Tag: architecture

My return to Konin (Poland)

August 2018 The moment I stepped out of the car, I realized that this was the first time a member of my family had been back in our ancestral town in more than 130 years. I was in Konin, in the Lodz district of Poland, the town where my paternal ancestors had lived for generations…

Toronto City Guide befits a great city

Toronto Architecture: A City Guide (McClelland & Stewart) From the Canadian Jewish News, February 2018 In 1985, when architectural journalist Patricia McHugh released the first edition of her encyclopedic Toronto Architecture: A City Guide, the old industrial and residential neighbourhoods near the downtown core were still in decline, and, although the city was experiencing a…

OJA exhibit pays homage to Benjamin Brown

From the Canadian Jewish News, February 2016 “Location, location, location,” they say, are the three most important things in real estate. If so, the Ontario Jewish Archives (OJA) has scored a wonderful coup by securing the Urbanspace Gallery in the majestic loft building at 401 Richmond Street West as the venue for an exhibition in…

Benjamin Brown: Restoring an architect’s legacy 

From Canadian Jewish News, April 2015 Toronto architect Benjamin Brown (1890-1974) designed many elegant edifices across the city, including the Balfour and Tower Buildings on Spadina Avenue, the former Primrose Club on Willcocks Avenue, the former Beth Jacob Synagogue on Henry Street, the Hermant Building (eastern tower and annex) in Dundas Square, and scores of…

Cecil Street Reunion: former shul receives plaque

    Back in 1938, two Jewish boys posed for a photo on the steps of Toronto’s Ostrovtzer Synagogue on the north side of Cecil Street, just east of Spadina. Last week [July 2014], roughly 76 years after that first photo was snapped, Gurion Hyman and Gordon Perlmutter returned to the same spot and had…

‘Old’ City Hall has lovely interior

    This beautiful and huge stained glass window was made for Toronto’s then-new City Hall at Queen and Bay streets when it was constructed in the late 1890s. The window seems to depict in pictorial form some of the ideals of the city: “The union of commerce & industry.” Virtues cited along the top of the windows…

Many Buildings to Be Demolished at College & Yonge (1928)

From The Toronto Evening Telegram, July 11, 1928 The T. Eaton Co. have called for tenders for the demolition of buildings in the block bounded by Yonge, College, Bay and Buchanan streets. All of the buildings are structures which have been erected for years and their destruction means the removal of old landmarks, the former…

Bungalow craze has Toronto builders gripped (1922)

From the Toronto Star Weekly, September 9, 1922 Toronto is becoming a bungalow city. Entire streets of new houses built this summer consist of nothing but one storey, four, five and six roomed bungalows. To sell a new house, real estate men say, you must describe it as a bungalow, even if it is a…

Handsome Granatstein house was demolished 1999

There is now a vacant lot where the house on 42 St. George Street stood. All that is left of Mendel Granatstein’s home, a property which is now owned by the University of Toronto, is the front portico. According to Heritage Toronto records, the home was the first in Toronto to be owned by a…