By Don Proctor
Special to The GTA Construction Report
The fortieth Annual Heritage Toronto Awards night held recently saw the John F. Taylor House and Market Street Redevelopment in St. Lawrence Market District pull off the top awards in the buildings category.
Built in 1885, the Queen Anne Revival designed Taylor House at 2 O’Connor Drive (linked to the Sisters of St. Joseph Residence) required removal of additions/alterations and restoration work. Lead architect was Shim-Sutcliffe Architects Inc.; ERA Architects Inc., heritage conservation consultant. Construction manager was Eastern Construction Company Ltd.
The Market Street winner, by Woodcliffe Landmark Properties, included three 19th century heritage buildings, with conservation focused on stabilization of a second-storey brick façade of 8 Market St. The winning team was led by Taylor Smyth Architects and heritage consultant Goldsmith Borgal & Company Ltd.
The Carpenters Local 27 and the Operative Plasters, Cement Masons International Association Local 598 sponsored the Nominees Reception at the Heritage Awards night held at Koerner Hall in the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Mike Yorke, president of Local 27, told the reception the Carpenters union, which has been in Toronto for more than 130 years, welcomes the opportunity to preserve and restore the heritage properties.
“We see it as a full circle: our members have built this city, now we have an opportunity to preserve heritage, to restore properties,” he said. “We understand the commitment and special attention required to make building restoration truly exceptional.”
Through the Restoration Council of Ontario, Locals 27 and 598 have represented the restoration sector with “skilled tradespeople” across Ontario, said Yorke.
Training the next generation of young people in the industry is a top priority, said Yorke, adding Local 27’s training centres represent about a $40 million investment.
The two locals have been sponsors of Heritage Toronto since 2005 and sponsors of the Nominees Reception since 2012.
At the event, Jack Diamond, principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects, delivered the William Kilbourn Memorial Lecture on the past 40 years of city building and where the city might be going.
He said unlike many cities with one centre, Toronto developed with “a multi-centred structure” which had allowed growth that was not destructive to the existing fabric.
Times have changed.
While there is “an enormous drive” for growth from the private sector, the public sector “has failed woefully” to meet its responsibilities, he told a packed auditorium.
Diamond said Toronto needs “tax value, not tax cuts,” to ensure that education, health and infrastructure are built to the capacity the city requires.
To meet the “tremendous opportunity”, he said the city needs to restructure government to take account of a city region that extends from Hamilton to Oshawa. “If we could harness that as one cohesive unit, we could become one of the best metropolitan areas in the world.”
Other award winners in the heritage building category (William Greer Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship Category) were:
- The Goldring Student Centre at 150 Charles St. West, Award of Merit. Commissioned by Victoria University, University of Toronto, the project revitalized the 60-year-old building designed by Eric Arthur.
- Award of Merit to the O’Connor Estate Buildings at 50 Rowena Drive, commissioned by the Toronto Catholic District School Board with the O’Connor Irish Heritage House Committee. Conservation and adaptive reuse were done to the main estate house and coach house for education and administration purposes.
- Honorable mention went to the Lassonde Mining Innovation Centre, 170 College St., at the University of Toronto’s Mining Building constructed in 1905.
President of Carpenters Loc. 27