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Fantasy conversions?

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Darkstar416

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Department of Agriculture Silos
Anybody remember when they were called "Ontario North Now"?

If not, I just found this on Ontario Place's website:

In 1980 the government constructed an ambitious display to specifically feature northern Ontario, the display known as Ontario North Now consisted of 7 concrete silos linked by walkways on the western short of the park; the wildlife of Northern Ontario; the theme would be carried further in coming years as further development of the West Island occurred.
 
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Archivistower

Guest
Ontario North? You mean North York, right? The concrete silos do resemble to some extent some buildings in Fisherville.
 
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shawnmicallef

Guest
fantasy conversions

I think the KFC Bucket is gone -- on a recent trip down the Gardiner, i tried to point it out to somebody, and couldn't find it -- i was driving through and may have looked at the wrong moment. Somebody with a better view can check...

On our grade 8 trip to TO from Windsor, i had everyone on the bus prepared to look at the "World's Tallest Freestanding Bucket".

--

I always thought the round pumping station across from Ashbridges bay (north of lakeshore) should be the mayor's house. i think i've told people it was his house on occasion, but i can't remember if i told them i was kidding.
 
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Archivistower

Guest
Re: fantasy conversions

Hilarious article in the Globe today, thanks Dave. We're all stars. Sorry, didn't find it online easily.
 
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spmarshall

Guest
Re: fantasy conversions

Found it:

Link

URBAN SPACES
When your design taste runs to finger lickin' good

DAVE LEBLANC

From Friday's Globe and Mail

It's all about where you'd put the lawn chairs.

That's what I've figured out over the years I've been writing about real estate: If you can find a shady place for the lawn furniture, the rest will fall into place.

The other thing I've determined is that it's good to allow the mind an occasional detour into Sillytown, since architecture is a subject that's often treated with far too much reverence and not enough humour.

With that in mind, let's explore some fantasy home conversions. We've all done it: While gridlocked on the Gardiner Expressway, we've gazed at those old silos and wondered what sort of condos they'd make. While walking the dog past the veterinary clinic, we've mentally placed the lawn chairs out front and ourselves in them nursing a cool drink.
Related to this article
This hydro substation on Carlaw Avenue in Riverdale is a potential home site.

This hydro substation on Carlaw Avenue in Riverdale is a potential home site.
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The Globe and Mail

Mostly, I dream about conversions that could actually happen: small buildings that are fairly domestic-looking anyway, such as two-storey postwar banks with sexy curtain walls of glass. Also, neighbourhood churches and synagogues from the same era, since progressive architecture was adopted for many of these to lure people away from their television sets.

My wife Shauntelle, on the other hand, goes for challenging conversions, like her idea to transform one of those large city works "pyramids" into a cool multilevel pad with floating staircases.

For more such fantasies, I turned to friends at www.urbantoronto.ca, a fantastic on-line discussion group devoted to all things architecture, infrastructure and construction in Toronto. Here's a sampling of their thoughts (remember, they go by nicknames):

Obvious suggestions included the CN Tower (by site administrator Ed007Toronto), the Westin Harbour Castle's revolving restaurant (by elook), and Casa Loma (by pw20, who added: "Finally you can own the dream!").

Following Archivistower's vacillations was interesting. First, the hydro building at 369 Carlaw Ave. was a candidate. Good, up-and-coming neighbourhood with plenty of brunch spots, I thought. But a change of heart was in order because of it being "too close to the railway tracks." Next, the Science Centre was selected for its "natural setting" and the "electric hair-stander-on-ender," which would be used "at my debauched parties." Soon, it was dismissed for its concrete, which "looks dreadful in the fall drizzle as I sit with a glass of Chablis." Finally, the Atlantis Pavilions and Cinesphere at Ontario Place were championed for "views, and everything else I need. Sorry kiddies, go somewhere else to cool off; the amusement park is now my garden."

