Here on UT, it is true that new buildings are highlighted, but the old, refurbished buildings keep our attention too.

There’s always time to appreciate and celebrate craftsmanship and architecture that has stood the test of time. Heritage Toronto, the arms-length city agency promoting Toronto’s stories, will celebrate architecture and more on October 15 at their Awards gala at Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music, with guest speaker Gail Dexter Lord delivering the William Kilbourn Memorial Lecture “Building Heritage with Innovation”.

Awards are given in five categories: book, community heritage, media, short publication, and William Greer Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship.

In the coming weeks, the William Greer Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship category will be reviewed. This category honours owners who have undertaken projects to restore or adapt buildings or structures that have been in existence for forty years or more or are included on the City of Toronto's Inventory of Heritage Properties. In addition to the quality of craftsmanship, appropriateness of materials, and the use of sound conservation principles, the jury considers how well the project meets current needs while maintaining the integrity of the original design vision.

Here is part one of three highlighting the nominees:

11 Division, Toronto Police Service 

2054 Davenport Road

Commissioned by: Toronto Police Service 

Architectural/Design Firm: Stantec Architecture Ltd.

Heritage Architect: E.R.A. Architects Inc.

11 Division Urban Toronto Thread


2054 Davenport Road (before), courtesy of Heritage Toronto


2054 Davenport Road (after), courtesy of Heritage Toronto

This adaptive reuse project involved the integration of a former school building into a new police station.   The original Carleton Village School, constructed in 1913 in Edwardian Neo-Classical style, was retained while later additions were demolished. The project included the restoration of the brick and stone exterior walls, and the replacement of windows and missing cornices to their original design. The site was redeveloped to maintain the landmark presence of the former school on its corner, with the interior of the building renovated to accommodate community rooms, training rooms and offices.


Canadian Northern Railway Eastern Lines Locomotive Shop

85 Laird Drive

Commissioned by:  First Capital Realty Inc.

Architectural/Design Firm:  Scoler Lee and Associate Architects Inc.

Heritage Architect:  Goldsmith Borgal and Company Ltd. Architects

Craftsperson Contractor:  Clifford Restoration Limited

85 Laird, courtesy of Heritage Toronto

The building at 85 Laird Drive was originally constructed as a locomotive shop for the Canadian Northern Railway Eastern Lines in 1918-1919. Vacant for nearly ten years, the building was retained in its entirety and its open interior adapted for use as a grocery store.  Brickwork and original multi-paned steel window frames were repaired, while the roof-top monitor windows, designed for ventilation and lighting, were uncovered and restored.  Wooden exterior doors were also repaired or reproduced following original architectural drawings. The development of vacant lands around the building was designed to maintain an important visual connection to the building from Laird Drive.


Hinde and Dauch Paper Company Power House

51 Hanna Avenue

Commissioned by:  First Capital Realty Inc. 

Architectural/Design Firm:  Somfay Masri Architects Inc. 

Heritage Architect:  Goldsmith Borgal and Company Ltd. Architects 

Craftsperson/Contractor/Consultant:  Greystone Design Group Inc. and Clifford Restoration Limited 

51 Hanna, courtesy of Heritage Toronto

Part of the ongoing transformation of heritage properties in the King Liberty neighbourhood, this project involved the adaptive reuse of three connected buildings constructed in 1910-12 as a storehouse and two boiler houses. Much of the restoration work focused on brick masonry repairs on the long neglected buildings, and on the two chimney stacks which are landmarks in the area. Large new window and door openings were inserted into three facades to accommodate new commercial uses, and a new second floor was inserted beneath the restored steel roof structure and deck.  

The Dineen Building

140 Yonge Street and 2-10 Temperance Street

Commissioned by: The Commercial Realty Group 

Architectural/Design Firms: George Robb Architects (exterior); George Popper Architects (interior)

Craft Person/Contractors: Empire Restoration IncKintel General ContractingShoalts Engineering 

The Dineen Building Urban Toronto thread 

Dineen Building, courtesy of Heritage Toronto

This project involved the restoration and rehabilitation of the Dineen Building, constructed in 1897 for the W & D Dineen Hats and Furs Company.  Layers of successive interior renovations were removed to reveal original ceiling heights, iron columns, crown moldings, and several historic J.J. Taylor safes.  Exterior restoration included cleaning, masonry repairs, replacing deteriorated windows with matching thermally glazed units, reintroducing several missing sandstone balconies, reinstating the cornice, and reconstructing exterior decorative pressed metal elements and iron work. 


Lassonde Institute of Mining Innovation

170 College Street

Commissioned by: University of Toronto

Architectural/Design Firm: Baird Sampson Neuert Architects 

Heritage Consultant: William N. Greer

Craft Person/Contractors: Clifford RestorationSemple Gooder RoofingArchitectural Metalcraft Industries Ltd. 

Lassonde Institute of Mining Innovation, courtesy of Heritage Toronto

This project involved the adaptive reuse of unused attic and rooftop areas of the University of Toronto’s Mining Building that was constructed in 1905. New spaces created included graduate student offices, a seminar room, and a studio divided into study areas by existing masonry walls and heavy timber wood trusses. A new elevator shaft provided street level access, and resolved accessibility issues in the existing building. Restoration work included brick and stone re-pointing and repair, the replacement of select windows with matching metal substitutes, slate roof replacement to match existing roof materials, cleaning, and painting. Throughout the project, state-of-the-art sustainability systems were integrated with heritage resources.


The Heritage Toronto Awards, presented by Woodcliffe Landmark Properties, hosted by CBC Radio’s Mary Ito with William Kilbourn Memorial Lecture by Gail Dexter Lord, will be held on Tuesday, October 15 at Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music. The Nominee’s reception is at 6:00 pm and the Awards program begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available for purchase at 416-408-0208 or here