Dave LeBlanc of the Globe and Mail tours the Junction

A couple of excerpts from the newspaper article

Okay, here’s one more: If you haven’t heard of architect James Augustus Ellis (1856 – 1935), it’s high time you took a tour of the neighbourhood, as I did one bright and chilly mid-October day with the book’s author, Barbara Myrvold. The occasion, if the book’s re-release and a love of good architecture wasn’t enough, was the 100th anniversary of the opening of the library, designed by Mr. Ellis and partner William Connery and built with funds obtained via a Carnegie grant.

We met in the library’s foyer, upon which Ms. Myrvold took me to the basement level to collect local history expert David Wencer in the offices of the West Toronto Junction Historical Society (a tenant since 1997), and then up to the main reception area to see the gorgeous ceiling, uncovered by architects Henno Sillaste and Hiro Nakashima during a 1979 renovation.

But that’s the charm of the Junction: Houses, commercial and institutional buildings by a world-class architect rub elbows with those of lesser stock. Once a gritty railroad town, it was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1909 and remained under the real estate radar for nine decades as a place with “a fierce, independent spirit,” says Mr. Wencer. Since the late 1990s, however, the secret’s been out as artists looking for cheap studio space and bargain-hunting hipster couples discover its rough charm.

full article link

2 Comments

Oddly he didn't reference the beautiful Beaux-Arts stone facade across from the Campbell Block where the Money Mart is. The well-known NYC firm Carrere and Hastings was involved in the design.

I believe the focus of the article was to highlight some of the properties known to have been or believed to have been designed by James Ellis specifically. Even so, there are a few Ellis properties which didn't make the cut (presumably due to space limitations) including the soon-to-be-demolished Runnymede Hospital building, and the BMO building on the SW corner.

Still a good article, I think. And anything which leaves out Junction content means that there's potential for more Junction articles in the future!

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