In this week's Throwback Thursday, we have a look at the evolution to the streetscape and built form along Bloor Street just west of Avenue Road. In October, 2014 the Rosario "Roy" Varacalli-designed Exhibit Residences had begun to make its mark above grade, immediately across from the Royal Ontario Museum's Michael Lee-Chin Crystal.

Looking east along Bloor Street West towards Avenue Road in October 2014, image by Jack Landau

Fast forward to July, 2020 and the scene has changed dramatically. Exhibit Residences' glazed balcony guards add a modern element to Bloor's street wall. The public realm outside the ROM has improved thanks to Siamak Hariri, Planning Partnership, and Ronald Holbrook & Associates, who collaborated on a verdant new public plaza fronting Bloor. Further in the distance, upgrades to the Park Hyatt Hotel at Bloor and Avenue Road are in their final stretch, with 65 luxury rental suites to be added to the building. Peeking out from behind the Libeskind-designed Crystal is One Bloor, for now the tallest building at Yonge and Bloor, until The One eclipses it.

Looking east along Bloor Street West towards Avenue Road in July 2020, image by Jack Landau

The addition of separated bike lanes on Bloor—the section from Shaw Street to Avenue Road having been completed in 2016—is giving cyclists a reliable east-west route across downtown.

We will return next week with another look at the changing face of Toronto. In the meantime, you can submit your own Throwback Thursday comparisons in our dedicated Forum thread for your chance to be featured in next week's edition.

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