King St. W. Heritage

Faced with having someone over to clean my apartment, and nowhere to go, my first idea was to sit on my balcony for 2½ hours. Eating dinner there that evening, it was obvious that being stationary in the sweltering Toronto heat would not be a good idea. If it weren't for the COVID-19 pandemic, I would go to a Starbucks and sit inside for the duration, and cross off some items on my task list. Dining inside is currently not possible, and patio space is at a premium, so I took along my copy of Toronto Architecture: A City Guide by Patricia McHugh and Alex Bozikovic and walked around my neighbourhood, the area of King St. West near Spadina Ave. Starting at Bathurst and King, I walked east and took photos of the buildings and construction sites along what is mostly restaurants and nightclubs, but is transitioning towards high-rise residential. My favourite view along the King St. corridor is the location of where ing Toronto will be located, giving me a temporary view of the side of a building and the CN Tower. That site will be filled by King Toronto, a huge residential development that I quite like, if it comes close to the proposed designs.

View from the development site of King Toronto by Bjarke Ingels Group

The directions too me north on John St., back south to Adelaide, then to Peter St., then the home stretch on Richmond St. W. all the way to Maud St. to see the Waterworks residential and food hall building under construction.

The first walk I took was northbound on Yonge St., which is mythically the longest street in the world, and this was the second walk. All of the buildings were familiar to me, but they didn't have names. Every walk I go on contains a surprise, though, and this was no different. On Adelaide St. W. near Widmer, is a map of the southern parts of Toronto engraved in the sidewalk. I hadn't noticed it before because usually there are chairs and tables on top.

Map of Toronto

It doesn't photograph well, but I admired it as a flat memorial to the city and Lake Ontario. I killed even more time in St. Andrew's Playground Park, itself slated for redevelopment, though the pandemic has delayed that too, if only slightly. Overall the walk serves as a good introduction to my neighbourhood as it changes rapidly.

For all of the photos taken on this architectural tour, visit my set on Flickr.