Thursday, 30 May 2013

Playing tourist in my own city Pt 2

After our tour of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres, we came out onto Yonge Street and caught sight of this attractive renovated building, the Dineen Building, at no. 140 Yonge St, another Doors Open site.  This used to be the home of the Dineen Company, a prominent hat and fur company.  It has undergone extensive renovations but many of the historic features are preserved.  You can check this interesting article on the Urban Toronto site to see some photos of the interior during renovations.  There was a lineup to get in when we were there so we saved it for another year.  But judging from the pictures, it's well worth a visit.

Continuing on our trek south, we visited One King West, originally the old head office of the Toronto Dominion Bank, now a luxury hotel.  This is the grand staircase that took us up to the grand banking hall.

 Grand banking hall set up for a wedding.

This is the vault entrance.  This was once the largest bank vault in Canada.  The door weighed over 40 tons but was apparently so well-made that a paper-clip dropped in the opening will stop the door from closing. 

Our next stop was lunch at the Marché in BCE Place.  The highlight of the lunch was the berry flan and the stroll through BCE Place, always spectacular and particularly so when I had my camera with me.

This rather reminded me of a similar building in Milan.

For the month of May, there is a photo art installation "Pyramid" by James Nizam as part of the Scotiabank Contact Festival.  You can read about the art on the Contact website
You see below my own photo of the reflection of the arches in the glass entrance.  Truly amazing - the reflection of the reflection on the glass - the juxtaposition of layers of reality and illusion.  Astounding!

This was not the first time we visited BCE Place but every time we did, we couldn't help but be awed by the artistry of the design.  For a change of pace, we headed towards the more stolid Canada Life Building, a few blocks north, at Queen and University.  In front of the building, I noticed this graceful statue on top of a granite column, a memorial of the Boer War.  Forty years in Toronto, and I have never actually "seen" this winged statue.

This Pelican statue is the only thing I liked in the Canada Life Board Room.

Clearly I wasn't the only one who thought this portal worth photographing

Another one to add to my collection of elevator doors

View from the 17th floor.  I was mildly disappointed because I thought we had lined up to take the elevator to the open observation deck.  But it turned out it was not outdoors.  These shots of the city were taken behind glass.  View of the the Ontario College of Art, designed by British architect Will Alsop.

Looking south towards the CN Tower

East towards the old and new City Halls, Nathan Phillips Square

The Trump Tower in front of the Bank of Nova Scotia Building (the most amazing thing in all this is that I didn't know this was the Trump Tower.  But I walked by the Bank of Nova Scotia Building earlier and recognized it.  I did a Google search for "Bank of Nova Scotia Building behind" and identified the Trump Tower that way.  I'm completely in awe of Google - if I had the money, I'd buy its stock.  It's going to take over the world!

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