Back to School

When I go on an excursion to look-up Toronto’s heritage buildings, I take one of two approaches.  It is either planned as a precision military-like operation with a map of addresses strategically laid out, … or I wing it.

Today’s featured building was found while utilizing method #2 as I strolled down random streets that looked like they might be interesting.  I had no idea what I might find and this building – without any signage – was a complete mystery.  I eventually had to ask.

Welcome to Central Technical High School.

Central Tech - 1913

Completed in 1915, this is the main building of a campus that is now one of the largest high school complexes in the country.  This was a time when Canada’s industrial base was growing and there was increasing need for skilled technicians in all the trades.

This is still a very busy school with a student population of almost 1,600.

Central Tech - 1913 (3)

The third floor was originally reserved for women and in keeping with the segregation of the sexes at the time, certain doors and staircases were designated for females only.

The crest over the main doors is the City of Toronto Coat of Arms and this is the only school which has that privilege since it was built entirely with city funds.

The ribbon under the crest has the words “Industry, Intelligence, Integrity” which I thought was the school motto.  I later discovered that it’s actually “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield“.  That’s a motto I could really relate to!

Central Tech - 1913 (4)

The two gnomes gracing the tops of the columns represent both the academic and technical components of the school.  The gnome on the left is dressed as an academic writing in a book, while his partner on the right is dressed as a journeyman with a hammer and chisel.

Central Tech - 1913 (5)

The doors look a little battered, but I was happy to discover that they hadn’t been replaced by plain utilitarian doors.

… and I couldn’t help but smile at the energy-efficient light bulb in the large light fixture over the door.  I’m glad they didn’t replace that either.

This post is part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors weekly photo feature.

 

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Around Toronto, history, Photo Challenges, Random Stuff, Things I Like, Thursday Doors and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

90 Responses to Back to School

  1. Great find to stumble upon! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue Slaght says:

    I chuckled at your varied approach my friend. I’m often a planner but winging it can be fun. I’m pushing myself to be more flexible that way. I think the City of Toronto should hire you since you are putting together so many great explorations.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love that light bulb! I’ve been thinking about you Joanne, over Easter I painted four internal doors and four wardrobe doors back and front. All a lovely shade of ‘Vivid White’. I also went running around Launceston and looked at the old buildings hoping to find an awesome door photograph and I couldn’t find one that I thought was worth sharing with you – you find the most awesome doors ever!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I’m so sorry you’ve been in door hell 😉
      It’s not exactly stimulating work, is it?
      The thing is … a new coat of paint looks amazing anywhere 🙂

      I’m so glad you enjoy my doors. It’s starting to become somewhat of an addiction!

      Like

  4. Bob Georgiou says:

    She’s a beauty. Thanks for this, Joanne!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. badfish says:

    Wonderful shots! But no “like” button?? My high school looked NOTHING like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Joanne, lovely post and pictures. I have taken a couple of evening courses at this school and never got to see it in such good light. So it just felt imposing and dark. I think they used to have a sign on the Bathurst St side on the field – a long time ago. Unless I imagined it. I was trying to locate the school for a yoga class for my Mom. That is some really good information to know! Have you been inside? It is labyrinthine!!! Trying to get to a washroom from class was an exercise in itself. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      No, I didn’t go inside. Schools frown on strangers off the street walking into the building … especially during school hours. I’m picturing it with high ceilings and I guess I’m not surprised you are describing it as a maze.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m impressed that you find magnificent buildings like this one just like that. Sounds like Rome. 🙂

    Like

  8. What a find! Winging it, or getting lost almost always yields something of interest. Good one Joanne!
    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

  9. bikerchick57 says:

    Wow, that’s like no other high school I’ve attended. So grand! So beautiful! That’s a nice find, Joanne. I think method #2 works well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The older I get, the more I realize that “winging it” is the best way to go. You came up with a winner on this “flight” – gorgeous building with a neat educational (pun) history.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love that motto too! What a grand school, and beautiful building! You found another gem!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. joey says:

