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A look at Edwardian loft buildings
on the south side of the street,
just west of the University.


Authors: Steve Russell with Alec Keefer
Design: Steve Russell

TAC is involved in efforts to preserve functional heritage buildings around College Street and Spadina. The University of Toronto and private developers are aligned against Residents Associations over plans for several tall towers replacing brick and beam historical streetwall buildings in the area. The towers are to be used by University of Toronto students though they're quite different from student residences as traditionally understood on campus. They're for-profit private enterprises, closer to hotels in look and function, and TAC and others are wondering if this is the best way to house students and foster community within and without the University, particularly at the expense of buildings which are venerable for Toronto — in the 100-year-old range.

TAC's May 13 2013
letter to City Council
in PDF form.

York Square, Diamond & Myers, 1969

Circular windows were used to give differentiation and to each of the stores, in contrast to the usual undifferentiated continuous plate glass window. This was particularly important as the identity of each store needed to be ‘read’ by vehicular traffic passing at 20 to 50 kph. Architecturally the brick wall and circular windows were designed in deliberate contrast to the structures, which were houses renovated for retail uses, rather than attempt a modern or historic pastiche. The original design included what was known as super graphics – these painted elements linked the circular windows on the Avenue Road and Yorkville façade. The objective here was to give a larger scale and unity to a complex made up of a number of small structures. —A.J. Diamond (as told to T.A.C, 2006)