UrbanToronto attended the opening reception for Heritage Toronto's Building Storeys exhibit, located in Steam Whistle Brewing's gallery space at the historic John Street Roundhouse. This year's theme focuses on transportation within Toronto, an issue that has become ever more relevant as we continue to struggle with aging infrastructure coupled with increased public demands. 

Heritage Toronto's Building Storeys exhibit 2012 in TorontoThe Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto, image by Alex Corey

The reception and exhibit couldn't have been held in a more relevant space — the Roundhouse was built between 1929 and 1931, and was in operation until 1986 as a servicing station for CPR locomotives. The building was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1990, and was extensively restored between 1994 to '97. It serves as an example of the possibilities within adaptive reuse, and makes a strong argument for preservation over demolition.

Heritage Toronto's Building Storeys exhibit 2012 in TorontoCrowd and photographs at Building Storeys, image by Alex Corey

Opening remarks by Heritage Toronto's executive director, Karen Carter, emphasized the role that such an exhibition has in highlighting the unique opportunities that arise when we use artistic methods to express built heritage. Co-curator and well known architectural critic, Christopher Hume, was on hand as well, remarking on the growing struggle we here in Toronto face with transportation and praising the exhibit's potential in drawing attention to the long history of transportation architecture within Toronto. 

Christopher Hume at Heritage Toronto's Building Storeys Exhibition 2012Christopher Hume addressing the crowd, image by Alex Corey

The exhibit features the work of Robert Dyke, Sean Galbraith, Rick Harris, Matthew Merett, Timothy Neesam, Olena Sullivan and Toni Wallachy. The subject matter is well-organized and focuses on seven different points of interest. The TTC Hillcrest Facility and Davisville Subway Yard, The Trillium ferry, TTC subway cars, various rail bridges, the Gibraltar Point lighthouse and Queens Warf lighthouse and the CPR Yard each get their due, expressed through photographs both new and old that capture their raw, gritty and often dilapitated states.

Heritage Toronto Building Storey's in Toronto 2012Building Storeys Poster, image by Heritage Toronto

The exhibition runs as part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, and is open to the public free of charge until May 31. For more information on Building Storeys, check out Heritage Toronto's website here. We'll end with a few photos of the building we couldn't help but snag, as well as a couple images of the surrounding development. 

Heritage Toronto's Building Storeys exhibit 2012 in TorontoJohn Street Roundhouse, image by Alex Corey

John Street Roundhouse in TorontoJohn Street Roundhouse with waterfront condominiums, image by Alex Corey

Downtown Toronto from John Street Roundhouse in TorontoDowntown core from John Street Roundhouse, image by Alex Corey