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maestro

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the industrial facility on Sterling between the two railways, west of Lansdowne.
 

adma

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And if you're familiar with that part of Toronto, you definitely can't miss the skyscraper. So, toss in all that sexy industrial-roofed flotsam at the base of said skyscraper, and there you have it...
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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From the Star:

Reviving an architectural 'jewel'
Besotted by the ceilings, a developer has high hopes for a former manufacturing monolith

Feb 26, 2008 04:30 AM
Bill Taylor
Feature Writer

Through a fine mist of snow, the structure doesn't look like much. A 10-storey monolith in a derelict industrial complex south of the Junction. It would be dwarfed by any new downtown condo building.

But walk along Sterling Rd. from Bloor St. toward Dundas St. W. and around the S bend that it makes halfway, and the finer points begin to show through: The brickwork, the roof detailing ... this is "a jewel" of industrial architecture and listed for preservation, says developer Alfredo Romano. A building with a history and a future.

Opened in 1919 by the Northern Aluminum Co. – later the Aluminum Co. of Canada and then Alcan – it may have been Canada's tallest building until the Royal York Hotel opened in 1929. A second contender is a 12-storey tower built at King and Yonge Sts. in 1913 and now part of the 1 King West high-rise.

The ceilings at 158 Sterling are at least 4.5 metres high and Romano, president of Castlepoint Realty, thinks that could put it head and shoulders above the competition.

"It's as high as a modern 12- or 13-storey building," he says. "Without the `head house' on the roof."

This structure, containing the elevator gear, likely pushes the height past 53 metres. Another piece of history – this was one of the first buildings in Canada with an elevator. There's no power, though, and as Romano shows off the place, 10 floors of walking, without a flashlight he's reduced to trying to light the way on the first couple of floors with the glimmer of his BlackBerry.

Higher up, huge windows reveal how each of the 10 floors has rows of massive columns flared where they meet the roof. Romano compares them to something architect Frank Lloyd Wright might have designed. "Structurally driven, to support and spread the load but beautiful, too. Wright used fluted columns. I'm sure some old industrial structures influenced his thinking."

Demolition of the four-hectare complex, set to begin soon, will take about six months. It'll be another year before the 10-storey building has been refurbished by Castlepoint as movie studios, offices and workshops.

The site's boiler house, smokestack and Sterling Rd. factory frontage are also being kept, says Romano. "They have a lot of character."

The site needs to be decontaminated of industrial pollutants. But, he says, "we have a lot of brownfield experience. This is where we live."

Romano, 50, has a master's degree in philosophy and religion. He taught at the UofT, University of Waterloo and Seneca College before "complete serendipity" took over. "I went to work on Bay St. in 1988 and then I did some work in real estate. It was baptism by fire."

He joined Castlepoint in 1989. The company bought the Sterling Rd. site with an eye to its rejuvenation and asked the city to designate it a community improvement area.

The original sliding fire doors, made by "A.B. Ormsby Ltd., Toronto and Winnipeg," with metal weights suspended from wires to keep them open, won't be used but will be kept, Romano says. As will the elevator's sturdy doors – from "Peelle Door, New York City."

There are polished boards on a ground-floor wall with dozens of hand-painted names from C.D. Hopgood, 1920, to M. Agius, 1970.

"These are... I don't know what these are," says Romano. "War veterans, employees of the year ... but they're keepers."

AoD
 

digitalcabana

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158 Sterling Road



Castlepoint Realty president Alfredo Romano shows 158 Sterling Rd., which will be developed as movie studios, offices and workshops.
 

CDL.TO

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I've always loved that building, originally seeing it from the GO train. I didn't know it was that old. I hope it ends up being a real gem.
 

yyzer

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Stage set for a contest

TheStar.com - entertainment - Stage set for a contest

April 25, 2008
Filmport isn't the only game in town when it comes to new studio space.

The competition is expected to get much more heated by next year when London's famed Pinewood Studios opens its first North American operation in Toronto.

As first disclosed in the Star last year, Pinewood along with local developer Castlepoint Group, purchased a site at Bloor St. W. and Lansdowne Ave., on the former 3-hectare site of Tower Motors.

"Pinewood is determined to be in the North American market and particularly in Toronto," says Castlepoint developer Alfredo Romano.

Pinewood and Romano were edged out by Rose Corp. in 2004 in a bid to build what is now known as Filmport on the abandoned Toronto portlands.

Both developers have said more competition is good for the industry – but it remains to be seen if there will be enough work to go around given the strong Canadian dollar and increased global competition.

