Welcome to the Canadian Architecture blog!

Welcome to the first Canadian Architecture blog brought to you by the Malcolmites! We hope this blog will encourage those interested in Canadian architecture to talk (or more specifically, type) about architecture in Canada.

Featured Building

Featured Building
William Eckhardt House, Unionville, Ontario (1852)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Canadian in Chicago

This past weekend I was in Chicago, the birthplace of the skyscraper. I managed to visit a good number of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century skyscrapers which made me think that it might be good to post a Canadian building that was influenced by the style. Toward the end of the century, iron and steel were used increasingly for the structure of buildings. The materials were strong and lightweight, allowing buildings to be built higher with larger windows. Elevators, recently-invented, made it possible to access the upper floors with ease and allowed buildings to maximize their available floorspace in upwardly expanding cities. One Canadian building that used many of these new techniques from the Chicago school is the Robert Simpson Co. Store in Toronto of 1895 by Toronto architect Edmund Burke.

Robert Simpson Co. Building, Toronto, 1895 (photo from here)
While it is only six stories high, it is important to remember that skyscrapers in the nineteenth century were not nearly as tall as what we might consider a skyscraper today. You can see that the building is of substantial size and that there is little wall space that is not occupied by windows as it makes use of the new metal-framing technology. 

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