Toronto’s skyline has undergone many changes over the decades, many of which were in the name of “progress”. Unfortunately, this so called “progress” saw the demolition of many historic buildings which we will never get back. Here is my list of Toronto’s top 5 buildings:
#5 – Canada Life Building
The Canada Life building opened in 1931 and is situated on University Avenue just north of Queen Street. There were plans to build similar structures along University Avenue, but the Great Depression halted such construction.
#4 St. Lawrence Hall
Built in 1850, St. Lawrence Hall was known as Toronto’s meeting place where prominent individuals such as Sir John A. MacDonald and George Brown addressed citizens. It was also a venue for musicians and other entertainers who performed in its 1,000 seat amphitheatre. St. Lawrence Hall can be found at the corner of King Street and Jarvis.
#3 Manulife Building (Manufacturers Life Insurance)
Built in 1926, the Manufacturers Life Insurance building (Manulife Financial) is situated at 200 Bloor Street East near Church Street. It is the Headquarters of Manulife Financial which is also the parent company of its John Hancock division in the US. Its first president was Canada’s first Prime Minister – Sir John A. MacDonald. More information on this building can be found in my Manulife post.
#2 Osgoode Hall
Construction of Osgoode Hall began in 1829 and was completed in 1832. The buildings are home to the Law Society of Upper Canada, Ontario Court of Appeal and the Superior Court of Justice. More information on the building can be found in my Osgoode Hall post.
#1 Gooderham Flatiron Building
With construction completed in 1892, the Gooderham building was the Head Office of famed Canadian Distiller George Gooderham. It is an early example of such architecture and was built prior to New York’s famous flatiron building. There were plans to demolish it but thankfully it remains as part of Toronto’s skyline. More information on the building can be found in my Gooderham Building post.