George W. Gouinlock, award-winning Toronto architect, was commissioned to build what is today the Ontario Heritage Centre, between 1908 and 1909. Originally, the building was built for the Canadian Birkbeck Investment and Savings Company, and was subsequently sold to other corporations and individuals before the Ontario Heritage Trust bought it in 1985.
The building is a fine example of Beaux Arts architecture and construction methods considered to be state-of-the-art at the time. It is speculated that the building’s fireproofed steel structure with terra cotta infill was no doubt a response to the Great Fire of 1904.
The Ontario Heritage Trust has maintained and re-instated original detail, allowing a genuine understanding of Edwardian architecture during one of Canada’s most significant periods of growth.
Today, as well as being the Ontario Heritage Trust’s headquarters, the building provides space for non-profit heritage organizations, commercial offices, and conference and reception facilities.
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