"We are confident that once both studios are up and running, it will be good for the city and good for the industry," says Romano. "Even with both studios completing their initial plans, we are only replacing space that has been lost over the past several years."

Pinewood, partly owned by famed British director Sir Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Alien) has a major global presence and is Europe's largest film complex.

Virtually all the James Bond films were shot there, (including the current Quantum of Solace feature) and Toronto could benefit if the studio sends high-profile clients here.

Castlepoint, meanwhile, is a major Toronto developer, and the largest private landowner on the waterfront. The company, known for its high-profile projects, will build the Daniel Libeskind-designed L Tower at the Sony Centre.

Demolition and soil remediation work has already begun at the Pinewood site and the studio is expected to be completed by next year. It will likely have six sound stages, ranging in size from 15,000 to 25,000 square feet. There is already an existing 140,000-square-feet of office space that will be refurbished.

Tony Wong
 

Andrew3D

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Sterling Road Demolition

I went for a bike ride today and noticed a large Murphy Demo sign hanging of the side of the Tower Automotive building (158 Sterling Road). I know the whole area was up for redevelopment for a British studio, I had no idea they intended on flattening all the old structures in the area. All the buildings behind this building are in different stages of demolition. I'm not holding my breath here, I think this one is on the chopping block as well. Does anybody have the report on this area? And anybody near the area with a camera? A 10 storey, art deco building we should be saving.
 

adma

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The tower, at least, is on the heritage inventory, and I may recall reading intent to preserve...
 

junctionist

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The tall building from 1919 will be saved. The rest will be demolished because the ground is contaminated, except for the boiler house and smoke stack. But the industrial facades on the low rise buildings facing Sterling Road will be saved, according to what I read several months ago when they announced that they were going through with the project.
 

maestro

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I seem to recall the articles mention demolition of the lowrise warehouses with the tower building to be converted which in itself requires demolition
 

Air33

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This is such a wonderful building. We started visiting the place around the time of the auction when the machinery was sold off. I just did a write up on with my friend Jan. Its definitely one of our favorites. They have all but demolished the lower level manufacturing area.

Here is an excerpt.






Jutting out at the border of what is known as the Junction in Toronto, I always snuck a peek at this place whenever I was in the area. Whenever I passed by the junction neighborhood, all I ever saw was this 10 story building too large to be a condo, and what was seemingly too narrow to be a manufacturing facility. After I got into exploring I kept checking back hoping one day the plant would be closed so I could take a peek inside. On a slow day I suggested to Jan we drive by and take a look. I was amazed when I saw the door chained and the lights off! As I pressed my face up against the window pane I was shocked that the day finally arrived! Looking in to the main floor of the space I saw huge skylights, cranes and everything was painted in bright primary blues, yellows and reds. It appeared as if Tower Automotive had closed up shop a few weeks ago, but the space was free of any damage. Further research showed that the space had actually closed a full year before. It had somehow managed to escape the barrage of exploring masses in Toronto even though it was located between two major roads and next to a rail line which stuck out like a sore thumb.



Before the space was bought by American Tower Automotive in 1995, it operated under the name Algoods Inc. Tower declared bankruptcy in Ontario in 2006, however continues to operate in the Unites States. Sound familiar? It is one of many corporations that have recently bailed from the country which continue to operate in the US. It was opened in 1919 by the Northern Aluminum Company and was Canada’s tallest building until the Royal York Hotel opened downtown 1929. It actually had one the first elevators in the country, and the only manufacturing facility to have one at the time. Later on it became the Aluminum Company of Canada and then Alcan over the years. It has always been an aluminum extrusion facility that was employed in making products for the automotive industry. Tower automotives largest client was Daimler Chrysler before closing its doors in 2006 and auctioning off everything in May 2007.






Read and see more here: http://www.ntropy.us/archives/38
 

Hipster Duck

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It was opened in 1919 by the Northern Aluminum Company and was Canada’s tallest building until the Royal York Hotel opened downtown 1929.
Are you sure about this? There's quite a few buildings in the Yonge/King area that date back to 1912 that seem much taller. Not to mention Montreal, some CP hotels and the original Peace Tower.
 

Air33

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Are you sure about this? There's quite a few buildings in the Yonge/King area that date back to 1912 that seem much taller. Not to mention Montreal, some CP hotels and the original Peace Tower.
I'm not sure if they are going by actual height as opposed to stories, but it technically only is 10 stories, but when your on the roof seems like at least 15-16.
 

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