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Touring Toronto, Part 2

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I traveled to Toronto last week to serve on the curatorial committee of Twenty+Change, report a story, and check out the city's current design scene. Having already visited the TIFF Lightbox and having strolled up and down Queen Street West in Part 1, I continue my journey here in Part 2, visiting several new museums and performance centers, shopping in The Junction along Dundas Street West, and meandering through the new Evergreen Brick Works.

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  I started my tour of cultural institutions with a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum, more commonly known in Toronto as the ROM. The new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal was designed by Studio Daniel Libeskind with local firm Bregman + Hamann Architects and juts out of the original building, which dates back to 1914.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    I started my tour of cultural institutions with a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum, more commonly known in Toronto as the ROM. The new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal was designed by Studio Daniel Libeskind with local firm Bregman + Hamann Architects and juts out of the original building, which dates back to 1914.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Completed in 2007, the addition sparked heated discussion as soon as its design was chosen in 2002. Critics questioned whether the structure was sensitive to the original building, and others were enraged that the addition was able to extend so far above the existing structure and over the sidewalk since the nearby Bata Shoe Museum by Moriyama & Teshima Architects was restricted to an incredibly tight envelope so as not to disturb the Bloor Street streetscape.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Completed in 2007, the addition sparked heated discussion as soon as its design was chosen in 2002. Critics questioned whether the structure was sensitive to the original building, and others were enraged that the addition was able to extend so far above the existing structure and over the sidewalk since the nearby Bata Shoe Museum by Moriyama & Teshima Architects was restricted to an incredibly tight envelope so as not to disturb the Bloor Street streetscape.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Next, I headed to another starchitect museum renovation: the new Frank Gehry-designed facade and additions at the Art Gallery Ontario, also known by its initials as the AGO.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Next, I headed to another starchitect museum renovation: the new Frank Gehry-designed facade and additions at the Art Gallery Ontario, also known by its initials as the AGO.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The 600-foot-long, glass-and-wood facade stretches along the Dundas Street entrance. Above the exterior foyer, the structure houses a light-filled sculpture gallery visible from the street.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The 600-foot-long, glass-and-wood facade stretches along the Dundas Street entrance. Above the exterior foyer, the structure houses a light-filled sculpture gallery visible from the street.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Inside, sculptural wooden additions twist and turn through the building, including in the lobby where a mazelike pathway leads from the doors to the ticket booth and offers glimpses of the exhibition space below.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Inside, sculptural wooden additions twist and turn through the building, including in the lobby where a mazelike pathway leads from the doors to the ticket booth and offers glimpses of the exhibition space below.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  After visiting the AGO, it was a quick walk down to check out the exterior of the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). This photo, with Toronto's iconic CN Tower in the background, was taken from across the street from the AGO.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    After visiting the AGO, it was a quick walk down to check out the exterior of the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). This photo, with Toronto's iconic CN Tower in the background, was taken from across the street from the AGO.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  OCAD is housed in the Sharp Center for Design, which opened in May 2004 and was designed by UK-based Alsop Architects with Toronto firm Robbie/Young + Wright Architects Inc.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    OCAD is housed in the Sharp Center for Design, which opened in May 2004 and was designed by UK-based Alsop Architects with Toronto firm Robbie/Young + Wright Architects Inc.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The black-and-white pixellated box hovers above a tower and lower building and is supported by 12 multicolored stiltlike legs. As could be expected, the building was received with mixed reviews, some applauding the design, others finding it appalling.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The black-and-white pixellated box hovers above a tower and lower building and is supported by 12 multicolored stiltlike legs. As could be expected, the building was received with mixed reviews, some applauding the design, others finding it appalling.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Finally, I headed to the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts, home to the Canadian Opera Company and performance venue of the National Ballet of Canada. Completed in 2006, the center was designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Finally, I headed to the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts, home to the Canadian Opera Company and performance venue of the National Ballet of Canada. Completed in 2006, the center was designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  I was lucky enough to catch a performance of Don Quixote starring the incredible Sonia Rodriguez. Before the show there was a "ballet talk" that not only helped explain elements of the ballet but highlighted the wonderful design of the center. Instead of just providing circulation, the network of bridges, stars, and spans in the foyer also take on other functions, such as an auditorium that can be used for purposes such as talks and lectures. It's quite a brilliant use of space.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    I was lucky enough to catch a performance of Don Quixote starring the incredible Sonia Rodriguez. Before the show there was a "ballet talk" that not only helped explain elements of the ballet but highlighted the wonderful design of the center. Instead of just providing circulation, the network of bridges, stars, and spans in the foyer also take on other functions, such as an auditorium that can be used for purposes such as talks and lectures. It's quite a brilliant use of space.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  For lunch, I enjoyed my very favorite Canadian dish: poutine! A Quebecois specialty, poutine comprises French fries topped with cheese curds and beef gravy. Mmm!  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    For lunch, I enjoyed my very favorite Canadian dish: poutine! A Quebecois specialty, poutine comprises French fries topped with cheese curds and beef gravy. Mmm!

