Tag Archives: television transmitters
The Radio City/National Ballet School sits on the former site of CBC’s English headquarters and broadcast tower, and was the site of the first Canadian TV transmission. The CBC history is the origin of the name “Radio City”; not the famed music hall in New York. The buildings no longer were used upon the opening of the CBC Broadcast Centre on Front Street in 1992.
Where the south tower and south townhomes now sit was once CBC’s now-demolished Studio 7. Originally an elementary school, it became home to legendary CBC shows Wayne & Shuster, Mr. Dressup, Front Page Challenge and The Kids In The Hall, among other productions. These were the first TV studios ever built in Toronto.
The CBC’s transmitter tower, which stood in what is now the central courtyard, was built in 1952 and was once the tallest structure in Canada at more than 150 metres. It was also the tower broadcasting TVOntario until all television transmitters were moved to the CN Tower in 1976. In the 50s, it was known as the “Eiffel on Jarvis” and its first broadcast debuted on Channel 9 on September 8, 1952. It was pulled-down by steel cables in 3.5 seconds on August 24, 2002.
The red-brick building directly beside the South Tower was once prestigious Havergal Ladies’ College, built in 1898. It also served as the CBC’s executive offices and home to famous radio programs like As It Happens and recordings by internationally-known composer Glenn Gould.
The National Ballet School surrounds the Georgian-style Northfield House (1956), which was the home of Sir Oliver Mowat, Father of Confederation and Ontario’s most powerful and longest-serving premier (24 years). Both Havergal College and Northfield House are federally-designated historical properties.
Sirman Lane was named for the National Ballet School’s chief administrator, Robert Sirman. In May of 2006, he was nominated for Director of the Canada Council for the Arts.
The music printed on the glass on the Celia Franca Centre is from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker.” Celia Franca is the founder of the National Ballet of Canada (with Betty Oliphant) and was its artistic director for 24 years. She now lives in Ottawa and has been awarded the Order of Canada.
Radio City was named #2 by the National Post in their review of the Top 10 Residential Towers in Toronto.
A balcony on the North Tower was featured on the cover of Toronto Life’s February 2006 issue on “The Condo Generation”. The photo was shot in the cold of December with two models, and the balcony was digitally shortened to fit on the cover. The story featured two other Radio City residents (story at http://www.torontolife.com/features/the-new-starter-home/ ).
Radio City has been lauded as an effective example of “mixed-use” architecture, incorporating high-density towers bordered by the National Ballet School and a neighbourhood-appropriate row of townhomes, all on a designated historical site. Experts and critics have lauded the design and utility of the complex.
Radio City’s Interior Designer Trevor Kruse is now designing the interiors for Toronto’s upcoming Trump Tower. Architect Peter Clewes is becoming known as Toronto’s premier condo architect, and has designed 18 Yorkville, 20 Niagara and the upcoming Ritz-Carlton, X-Condominiums, and the new Four Seasons Yorkville condo and hotel.
The art in the courtyard is entitled Radioville and derived from two of artist Roland Brener’s earlier gallery installations Capital Z (1993) and Endsville (1997). These previous works were lit-up cardboard “villages” reminiscent of Monopoly-style block houses. Radioville was originally exhibited at the University of Victoria (where Brener taught for 28 years) and features 36 stainless-steel pieces, each weighing up to 500 lbs.
Roland Brener died of terminal brain cancer on March 22, 2006 and is survived by his wife and daughter. His ashes will be scattered at sea from his beloved yacht Reality.
Jarvis Street was named after Samuel Jarvis, who once owned the land on which the street was built. This 100-acre block of land stretched from Queen Street all the way to Bloor, and he fondly named it Hazel Burn after its hazel trees and stream. Jarvis went broke and had to sell his land south of Wellesley, where a new street was built to access the newly-divided lots. Jarvis Street was the first paved road in the city.
Jarvis Street was once the most luxurious street in Canada, featuring only two lanes of traffic, a canopy of enormous old trees, and the most stately mansions in the city. The most dignified movers-and-shakers had homes on this street, including the Masseys, Cawthras, Gooderhams, McMasters, and Sir Charles Moss. What is now The Keg Mansion was once the home of Arthur McMaster, then Hart Massey (the richest man in Canada), and eventually CFRB radio, an art gallery, and a convalescent home.
Jarvis Street’s magnificent trees were cut-down in 1947 when the street was widened from an 11-metre boulevard to its current 16-metre width. Most of the lavish mansions were demolished following World War II to make way for generic apartment buildings. Toronto tragically lost very many of its architectural and historical structures during this period due to uncontrolled expansion and a lack of civic regulation, and many historical preservationists are concerned that vestiges of this trend remain today.
Mutual Street was once a dirt path used by horses.
Maple Leaf Gardens was the home of the Leafs from 1931-1999 and sold-out every Leafs game from 1946 until its closing. It has hosted concerts for legendary artists like Elvis Presley and Duran Duran (“The Reflex” video was shot there) and was the only location where The Beatles ever did two shows in one night. The Gardens cost $1.5 million to build. After the Maple Leafs left, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment refused to sell the building to anyone who would use it in competition with the Air Canada Centre, which is why it is now becoming a Loblaw’s Superstore.
Church Street Public School was designed by architect Peter Dickinson, whose other works include The Hummingbird Centre, the Beth Tzedec Synagogue, and the Inn On The Park (the demolition of which in May 2006 was viewed by experts as the loss of a historical landmark). CSPS was enlarged in the 90s and was most recently used as an outdoor location for the 2004 film Sugar starring Brendan Fehr (Roswell, CSI: Miami) and Sarah Polley.
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