Gooderham Building and The Brookfield Place (Heritage Walk)


I have seen this red-bricked building dozens of times in Toronto.  It commands the entire block as it sits wedged between Front and Wellington Streets to form a triangular intersection.   The other night I was so drawn to the night lighting as I was looking west down Front street towards the building's prominent rounded corner, I decided to take some pictures.  


circa 1894
Later, I finally looked it up and discovered it was called the Gooderham Building, or as it is more commonly referred to,  the 'Flatiron', and was built in 1892.  

The design and construction was made for the famed distiller George Gooderham (son of Gooderham and Worts distillery founder William Gooderham).  You may remember Gooderham and Worts from my blog posts, The Lowes Christmas Market and another post Historical Distillery District.


Here it maintained its function as the office of the Gooderham & Worts distillery until 1952 and then was sold by the Gooderham Estate in 1957.  

If you look beyond the 'Flatiron' along Front street, you can see entire blocks of commercial skyscrapers of the Financial District, and even the CN Tower is also visible from certain angles.  One of the most hauntingly beautiful is the Brookfield Place.

I worked just a few blocks away many years ago when this was once known as BCE Place.  I didn't even recognize this place.  Inside it looks like a crystal cathedral and outside it has these gorgeous purple pillars.  It was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

This office complex takes up the entire block from Yonge to Wellington Street West, Bay Street and Front Street totaling 5 acres.  I would love to work here!  In total there are two commerce towers: The first one Bay Wellington Tower and the second is the TD Canada Trust Tower, linked by a six-story pedestrian walkway.  The Galleria is like a forested canopy structured by eight freestanding supports on each side.

The design of this Galleria was incorporated in the Brookfield Place to meet the expectations and satisfy the City of Toronto's public art requirements, and it did! It is often featured as a backdrop for TV and film productions and is photographed constantly. 


The Financial District in Toronto proves that sometimes 'creative accounting' can be stunning.