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The next part of my wanders around Toronto took me to a recently up-and-coming area called The Junction, located on Dundas Street West west of Keele Street. Along the way, I snapped this picture of the architecture that typifies residential Toronto: the Victorian brick townhouse.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The next part of my wanders around Toronto took me to a recently up-and-coming area called The Junction, located on Dundas Street West west of Keele Street. Along the way, I snapped this picture of the architecture that typifies residential Toronto: the Victorian brick townhouse.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The Junction has recently become a new destination for Torontonians. At the heart of neighborhood are shops like Smash, a design shop and gallery featuring vintage and salvage work; Post + Beam Reclamation; and cafes like Crema Coffee.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The Junction has recently become a new destination for Torontonians. At the heart of neighborhood are shops like Smash, a design shop and gallery featuring vintage and salvage work; Post + Beam Reclamation; and cafes like Crema Coffee.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Salvaged and reclaimed pieces are the calling of The Junction and one shop that caught my eye was Metropolis Living. The store was closed but you can peruse images of the inside at metropolis-living.com.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Salvaged and reclaimed pieces are the calling of The Junction and one shop that caught my eye was Metropolis Living. The store was closed but you can peruse images of the inside at metropolis-living.com.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Down the street is Mjölk (pronounced mi-yelk). The shop specializes in Scandinavian and Japanese design and is stunningly curated by husband-wife owners Juli Daoust and John Baker.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Down the street is Mjölk (pronounced mi-yelk). The shop specializes in Scandinavian and Japanese design and is stunningly curated by husband-wife owners Juli Daoust and John Baker.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  On the culinary front, Bunner's offers vegan and gluten-free baked goods. I was treated to a cookie from Bunner's and have to say, even as an omnivore, it was delicious.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    On the culinary front, Bunner's offers vegan and gluten-free baked goods. I was treated to a cookie from Bunner's and have to say, even as an omnivore, it was delicious.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Nearby was Junction Fromagerie, which specializes in Canadian artisan cheeses. Mmm!  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Nearby was Junction Fromagerie, which specializes in Canadian artisan cheeses. Mmm!

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  My last stop before flying back to San Francisco was at the new Evergreen Brick Works. The former Don Valley Brick Works brickyard (which in the 1960s and 70s produced more than 43 million bricks each year) closed in the 1980s and slowly fell apart over the next decade. Today, Canadian nonprofit Evergreen runs the site as a center for sustainable learning and green design. Shown here is the .  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    My last stop before flying back to San Francisco was at the new Evergreen Brick Works. The former Don Valley Brick Works brickyard (which in the 1960s and 70s produced more than 43 million bricks each year) closed in the 1980s and slowly fell apart over the next decade. Today, Canadian nonprofit Evergreen runs the site as a center for sustainable learning and green design. Shown here is the .

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The 12-acre site features 16 buildings that Evergreen is working to restore as well as space for farmers' markets and open areas for taking winter walks. Check back soon for a full slideshow featuring Evergreen Brick Works.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The 12-acre site features 16 buildings that Evergreen is working to restore as well as space for farmers' markets and open areas for taking winter walks. Check back soon for a full slideshow featuring Evergreen Brick Works.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Before I boarded my plane out of Toronto's Pearson International Airport, I treated myself to another Canadian favorite: a donut and hot beverage from Tim Hortons, named after the legendary hockey player (and former Toronto Maple Leaf and Buffalo Sabre) Myles Gilbert "Tim" Horton, who cofounded the chain. Be sure to check back for in-depth slideshows of Made design shop and gallery, the Gladstone Hotel, and Evergreen Brick Works soon!  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Before I boarded my plane out of Toronto's Pearson International Airport, I treated myself to another Canadian favorite: a donut and hot beverage from Tim Hortons, named after the legendary hockey player (and former Toronto Maple Leaf and Buffalo Sabre) Myles Gilbert "Tim" Horton, who cofounded the chain. Be sure to check back for in-depth slideshows of Made design shop and gallery, the Gladstone Hotel, and Evergreen Brick Works soon!

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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