A different hydro building was selected by interchange42 — the historic hulk on MacPherson Avenue between Poplar Plains Road and Rathnelly Avenue — to become either lofts or "preferably, [a] midtown palace."

Behind it, the equally historic pumping station would become an aristocratic orangery (a greenhouse for citrus trees popular in the 17th and 18th centuries), with a "massive indoor pool and spa. Apologies to those above the Lake Iroquois shoreline escarpment whose water pressure would subsequently drop."

The most bizarre suggestion came from nassauone, who thought the "greatest conversion ever" would be the giant KFC bucket perched high atop a pole along the Gardiner's billboard jungle around Dufferin Street. "A simple ladder up to it. Cut a skylight. I bet that baby is 500 square feet inside!" (Unfortunately, last time I drove past, it was gone.)

Bizarre runner-up (albeit, also too late) was adma's idea to allow pop star Prince to convert the Inn on the Park at Leslie Street and Eglinton Avenue into "a Playboy Club-esque monument to His Purpleness — complete with Vanitys/Apollonias/Wendys/Lisas/Sheila Es lingering about."

Older buildings were popular: scarberiankhatru and billycorgan19982 both chose to live in the Whitney Block tower at Queen's Park. Similarly, CanadianNational picked "the uppermost floors of Commerce Court North," adding that it would be necessary to "soundproof the elevator rooms. Or glass them in — would be quite the animated conversation piece adjoining the living room and bathroom." Spmarshall picked the Yorkville firehall ("Awesome neighbourhood, historic gem, clocktower. And the possibilities for the lower level!").

The heritage-designated bank buildings at 197 and 205 Yonge Street were proposed by The Burgher of TO, who would "add some sort of a modern (clean and understated) addition between the two," and Osgoode Hall was chosen by andreapalladio.

Modern buildings were much in evidence: adma suggested the penthouse of the former Imperial Oil building at 111 St. Clair Ave. West, while alklay would live on the top floor of any of the original buildings of the TD Centre. Seventies brutalism was represented by michaelpfox's detailed conversion of 77 Elm St., and fiendishlibrarian chose the top floor of the University of Toronto's Robarts Library, but would "[r]emove all the books and concrete walls" for "an open-concept layout: private gym, etc."

Finally, Antiloop33rpm thought the CNE's Food Building might work well, but not wanting to be "greedy," thought to split it up into townhouses, "assuming one could do so with only minimal changes to the exterior." Renaming it the "Food Co-operative" would have the "added advantage of bringing about hours of entertainment watching confused Swedish tourists try to figure out where exactly they are supposed to buy their groceries."

Perhaps then, encouraged by the much bigger dreams of the urbantoronto folk, I'll start some better living of my own across from Antiloop33rpm at a building I've always admired — the Better Living Centre of 1962. And where to put the lawn chairs is easy: on my new roof deck, with shade provided by the Mondrian-type sculpture doing double-duty as a brise soleil.

Dave LeBlanc hosts The Architourist on CFRB Wednesdays during Toronto at Noon and Sunday mornings.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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Re: fantasy conversions

That's so funny! Now the readers will be scratching their heads and wonder UT is all about.

Thanks Luggee!

AoD
 
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adma

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Re: fantasy conversions

One great conversion fantasy I and anybody else overlooked: the dome of St. Augustine's Seminary in Scarborough...
 

vonfritz

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I love the photo it gives me smile it seems the person above looks like a fairy but a fake fairy...(kidding aside). Any way I came here just to ask if this forum site has a topic regarding on concrete pumping in Salt Lake City for the reason that I don't have any idea about it. Thank you!
 

NotKevinBacon

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I know it's a bit of necroposting, but I think it's better than just starting a new thread because of a single thought, but these fantasy conversions usually come with old factories and warehouses turning into lofts like these. I think that Charles Pachter made a new home out of an old warehouse or something like that. That was a huge revamp.
 

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