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March 18, 2011

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.

I started my tour of cultural institutions with a visit to the <a href="http://www.rom.on.ca/">Royal Ontario Museum</a>, more commonly known in Toronto as the ROM. The new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal was designed by <a href="http://www.daniel-libeskind.com/"
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.
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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
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.
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Next, I headed to another starchitect museum renovation: the new <a href="http://www.ago.net/transformation-ago-new-building">Frank Gehry-designed facade and additions at the Art Gallery Ontario</a>, also known by its initials as the AGO.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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OCAD is housed in the <a href="http://www.ocad.ca/about_ocad/overview/sharp_centre.htm">Sharp Center for Design</a>, which opened in May 2004 and was designed by UK-based <a href="http://www.alsoparchitects.com/">Alsop Architects</a> with Toronto firm <a
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.
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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.
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.
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Finally, I headed to the <a href="http://www.coc.ca/AboutTheCOC/FourSeasonsCentre.aspx">Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts</a>, home to the Canadian Opera Company and performance venue of the National Ballet of Canada. Completed in 2006, the cent
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.
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I was lucky enough to catch a performance of <i>Don Quixote</i> 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. Inst
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.
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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!
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!
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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 V
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.
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The Junction has recently become a new destination for Torontonians. At the heart of neighborhood are shops like <a href="http://smash.to/">Smash</a>, a design shop and gallery featuring vintage and salvage work; <a href="http://pandb.ca/">Post + Beam Rec
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.
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Salvaged and reclaimed pieces are the calling of The Junction and one shop that caught my eye was <a href="http://www.metropolis-living.com">Metropolis Living</a>. The store was closed but you can peruse images of the inside at <a href="http://www.metropo
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.
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Down the street is <a href="http://mjolk.ca">Mjölk</a> (pronounced mi-yelk). The shop specializes in Scandinavian and Japanese design and is stunningly curated by husband-wife owners Juli Daoust and John Baker.
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.
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On the culinary front, <a href="http://www.bunners.ca">Bunner's</a> 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.
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.
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Nearby was <a href="http://www.junctionfromagerie.com">Junction Fromagerie</a>, which specializes in Canadian artisan cheeses. Mmm!
Nearby was Junction Fromagerie, which specializes in Canadian artisan cheeses. Mmm!
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My last stop before flying back to San Francisco was at the new <a href="http://ebw.evergreen.ca/">Evergreen Brick Works</a>. The former Don Valley Brick Works brickyard (which in the 1960s and 70s produced more than 43 million bricks each year) closed in
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 .
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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.
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.
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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 <a href="http://www.timhortons.com/">Tim Hortons</a>, named after the legendary hockey player (and forme
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!
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I started my tour of cultural institutions with a visit to the <a href="http://www.rom.on.ca/">Royal Ontario Museum</a>, more commonly known in Toronto as the ROM. The new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal was designed by <a href="http://www.daniel-libeskind.com/"
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.

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