Category: Midcentury (Page 1 of 10)

Thorncrest Shopping Centre, 1955

Thorncrest Shopping Centre (Plaza) from above in 1957, shortly after completion. Image: City of Toronto Archives, Series 12, Item 100.

It all depends on how you slice and dice it, though it would not be unfair to at least entertain Thorncrest Village’s claim to be Canada’s first planned community. At least not Canada’s first post World War II planned community. To be certain, comprehensive community plans existed previous to the war and, honestly, claims to “first” tend to obscure the realities of invention and innovation. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, after all.

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A Modern Elf (A Brief Update to a Brief History of the Elphin), 1966

A few more details never hurt. Even four years after the fact.

Around four years ago, I wrote a short piece for Ottawa Start about the Elphin Apartments, at the corner of Gladstone and Metcalfe in Ottawa’s Centretown. Given the parameters, I was generally pleased with the results but one thing really bothered me: just who was behind the apartment?

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Ottawa’s MacLaren House Gets all the Wrong Attention, 1967-93

MacLaren House, in May 2016. Image: Google Maps.

It has now been a few years since I first wrote about the Gilbert Apartments, formerly located at 293 Lisgar and soon to be the site of a new 108-unit Claridge apartment. The Werner Noffke-designed walkup was neat as a pin, but had not really received the care it might otherwise have in the intervening decades and had reached its end of life.

Just a heads-up: this one does talk about the death of senior citizens in a relatively recent period.

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Under the ‘N’… NO

Pacific Avenue residents show the Toronto Star’s Ken Faught their opposition to the Kingsway Pacific Bingo plan to open a large Bingo hall in a former Loblaws. Image: Ken Faught / Toronto Star / Toronto Public Library, Baldwin Collection, Item TSPA 0011943f.

Admittedly, one of my favourite articles in the last little while has been one that was run in Toronto Life called “People with their arms crossed in front of things they’re against: A taxonomy of the Star’s favourite visual cliché“. To be certain, it’s a light and fluffy piece, but I was happy that someone did put it out there. The arms-crossed-and-scowl (or look of deep concern) visual language that communicates opposition is common to newspapers all over.

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It Could Have Been A Brilliant Career

This one is probably better off in the ‘Blog’ section, as so much of the story is in the notes. Nevertheless, because the front hasn’t seen much since February, I’ve put it here.

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