An Architectural Tour Around Yorkville

July 18th, 2014

If you’ve been reading our blog regularly, you’re already well aware that we love Yorkville, Toronto’s hottest and most luxurious neighbourhood. There’s so much to do and see in Yorkville, but did you know it’s also home to some of Toronto’s coolest architecture? Let’s take a look.

Yorkville Public Library

toronto public librabry

At the beginning of the 20th century the original Yorkville Public Library (now located on the north side of Yorkville near Yonge Street) was housed in St. Paul’s Hall (originally Yorkville’s Town Hall) just around the corner on Yonge Street. When the plans for the library were first being discussed, the chief librarian went to Andrew Carnegie, a philanthropist, and asked for $350 000 to build it. They got the funding and the Yorkville Public Library was designed by City architect Robert McCallum in 1907 and made of Ohio stone and quarter-cut oak.

Royal Ontario Museum

Royal Ontario Museum Michael Lee-Chin Crystal

The Royal Ontario Museum is a sight to behold. It is one of the largest museums in North America and brings in thousands of visitors every year. The doors to the ROM opened on March 19, 1914 and currently has over six million items on display in forty galleries. It’s definitely a beauty and it was designed by Toronto’s own architects Frank Darling and John A. Pearson, with the eastern wing designed by Alfred H. Chapman and James Oxley (opened in 1933). The ROM is a mix of different styles: there’s the original Italiante style, and then there’s the neo-Byzantine style with different coloured stones reflecting Roman architecture. Oh, and there’s also the new main entrance to the ROM, designed by Daniel Libeskind, called the Crystal which opened in 2007. The Crystal brings modernity to the otherwise older looking building, and was a refreshing makeover to the ROM.

Yorkville Firehall

historic toronto fire station 311

You can’t miss the Yorkville Firehall located at 34 Yorkville Avenue, just west of Yonge Street, originally built in 1876. Today, it is one of the oldest buildings on the block even though it was once ruined by a fire and then rebuilt in 1890.  It’s made out of soft yellow brick from the Yorkville Brickyards, but the newer part of the firehall has red brick detail. It is now referred to as Firehall #10 and is still an active fire station.

And of course, our own 1 Yorkville might make someone’s list of remarkable architecture in Yorkville some day. After all, we are preserving and restoring a collection of very refined Yorkville Village buildings that date back to the 1860s. 1 Yorkville will also have an awesome rooftop lounge, great amenities and so much more.

What’s your favourite building in Yorkville?