Before I came to Canada, I never imagined that Toronto was a likely contender for the list of World’s Top Architecture Cities. However, I’ve realised that you really have to be residing in the city and visit these buildings yourself to really appreciate these bold and beautiful structures. Here is my pick of 10 of Toronto’s most stunning architectural pieces that is worth visiting.
10. CN Tower and Rogers Centre.
The CN tower and the Roger Centre are first on my list because it defines the iconic Toronto skyline. Best viewed from the Toronto Islands, or better yet, from a boat or kayak on Ontario lake!
9. Eaton Centre
One of the very first buildings I visited when I arrived in Toronto. It’s stunning high glass roof and the silhouettes of the floating birds structure, create such a sense of awe for those new to Toronto.
8. Aga Kahn Museum
I would say one of the most instagrammable buildings in Toronto, the Aga Kahn museum’s entrance is made dramatic by the tall, white, linear facade that reflects off the square, black, stone pond.
7. Toronto City Hall
This is one of Toronto’s best known landmarks. The sweeping ribbed concrete and glass structure is quiet stunning when it catches the right daylight. The spaceship-like civic hub is said to have put Toronto on the global architecture map.
6. OCAD University
I find this building fascinating because it looks like a box held up by crayons. The architect admits the design was not planned to be a “box on legs,” however that’s how it turned out. The angled supports closely resemble crayon-type stilts. So fitting for an art and design school!
5. Royal Ontario Museum
This building’s modern style was controversial because of its inconsistencies with the existing museum’s historical architecture. However I find that the most controversial designs, often become some of the most highly regarded. This building definitely commands that attention.
4. The Hearn Generating Station
A decommissioned electrical generating station now serves as a cultural hub for Toronto’s Luminato Festival. When it is not occupied by an arts festival, the derelict building attracts urban explorers. Especially this space, which is least obstructed by steel beams, makes for stunning artistic photography.
3. Brookfield Place
The Allen Lambert galleria designed by Santiago Calatrava, in Brookfield Place is another one on the list that attracts frequent photography. I love how the structure evokes the sense of a forest-like canopy, even projecting dappled-like shade on a sunny day.
2. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
The only building on this list I have not yet visited! This beautiful structure is a traditional Hindu place of worship, and is the largest of its kind in Canada. It is the first on my list of places to visit as soon as the weather is warmer!
1. Art Gallery of Ontario
Frank Gehry’s Italia Galleria at the AGO with it’s sweeping timber and glass facade sets a dramatic backdrop for coffee lovers enjoying a cup at the espresso bar located at its centre. I love the view of the high timber-framed windows which over-looks the distinct style of bay-and-gable Victorian houses on the street below.
I love beautiful architecture and discovering new buildings creates a sense of adventure for me. This list is just a fraction of the stunning architecture that Toronto has to offer. I hope to share my discoveries of more beautiful Toronto architecture on this blog, so stay tuned!