From an array of sources such as books, short publications, media, architectural work and community heritage volunteer efforts that highlight Toronto’s past, the winners of the 39th Annual Heritage Toronto Awards were announced at The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall.
This year’s William Greer Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship Award category winners are:
Victoria Lofts wins an Award of Excellence
152 Annette Street
Commissioned by: Rivet Development
Architectural/Design Firm: Paul Oberst Architect
Craftsperson/Contractors: B.J. Brickwork Construction Ltd.; Permatint Ltd.
The Victoria Lofts project is a residential conversion of the 1890 Victoria-Royce Presbyterian Church, designed by the architecture firm of Knox and Elliot. Character defining elements such as the “muscular” Romanesque Revival form and masonry exterior were preserved while adapting the interior for residential units. New glazing and mechanical openings were installed in recessed balcony areas placed within existing window openings. The masonry was restored with replacement bricks imported from England, while a mineral stain was used to eliminate patches from previous work throughout the exterior. Stained glass windows and the Casavant organ were donated to other churches, while oak pews were sold for reuse.
Maple Leaf Gardens wins an Award of Merit
60 Carlton Street
Commissioned by: Loblaw Companies Limited and Ryerson University
Architectural/Design Firms: Turner Fleischer Architects (retail space); BBB Architects (student athletic centre)
Heritage Architect: E.R.A. Architects Inc.
Craftspersons/Contractors: exp Services Inc.; Buttcon Ltd.; Clifford Restoration Ltd.; Nor-Am
This project comprised the adaptive reuse of a national historic site, Maple Leaf Gardens, constructed in 1931 and in continuous use until 1999. The original interior was replaced with new floor levels to accommodate a grocery store at street level and a student athletic centre above. A new ice rink was installed on the top floor, beneath the original arena roof. Restoration work included extensive masonry remediation, steel window restoration and replication, and the restoration of the Carlton Street marquee with replicated elements to follow the original design. Interpretive panels, murals and artwork are also integrated into both spaces to reflect the building’s remarkable history.
Dineen Building gets an Honourable Mention
140 Yonge Street and 2-10 Temperance Street
Commissioned by: The Commercial Realty Group
Architectural/Design Firms: George Robb Architects (exterior); George Popper Architects (interior)
Craftsperson/Contractors: Empire Restoration Inc.; Kintel General Contracting; Shoalts Engineering
This project involved the restoration and rehabilitation of the Dineen Building, constructed in 1897 for the W & D Dineen Hats and Furs Company. Layers of successive interior renovations were removed to reveal original ceiling heights, iron columns, crown moldings, and several historic J.J. Taylor safes. Exterior restoration included cleaning, masonry repairs, replacing deteriorated windows with matching thermally glazed units, reintroducing several missing sandstone balconies, reinstating the cornice, and reconstructing exterior decorative pressed metal elements and iron work.
St. Michael’s Cathedral gets an Honourable Mention
65 Bond Street
Commissioned by: Archdiocese of Toronto
Architectural/Design Firm: +VG (Ventin Group) Architects
Craftsperson/Contractors: Buttcon Ltd. and others
Toronto’s oldest Roman Catholic church building, St. Michael’s Cathedral, was designed by architect William Thomas in the Gothic Revival style and built in stages beginning in 1845. Part of a larger Renewal Master Plan, this project involved the masonry conservation of the west façade and the 275-foot tower. In order to match the original materials, replacement brick was imported from England. Earlier unsympathetic repairs were reversed and original features including pinnacles, finials, and flying buttresses were re-created to restore the spire and tower to their original appearance. Significant structural deterioration of the tower was addressed with the concealed use of reinforced concrete and stainless steel anchoring systems.