Interesting Toronto Spots: Modern Architecture Photo Essay
By Elli Davis, February 2, 2013
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We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, meet the Torontonians! This time, let's have a look at Toronto through the lens of Roland Shainidze!
Toronto, by Canada’s largest city, continues to grow every day. Besides the many historical sights, it is constantly keeping up to date with recent trends in modern architecture. Daring shapes, lots of glass and metal, and visionary use of space: these are the qualities of new contemporary architecture in Toronto. Have a look at some of the latest architectural masterpieces that have become so popular that they were added to the city’s list of landmarks.
Location: 100 Queens Park
Canada’s largest museum of world culture and natural history, the Royal Ontario Museum attracts more than a million visitors each year. From dinosaurs, minerals, and fossils to the rare items such as meteorites, make sure you have enough time to explore its collections. Unquestionably, the original building from 1912 is a fine structure, but the museum gained much more attention after its newest addition from its renovations of 2007. The museum has a brand new main entrance. The Deconstructivist form of Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, or as Torontonians call it “The Crystal,” was designed by Daniel Libeskind, who used mostly glass, steel, and aluminium. Just as stunning as its crystalline form pointing to the sky is the Crystal’s interior. Keep up to date with ROM’s list of current exhibitions!
Location: 220 Yonge Street
When you find time to stop for a moment during your shopping and look around, you might notice that many of the shopping malls are special pieces of architecture in themselves (but the truth is that not too many people pay attention to more than the stores). Modern malls like Toronto’s Eaton Centre especially need to provide a pleasant shopping experience throughout a huge space, including lots of light and good infrastructure to take you to your favourite shop quickly. Located in the very heart of the city, the Eaton Centre offers a selection of 230 retailers and restaurants — all under the spectacular glass galleria. Almost every tourist wanders in at some point in their visit and takes a picture of the flock of Canada Geese hanging from the high ceiling.
Location: 317 Dundas Street West
One of the largest galleries in North America can be found in Toronto. The Art Gallery of Ontario spans over 45,000 square metres and hosts the largest collection of Canadian art, works from the Renaissance and Baroque period, European art, African and Oceanic art, and a modern and contemporary collection. The building has undergone four major renovations, adjusting the space so that it fits perfectly for works many purposes. You will be surprised to find galleries, a library, workshop spaces, artist residences, a restaurant and a café, and a lecture hall all under one roof. Big names such as John C. Parkin, KPMB Architects, and Frank Gehry have all helped to form this great structure (the Gehry-designed spiral stairwell is located in Walker Court if you are a fan). You can watch the hub of the street below from the Galleria Italia under the new façade (along Dundas Street) or admire the reflections on the titanium and glass South Wing overlooking Grange Park.
SkyWalk Pedestrian Bridge
Location: 7 Station Street
Another tribute to glass architecture is the long tunnel SkyWalk that connects Toronto’s Union Station and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. It is nice to know that people who arrive in the city by train for the first time are welcomed by such a lovely sight! How do you get to SkyWalk? Take the TTC or GO to Union Station. From Union Station, stay indoors, and follow the signs leading to the Rogers Centre, Skywalk, and CN Tower.
Location: 181 Bay Street
Brookfield Place is a famous office complex in Downtown Toronto consisting of the Bay Wellington Tower and TD Canada Trust Tower, which are connected by the beautiful, six-storey Allen Lambert Galleria. The glass atrium was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who created the pedestrian space with parabolic ceiling alongside building façades on its side. Do not be surprised to see glimpses of it in the news or in film!
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Meet the Photographer
Roland Shainidze is an amateur photographer in Toronto. He is a graduate student in humanities at York University and his photography is focused primarily on architecture, both interiors and exteriors. He has taken photographs in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa as well as his native Georgia. Roland uses HDR tools to transform the presentation of the imagery of architectural elements. Self-taught, he takes every opportunity to take pictures and experiment with them; playing with lines, patterns, light and selective colour.