Video:Downtown Toronto Architecturewith Jane McLean
If you are visiting Toronto, make sure to check out some of the city's distinctive architecture. See our guide to the best architecture in downtown Toronto.See Transcript
Transcript:Downtown Toronto Architecture
The Distillery DistrictThe Distillery District boasts the largest and best preserved collection of Victorian Industrial Architecture in North America. A distillery, flour mills, storehouses and other buildings dating back to the mid-1800s comprise the Distillery District, which is today a pedestrian only neighborhood dedicated to promoting arts, culture and entertainment. No garish signs or neon and no franchises make this a unique and authentic spot to enjoy architecture in downtown Toronto.
The Royal Ontario MuseumWith hardly a right angle in sight, the Royal Ontario Museum's aluminum and glass clad walls jut and loom. The oddly shaped, but wide open interior spaces are especially suited to the ROM’s huge dinosaur collection. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the "Crystal" is an addition to the original more austere and traditional buildings, which have been incorporated inventively into the new design. The Crystal has met with controversy. Some feel the exterior has a dangerous, looming feeling – not particularly inviting. But there’s no denying the originality and awe-factor of new ROM.
The Art Gallery of OntarioInternationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry designed the renovation to the Art Gallery of Ontario, commonly known as the AGO. The AGO transformation is widely acclaimed as an understated Gehry masterpiece.
Chock full of Gehry's favorite materials and visual elements, the AGO features sculptural staircases - one that emerges strikingly from the blue titanium rear facade - and a focal-point Douglas fir and glass promenade that is reminiscent of that Canadian archetype, the canoe.
The Sharp Centre for DesignRight next door, the Sharp Centre for Design provides studio and teaching space to the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD).Looking like a boxy Lego spaceship that has landed in downtown Toronto, the Sharp Centre has a colorful, distinctive design that gives energy and playfulness to its surroundings.
Toronto City HallArchitect Viljo Revell's distinctive structure was completed in 1965. The design was controversial at first but the Toronto City Hall has since been accepted as a masterful piece of modernist architecture. Even today, the design - two slightly asymmetrical semi-circular towers with a saucer-like building in between - is progressive. An aerial view reveals the Toronto City Hall to resemble a large unblinking eye.
Old City HallLocated just across the street from Toronto's present-day City Hall, the Old City Hall is one example of the Victorian-era Romanesque architecture found widely across the city, especially in government and university buildings.
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