week after the video was released, is the brainchild of Chance Coughenour and Matthew Vincent, Ph.D. student researchers in Europes Initial Training Network for Digital Cultural Heritage (ITN-DCH). They scoured the Internet for photographs of the sculptures and artifacts, crowd-sourced for tourist photos and collected images from U.S. military personnel who had visited the museum. That material became the basis for the digital reconstruction of the destroyed artifacts using basic photogrammetry. This technique uses photos from multiple angles of the same object to construct a 3D model of it.
Before the dynamite: the larger of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 1997. Muzammil Pasha/Reuters

The destruction of Buddhist sculptures in Bamiyan led to an early success in digital preservation: Dr. Fabio Remondino of the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento, Italy, used photogrammetry among other techniques to digitally reconstruct the Bamiyan Buddhas.

The effort is spreading. The Zamani Project from the University of Cape Town has spent the last 12 years documenting Africas most important cultural and heritage buildings, sites and landscapes. Importantly, its data are freely available and accessible.

The Democratization of Science project at the newly formed Center for Virtualization and Applied Spatial Technologies located at the University of South Florida has a similar mission: documenting, preserving and protecting the worlds cultural and natural heritage through the use of digital visualization and 3D virtualization. And like the Zamani Project, it will democratize science by delivering digital data and heritage resources to the global community.

Our project at the University of South Florida is using 3D imaging to scan entire museum collections, archaeological sites and ancient landscapes around the world. Sites and collections are chosen based on their research potential and need for preservation. Projects and laboratories with similar missions are beginning in many universities and research centers, especially in the U.K., Italy and Spain.

New technologies are making this work easier and more comprehensive. Unmanned aerial vehicles are transforming our ability to document large structures and landscapes at extremely high resolution. New methods and software for stitching together photographs to create accurate 3D reconstructions have made the creation of virtual reconstructions affordable for both students and the public.

However, the development of high-resolution 3D laser scanners has made the largest impact. This equipment aims laser beams at surfaces, records the reflected light and assembles a very sharp 3D image of the space. Combining all these, we now have the tools to digitally preserve what extremist groups would like to destroy.

The attempts to destroy some of the worlds heritage have had quite the opposite effect: an entirely new area of research and scientific practice that has transformed archaeology, heritage, paleontology, museum studies, architecture and a suite of other disciplines.

Equally relevant is the new emphasis on the democratization of knowledge through the digital availability of these data. Now any student, scholar or interested individual has access to some of the most important historical and archaeological specimens, buildings and cities in the world. These efforts bring our global cultural heritage to everyone, while helping to ensure the preservation of our heritage in an increasingly hostile world.

Click here for Link

17. Leica Camera - photographing transformation at the Hearn ruins
Jonathan Castellino / Leica Camera

Generation: Designing New Spaces

My photography documents the transformation from space to place. I tend to operate at one speed across all of my work. The attempt is to document the physical and emotional landscape of buildings, as they change with use. Technical accuracy is important, but should always be at the service of creating an image (or series of images) that are organic, and that describe the entire essence of a place within each detail. The idea is to go beyond what something looks like, and show how it feels.

Please share insights of this project, what did it entail and what were the objectives?

The project Generation began in a meeting. I made a request to stop by the festival site during construction, following some of my archival material of the location being used in its promotion. After some coaxing, I ended up spending almost every evening and most weekends on-site, during the occupation.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Fantastic pics, you'll have to go to the blog to take a look

18. Urban Toronto: Interview with Harhay Developments
Stefan Novakovic

Chris Harhay's Mid-Rise Portfolio Grows Up

Harhay Project on Tecumseh

From the street, Harhay Developments' Toronto office is easy to miss. Located just west of Spadina on Richmond Street and housed inside a pair of conjoined Victorian buildings, the unassuming office is part of a row of historic, 19th-century homes. In a city perpetually transformed—and perpetually becoming—by developers, it strikes me a somewhat unusual place to find one.

"It's a nice spot," says company President Chris Harhay, touring me through the building. "We actually back right out onto Rush Lane," he adds, "which is the 'graffiti alley' where Rick Mercer shoots his rants." Just inside, though, a conference room is framed in photographs and renderings of the company's projects. A collection of Harhay's 21st-century condos lines the walls of Harhay's 19th-century office; it's tempting to think of it as a contradiction in terms. So what gives?

Click here for Link