Evocative Images of Lost Toronto | Page 235

Discussion in 'Photos and Videos' started by thedeepend, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. thecharioteer

    thecharioteer Senior Member

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    It’s all about timing. The PO could have been integrated into the WLM Building block with very little loss of GFA. It was the Modernist mentality of the era that viewed the compositional purity of the Shore & Moffatt design as more important than the retention of an old building whose design attributes would not be appreciated until the 1980’s. Similar to the demolition of the deco Bank of Montreal at King & Bay for the podium of FCP in the mid-70’s, which while it resulted in a loss of GFA (and revenue), still had to go in the name of the Edward Durrell Stone vision for the corner.
     
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  2. adma

    adma Superstar

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    In this case, never mind 80s. I'd say the case for Langley's PO was made with the publication of Toronto: No Mean City in 1963.
     
  3. Skeezix

    Skeezix Senior Member

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    I don't really agree with that. Suggesting that the General Post Office could have been integrated into the Shore & Moffatt kind of misses the point of why the William Lyon Mackenzie Building was so great.

    Yeah, they didn't appreciate Victorian architecture in the 1960s (much like they didn't appreciate Shore & Moffatt modernist jewel in 2000), sure they were hellbent on the latest modernist architecture, and yes, I wish they'd saved the General Post Office and built the William Lyon Mackenzie building elsewhere. All I am saying is that the William Lyon Mackenzie building was most definitely not the "identikit midcentury mediocrity" as it was described above, and was originally an architectural jewel in its own right. Doesn't make up for the loss of the General Post Office, nor are the attitudes in the 1960s fully comprehensible today, but what a mess that would have been to have had the Post Office integrated into the new office building. If you are talking fantasy scenarios, much much prefer they have not ruined the William Lyon Mackenzie building and just put it somewhere else, and then left the General Post Office alone.
     
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  4. Goldie

    Goldie Senior Member

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    West end store, 1912

    west end store 1912.
     
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  5. J T CUNNINGHAM

    J T CUNNINGHAM Senior Member

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    Really like the"elevator"!

    Regards,
    J T
     
  6. bigdaddyhame

    bigdaddyhame New Member

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    Some further detail on this vehicle. It was driven by Harold Homer "Jack" Petticord. I think this photo actually dates from 1923, as Petticord's race record indicates he performed with this car, named "Straw Streak", on Aug 25 and 27, 1923 as part of a Canadian race tour. For his efforts he was named IMCA Canadian National Driving Champion for 1923. In 1924 his driving was concentrated in California.
     
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  7. Goldie

    Goldie Senior Member

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    Simpson Avenue Methodist Church (Simpson Ave.-Howland Rd.) picnic in Hamilton 1924

    Simpson Ave Methodist SS picnic Wabasso Park-Hamilton 1924.
     
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  8. Goldie

    Goldie Senior Member

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    "Sound and talking" featured at the Palace - Danforth at Pape, 1929

    The Palace.
     
  9. steveintoronto

    steveintoronto Senior Member

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    Wow! Something incredibly catching for the eye with that. Now-days, the question would be "Is that digitally enhanced?" It's not just contrast, compression, pixelation (or graininess) or edge detailing, there's something about how the shot or developing was done. It may have been 'pushed'. The lighting, as always, is a huge part of it. Approaching a century ago, and that shot is more than alive still...

    As an aside as to how some things never age, that looks like a Laura Secord sign next door. Speaking of good design and timelessness...
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  10. Goldie

    Goldie Senior Member

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    Yes, steveintoronto. Here's an earlier photo.

    Pape and Danforth 1927.
     
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  11. steveintoronto

    steveintoronto Senior Member

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    The "Laura Secord" guess was exactly right, albeit not hard, it's still synonymous a century later (since 1913 IIRC), but the United Cigars sign is also exemplary of the times, and Woolworth's I believe had that same style and boldness, also just as effective today. And what is the store name next to Laura S? (French Bakery?)

    Other than the utility poles, and construction barriers, that's a very 'tidy' and visually clean view. I'd much rather be there than here: (corner building appears to be the same, but still an impostor of itself.)

    upload_2017-10-15_23-24-54.
     
  12. thecharioteer

    thecharioteer Senior Member

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    True, but the PO was demolished in 1960. Notwithstanding some 1970's examples where heritage buildings were integrated into Modernist compositions (i.e. Commerce Court), it wasn't until the 1980's with Scotia Plaza and the 1990's with BCE Place that the site planning actually integrated existing heritage as major elements. Remember that Robert Venturi's Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture was not published until 1966, and in an architectural version of Jane Jacob's urban design theories proclaimed:

    "Architects can no longer afford to be intimidated by the puritanically moral language of orthodox Modern architecture. I like elements which are hybrid rather than 'pure,' compromising rather than 'clean,' distorted rather than 'straightforward,' ambiguous rather than 'articulated,' perverse as well as impersonal, boring as well as 'interesting,' conventional rather than 'designed,' accommodating rather than excluding, redundant rather than simple, vestigial as well as innovating, inconsistent and equivocal rather than direct and clear. I am for messy vitality over obvious unity. I include the non sequitur and proclaim the duality."
     
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  13. adma

    adma Superstar

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    I know; I raised No Mean City in the "a few years could have made a difference" sense.

    But consider the "heritage" involved (or, in other cases, demolished)--except for BCE, it was mainly c20 or "minor" (shopfronts and the like), stuff that was still off-radar or a tough sell in the 60s/70s. Whereas the PO was 1870s Second Empire *and* a major public building in a prominent location: the winds were already blowing in its posthumous favour by the mid-60s...
     
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  14. Goldie

    Goldie Senior Member

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    Newsphoto: "Toronto police arrest leftist demonstrators.".......1934
    Toronto police arrest leftist demonstrators 1934 TPL.
     
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  15. steveintoronto

    steveintoronto Senior Member

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    "Evocative" is apt for that. The private dick is a dick without being private. Is it any wonder the Thirties were so ripe for political upheaval?
     

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