Saturday 26 May 2012

Doors Open: Faces on Places Walking Tour — Gargoyles and Other Architectural Ornaments

Gord and I went on the Doors Open:  Faces on Places Walking Tour today.

Look up ...  and what do you see? If you look up with author Terry Murray, you'll see beyond glass and steel and stone to spy gargoyles, griffins, dragons, angels, and portraits of important personages. These characters have been watching over Toronto and its inhabitants for centuries.

Writer and photographer Terry Murray spent 10 years hunting the many creatures adorning Toronto's buildings and researching why they’re there. Explore some of that world with her. Be sure to bring your binoculars! 

Terry Murray is an award-winning journalist and photographer specializing in medicine. For 30 years, she has been on the staff of the Medical Post, a fortnightly newspaper for Canadian doctors. She began gargoyle-hunting in 1994, a hobby that resulted in the publication of Faces on Places: A Grotesque Tour of Toronto (Anansi, 2006), which won the Heritage Toronto Award of Merit as well as an Alcuin Society Award for Excellence in Book Design. 

The tour was scheduled to start at 1:30pm.  We arrived at 1pm to find it was full but thankfully they opened up some more spaces.  Plus because of the demand, another tour was added today at 3:30pm (there is another one tomorrow at 1:30pm).

Our first stop was Old City Hall (built in 1889-99).

Here's Terry giving us some info.

This is the Sterling Tower at 372 Bay Street (built in 1928).

This is the Northern Ontario Building  at 330 Bay Street (built in 1925).

Here we are looking up up up and learning more from Terry.

 This is the Design Exchange at 234 Bay Street (formerly the Toronto Stock Exchange which was built in 1937).

This is the Scotiabank Plaza at 44 King Street W (built in 1949-51).

This is the Commerce Bank of Commerce (now CIBC) at 25 King Street W (built in 1929-31).

This is the Irish Embassy (a pub) at 49 Yonge Street (formerly the Bank of British America and CIBC, built in 1873-74).

As we headed north on Yonge Street, I'd never noticed these on the Bay (formerly Simpsons which opened in 1929).

This is the Confederation Life building at 8 Richmond Street E (built in 1890-92).

Here's Gord in action!

This is the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre at 189 Yonge Street (formerly Lowe's Yonge Street Theatre and Winter Garden Theatre, built in 1913-14).

This is the Ed Mirvish Theatre at 263 Yonge Street (formerly the Canon Theatre, Pantages Theatre and Imperial Theatre, built in 1920).

It was an interesting tour that will make me look up up up in the future.  There is so much to see!

CTV came along on our tour for a while.

1 comment:

Terry Murray said...

It was great having you on the tour. Thanks for the post. Your pix are great!