It often surprises people to learn that Toronto, like New York City, also has a flat-iron building. It also surprises them to learn that having been completed in the early 1890s, Toronto’s actually predates the Big Apple’s.
The Gooderham Building is located in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood at the junction of Wellingston Street and Front Street, and is a pretty cool building for multiple reasons. For one, it’s a beautiful piece of architecture, with a textured brick construction that contrasts strikingly with the modern glass and concrete of the skyscrapers in the background. I never tire of the juxtaposed view. That said, be sure to view it from all angles: standing from the west in Berczy Park, a huge trompe-l’oeil wall mural by Canadian artist Derek Besant will have you questioning how many windows you’re seeing.
From a historical perspective, it is interesting to note the Gooderham name, which you’ll slowly start to notice in other parts of the City if you pay attention. Gooderham and Worts was a prominent family-owned company primarily known for its proof spirit distilling business, at one point the biggest in the world (located in – you guessed it – the Distillery District), as well as its involvement in railways, lake transportation, retailing, woollen mills and banking; the Gooderham Building served as the headquarters of this former empire. There… your bit of Toronto history.