News   Oct 25, 2021
 70     0 
News   Oct 25, 2021
 316     0 
News   Oct 22, 2021
 8.5K     11 

Architectural styles unique to Toronto

Ex-Montreal Girl

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
888
Reaction score
197
Location
Toronto, ON
To be fair many of these buildings have interiors that, while lacking in the appeal of the finishings, are proportioned and layed out in a better fashion than much of what we are building today. Is architecture or architecture style something we reserve for the exterior skin of the building? Or is it something that encompasses the whole building inside and out? Is a Victorian house that has been gutted and turned into a contemporary loft style but that remains Victorian on the outside, still a Victorian building?

Not only are they better proportioned but, judging by the real estate listings, they are "family-sized" condos with terrific amenities. I think much of that park space around some of these places gets used more than one would think. (I'm a dog person so I know where I would be if we needed a "quickie" sortie.) I'd take those boring repeating *BIG* balconies over some of those scary tiny glass enclosed ones we see so often now.

But these are very interesting questions you ask TrickyRicky. Form or function? Speaking for myself, I'd rather live in a concrete block that is well-laid out and spacious than some sleek glass tower with long tunnels for entrances and no room big enough for a king bed or two kids in twins.

Incidentally, I see those brown buildings starting at Bloor/Danforth and snaking their way up along the east side of the DVP like they were springing one from the other.
 

calimehtar

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
203
Reaction score
30
I wanted to make the observation that a lot of those detached and semi examples are houses originally designed in a different style that have had the second floor extended in a particular way. Entire neighbourhoods have been converted in this way but sometimes you can find one or two that haven't been modified, or were modified differently enough that it becomes possible to figure out which elements were original and which were not.

For example, I think these barn-style houses were originally bungalos with a 2nd floor added as cheaply as possible.

Contrast with the bungalos on the opposite side of the street.

Similarly with houses that have a second floor that overhangs the porch. This pair of semis on Shaw seems to have had the porch and second floor modified into two typical styles at once.

I think most or all of those houses would have looked like this one on Rogers originally. I think even the porches were added after the fact.

What seems to have happened is that in the 70s or 80s advances in the design of roofs meant that pre-war houses really needed to have their roof and attic replaced, and almost everyone who owned a home like this decided to add a porch and cold room, and extend the area of the second floor at the same time. I would say the vast majority of them were done cheaply and without aesthetic consideration.
 

Johnny Au

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
7,757
Reaction score
5,365
Location
Near the North York, York, & Old Toronto tripoint
I prefer the term "Le Corbusier blocks" over "Commie blocks," as "Commie blocks" are better described for Soviet-style architecture, while "Le Corbusier blocks" are less politically loaded and can describe modernist residential high-rise architecture in Toronto during the second half of the 20th century. After all, Le Corbusier was the first to come up with this concept.
 

innsertnamehere

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
15,913
Reaction score
12,616
Towers in the park is what I call them, because of the complete lack of street interaction.(and the Fact that all of them are surrounded by parks and parking lots)
 

NotKevinBacon

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
31
Reaction score
0
Location
Toronto
I prefer the term "Le Corbusier blocks" over "Commie blocks," as "Commie blocks" are better described for Soviet-style architecture, while "Le Corbusier blocks" are less politically loaded and can describe modernist residential high-rise architecture in Toronto during the second half of the 20th century. After all, Le Corbusier was the first to come up with this concept.

I think that you are referring to the brutalist movement, which tried to be very functionalist, but it failed to deliver something that you can actually look at without an urge to be depressed. :D
 

janschot

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
65
Reaction score
61
My Google mapping of Angel Brick Walk Up Apartments, "Toronto Specials", was featured in a column by The Globe & Mail's Dave LeBlanc (the Architourist) in today's paper. Behind a paywall:
The map can be referenced here: http://tinyurl.com/s98hv8p
 

adma

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
16,864
Reaction score
1,473
My Google mapping of Angel Brick Walk Up Apartments, "Toronto Specials", was featured in a column by The Globe & Mail's Dave LeBlanc (the Architourist) in today's paper. Behind a paywall:
The map can be referenced here: http://tinyurl.com/s98hv8p

The interesting thing about this is that as far back as 2004, in the aftermath of participating in a heritage-group survey of Long Branch Gardens, *I* was postulating on the concept of the "Toronto Special" for this very same genre of dwelling--and yes, using this term, as a knowing "Vancouver Special" analogue. And for all I know, *I* might have communicated that concept at the time through emails or even within UT, though I'm not in a position to search through c2004/05 UT archives to verify--though it could just as well be a self-generating "great minds think alike" circumstance. (And for anyone familiar with the myth of the Vancouver Special who's done such empirical visual surveys of Toronto's residential streetscape, the term *can* come naturally, in a "what's Toronto's version of this" way)
 

Top