Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Tuesday Treasures

August 2020 - Toronto ON

The Confederation Life Building on Richmond Street East in Toronto was built in 1892 by Knox and Elliot.

When the Confederation Life building was completed in 1892, it was considered the finest and most up-to-date office building in the city, indeed, in all of North America. Flamboyant in style, it was in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, similar to Toronto’s Old City Hall. The Credit Valley sandstone blocks at the base of the structure were enormous, as they supported the weight of the floors above them. The many carvings on its facades were rich in classical and Medieval symbolism.

During the years 1898 to 1900, the Confederation Life Building was altered, and it was again renovated in 1908. In 1981, a devastating fire created much damage, but thankfully, it was restored and still graces the northeast corner of Richmond and Yonge Streets.

The plaque says:

Once one of Toronto's grandest office buildings, this landmark served as the headquarters of the Confederation Life Association until 1955. Plans for the building arose from an international competition won by Knox, Elliot and Jarvis, architects. The design incorporates Romanesque and French Gothic architectural elements, and originally featured decorative pinnacles and a taller central tower with elaborate stone tracery. Revitalized in the early 1980s, the building remains an important part of Toronto's architectural heritage.

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