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Appreciate-A-Building: Sheraton Centre

Wendell FOX

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Toronto's Sheraton hotel is today known as one of the more drab, hulky concrete buildings and no longer one of the city's more luxurious properties, but it appears that in ages past the Sheraton was one of the shining jewels of the city, built in 1972 when Toronto's financial district began to solidify its dominance over rival Montreal along with the skycraper race. In fact it was a Four Seasons once. Bright photos like these still adorn posters in the hotel, note the bright red sign:


Now after decades of dirt and grime the outside of the hotel looks tarnished, and the red Sheraton sign rusty: (EDIT: the sign isn't shown in the pic but it does have a rusty colour)


In spite of this I think the hotel still acts as an interesting gateway into the financial district as one comes out of the trendy shops of Queen Street West. It really fulfills its purpose as a "commoner's building" - plain and unnoticable, caught between Toronto's work and play areas. Even the steakhouse (Le Biftheque) now distributes coupons rather than try to rival itself against big-time American chains which have invaded the city.

But in any case I think pieces of brutalist architecture such as this do fulfill their roles and have lasting importance. Plus the hotel has an interesting garden on the inside:


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