06 Sep 2015
Image Credit: Horticulture Building Postcard, 1927
Architectural Credit: George Wallace Gouinlock
One of the 12 buildings designed by Toronto architect George Wallace Gouinlock for Exhibition Place, the Horticulture Building was completed in 1907 to replace Toronto’s Crystal Palace which burned to the ground on October 18, 1906. Like all other of Gouinlock’s exhibition buildings, the Horticulture Building follows the Beaux-Arts style with a heavy use of baroque elements. It’s most distinctive feature is a large glass and steel dome at the intersection of its wings, marking the main entrance facing towards the lake. The building is decorated with classical and baroque elements executed in white stone, contrasting vividly against the brick facade. Today, the building is protected as part of the Gouinlock Buildings/ Early Exhibition Buildings National Historic Site of Canada.
While originally intended for agricultural, horticultural and floricultural displays, the Horticulture Building has been used for a variety of programs. In 1958 the building was used in the design competition for Toronto’s City Hall. It is here that all the competition entry models for the new city hall and square were put on display for public inspection. Today the building is leased to Musik Nightclub.
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