When we talk about facadism, this is what we mean.

November 8th, 2013, 10am

There was a beautiful building here a year ago. An architectural match for its neighbour on the north-east corner. An example of Muddy York’s yellow brick (love it or hate it).

Then the developer’s signs came, and the hoarding came, and then the wrecking ball came. They gutted the building, carelessly, with no curiosity about what might lay behind the walls, and left not even a shell but only two walls. Two falls to form a facade for the new thing that will rise above. Two walls braced and reinforced and preserved, if you can call it that.

We need more housing downtown. I won’t argue with that. I’m one of those alleged “downtown elite” condo dwellers (though I can’t afford to buy). And I know that the older the building, the higher (and higher) the maintenance costs. But surely there are better ways to preserve the past and integrate the new.

This is all too often Toronto’s solution: save the “face”, replace the rest.

David Wade, Emanuel and Owen said thanks.

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Shay Darrach

Fictionalizing life for 30-odd years.

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