Why I Love Toronto
The Dineen Building
I had an interview late last summer for a potential internship opportunity in the fall. After I had been interviewed I decided it was too nice of a day not to go for a walk in the downtown core. Therefore, I started my venture up Yonge Street from King Street West. As I was walking up I noticed a building that was covered in scaffolding on the corner of Yonge and Temperance. The sign on the scaffolding said “Empire Restoration”. The only thing I needed to see to make me smile was the word restoration. I love old buildings as many of you have probably noticed. I love old buildings because they were made with such detailing, precise handwork and were treated like works of art - older buildings have personality. I find that today’s buildings are all glass galleria’s, which I’m not saying are ugly, but in my opinion do not have an in-depth personality and are very one dimensional.
Anyways, in the weeks before Christmas I was walking up that portion of Yonge again when I noticed the scaffolding had been taken down to reveal this stunning Renaissance Revival styled building known as the Dineen Building. The structure was originally built in 1897 by architect F.H. Herbert for William Dineen’s company W. and F. Dineen Co. which specialized in producing hats, caps and furs. The building was built with offices and a showroom for the company. In 1917 a fire ravaged the building, but it was restored.
The building was known for its decorative ironwork, balconies and sandstone which was sadly ruined over the years by various tenants. The building eventually lost the charm it once held and fell into decay with the façade gathering grime, the balconies rusting and reports of squatters taking refuge inside. However today, the once dirty façade has been cleaned up and now displays a bright yellow glow which is only overshadowed by the stunning copper detailing wrapping around the exterior of the building. At street level the building has these marvellous large windows which would allow an ample amount of natural light and be beautiful spot for a restaurant. The balconies and window panes are all fixed up and are this complimenting dark colour.
This is such a win for heritage properties in this city! If you read my 2012 year in review posts (they’re linked below if you haven’t) then you will know in my “Goodbye” version I discuss the possible fate of the George Street row houses and in “Breath of Fresh Air” I praise MOD Developments for restoring the old Bank of Commerce on Yonge and CB2 for their restoration of Occident Hall. Overall if we get rid of these heritage building or don’t take care of them then they will disappear and Toronto will be history-less city.
That is Why I Love Toronto
- 2012 Year in Review – Goodbyes
- 2012 Year in Review – Breath of Fresh Air
- Bank of Commerce on Yonge
- George Street Row Houses
- Yonge Street
Sources and Images