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Toronto Skyline: 1979

Toronto Skyline: 1979

The last of three submissions on a trip to Toronto on the QEW, Labour Day 1979. Now I'm on the Gardiner Expressway, an elevated waterfront highway opened in the late 1950s. Downtown Toronto and the CN Tower are center of view, a scene that looks dramatically changed from this Gardiner view today. View full size.

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Toronto buildings

The white tower left of centre, First Canadian Place, at Bay and King, is Canada's tallest building (72 floors), completed in 1975. Originally clad in white Carrara marble, the 45,000 stone panels were replaced with glass in 2012 after a slab of marble fell off the building in 2007. The black towers are part of the Toronto-Dominion Centre, designed by Mies van der Rohe, with the first building in the complex completed in 1967. The two golden towers on the right are the Royal Bank Plaza, finished in 1979, and the glass used to clad them was colored with 2,500 ounces of gold. When the sun hits those towers at certain angles during the day, the effect is both magnificent and blinding. The old green-capped building just in front of the Royal Bank is the Royal York Hotel, only 28 floors high, but at the time of its completion in 1929 the tallest building in the British Empire. The CN Tower, on the far right, was the world's tallest free-standing structure when it was completed in 1976 and held the title until 2010.

The Inglis sign, by the way, was there until July 2014. Installed in 1975 on Strachan Avenue on the site of the appliance manufacturer (since incorporated into Whirlpool), it was no longer visible to the Gardiner Expressway, having become lost in a forest of condo towers. Along its lower edge, the sign displayed various "inspirational" messages to motorists, such as "Live while you are alive" and "To reach the fruit, one must go out on a limb" and "The greatest remedy for anger is delay."

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