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2005 09 29
Goodbye to John C. Parkin
imageAnother iconic Toronto Modern building will soon disappear from the Canadian landscape. Yesterday Toronto city council voted 36 - 1 to deny a special heritage designation to Parkin's Bata Shoe headquarters on Wynford drive. The vote allows the Aga Khan Council of Canada to build its new spiritual centre on the site.

The temporal fragility of Toronto Modern should not surprise us in spite of the fact that these losses are emotional. After all, modernity and machine culture is premised on the notion of continual improvements in architectural function and, inexorably, design. What tends to be disturbing, however, is that the buildings replacing these icons generally represent the lowest standards of architectural practice. The vision of Toronto's mid-twentieth century heroic Modernists is often replaced by consumer modern which accelerates the phenomenon of architectural disposability. Modernists assumed that progress would ultimately make their buildings obsolete. What hurts is that this obsolescence comes at such a high cost to our urban landscape when the buildings that replace them are anything but heroic.

[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 09/29 at 10:12 AM

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