I think that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word “poop” in a blog title, but I digress…
The infamous “Bird Poop Building” on Yonge Street has been vacant for 25 years, and surprise, surprise – it’s going to be turned into a condo…
If you know me, you know that I have a serious man-love for old, historic, Toronto buildings.
I’m fascinated by our city’s history, and while we simply can’t compete with the thousand-year-old structures in Europe, we do have our own little slice of history here in Toronto.
One of the most fun blog features I ever worked on was The Buildings of The St. Lawrence Market, back in 2009. I did a three-part series on all the historic buildings in the area; a must-read for many of you who missed it! You can read Part One HERE.
I’ve always admired the Bank of Commerce on Yonge Street, in between Queen & Shuter, but it’s a little…..ummmm……dirty, shall we say?
Over the years, this building has been used and abused by some of the most carefree and unpoliced members of our society: pigeons.
For some reason, pigeons love to empty their bowels (if birds have bowels…..any bird enthusiasts among my readers who can shed some light??) on this building and the neighbouring building immediately north. Over time, these two buildings have simply become known as “the bird poop buildings.”
And seeing the photos I took below, can you argue?
Wow. I don’t know what to say…
I’ve walked by these buildings many, many times over the years, and I’ve always thought, “I really wish somebody would do something with those buildings!” It’s such a shame that a great piece of Toronto’s history is just sitting there getting crapped on by these guys:
Well, time hasn’t been kind to the Bank of Commerce at 197-199 Yonge Street, but the future is bright!
I suppose it’s a bit of a double-edged sword, however. I had always hoped that this beautiful building would be restored and turned into a library, museum, or event hall, but in actual fact, it’s going to be turned into yet another condo. I suppose it’s the lesser of two evils; that is, it would be worse to see the building torn down or have it fall into even worse disrepair, although I’m not sure that’s possible…
Built in 1905, the Bank of Commerce has actually been abandoned since 1987! It’s had many different uses over the years, and you can actually still see the words “DENTIST” on the second floor of the building where somebody probably practiced in the 60’s or 70’s:
Little-known developer, MOD Developments will be turning the historical building into a 60-storey condominium called “Massey Towers,” which already has a large advertisement up at the current site. MOD Development’s only other project to date is FIVE Condos at St. Joseph’s & Yonge Street, but Massey Towers will be designed by renowned firm Hariri Pontarini Architects, whose projects are too many to name, but include One City Hall, Minto775, ART, Shangri-La, and my current residence, Vu Condos.
Like I said – it’s cliche that this site will become “yet, another condo,” but it’s better than letting it sit there and rot.
The article in this past week’s Globe & Mail, quoted the owner of MOD Developments, Gary Switzer, as saying, “What does it say about our city to have a building like this empty right on the main street?”
I couldn’t possibly agree more.
Yonge Street is famous! It’s the best-known street in Toronto, and one of the most well-known streets in our entire country!
How could we let this happen?
Yet we have a poo-covered building sitting there, rotting away.
It reminds me of this:
Those of you that read my blog during its infancy in 2007 will recall the photos and blog posts from my trip to Serbia.
These buildings are on the Belgrade’s equivalent of Yonge Street, and the city doesn’t have the money to fix them, so they don’t. These buildings have been sitting here in this condition for almost twenty years, and they’ll likely remain as such indefinitely.
Toronto is not Serbia, but yet the Bank of Commerce and its sister building at 205 Yonge Street, the Bank of Toronto, draw some eerie similarities to the photo above:
Two buildings, both beautiful and historic, and both ruined by time. And poo…
The crazy thing is – the Bank of Toronto is an even more impressive structure! I wonder what will become of that building? Perhaps, phase two of the condominium development at Massey Towers?
Dare to dream…
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