    Gorgeous! Those time-battered doors are the only ones we can even imagine, am I right? Great winging, Joanne! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Heyjude says:

    What a lovely find. The doors are magnificent and intrigued by the gnomes. Not the sort of gnomes I am used to!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. jesh stg says:

    Love these kind of brick buildings, but it seems they’re found more often in the Northern states! Once a beautiful door, but I wonder what happened to the bottom of it:)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. JT Twissel says:

    Actually looks like my junior high – which unfortunately was torn down to make way for a Circus Circus.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Awww – that’s sad when a beautiful old building gets demolished. What’s a Circus Circus?
      There were 2 old iconic schools in my hometown which were demolished. I had heard the problem was asbestos and mold … both of which are troublesome to get rid of.

      Like

  16. I bet the view from the top is breathtaking. Beautiful, old building. I wouldn’t mind going to school there.

    Like

  17. ianbcross says:

    I bet those doors have had some kicks, Joanne.

    Like

  18. What a building for a high school. It looks like a castle. I couldn’t help but notice that energy saving bulb, it looks so out of place but in the interests of lowering the carbon footprint I can see the practicality of it.

    Like

  19. Lynn says:

    So rare these days to see a beautiful old building like this high school, still being used as a school. I too, went to an old high school, built in 1930. There have been a few additions to the building but the original parts remains in tact.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      It is a beauty of a building. I would have happily gone to a school like that one.
      I think additions became the norm during the 60s and 70s as all we boomers started hitting school age.
      The opposite appears to be happening now as schools are rationalized and closed.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Donna says:

    Although I am admittedly and over-planner, I love your #2 approach to finding interesting old buildings and doors. Love the door and the history!

    Like

  21. C.E.Robinson says:

    Impressive doors post, Joanne! What a stately building. I’d say your winging it resulted in a great find. 🎼Christine

    Like

  22. I am currently in a place with very slow wifi, but the wait for your pictures to download was well worth it! What a gorgeous old building! Beautiful doors, but I have to admit that I loved the gnomes the best.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Ugh – slow wifi!! Thank you for your patience to load a fat packet full of photos!!
      The gnomes are quite unusual, aren’t they? Apparently they were added by the stonemasons as their *contribution* to the school. Can you imagine a freebie like that being done today?

      Liked by 1 person

  23. dennyho says:

    I noticed that light bulb too, Joanne! But only after that gorgeous door…

    Like

  24. Such rich history in a beautiful building.

    Like

  25. Barbed Words says:

    Wow, what an amazing building and a great place to go to school!

    Like

  26. J Walters says:

    What a great focus on a building many of us have seen passing by so many times, and yet it takes on a whole new dimension with these photos. Thank you!

    Like

  27. Lots of old schools were beautifully built like this and I’m glad many of them are still around. Hopefully they all have new or updated electrical systems for all technology of today. I’m with you; I’m glad they didn’t replace the doors and other “decorations.”

    janet

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      That’s one of the thoughts I had too, Janet … the upgrades to make a very old building habitable.
      I remember a couple of very old buildings on campus when I went to university. They were lovely to look at, but brutal to have classes in … unbearably hot in warm weather, and freezing in winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Great building, Joanne. One of the things I like about old architecture, besides the beauty, is the symbolism – like the gnomes. Can you imagine a city building something like this these days? I can’t. 🙂

    Like

  29. Relax... says:

    Wonderful photos! And it’s too bad they can’t make those energy efficient bulbs any uglier — we could all send them all to Washington, D.C. I won’t use the damned things. Others here do, but I’m not paying that big a price for ugly. I’m paying that big a price for real light bulbs, though, lol.

    Like

  30. It’s a beautiful building…especially considering it’s a high school!

    Like

  31. Norm 2.0 says:

    What a wonderful building; especially grand for a high school. Here’s to winging it 🙂
    I noticed the CFL light bulb too and I like that the original doors are still in use.
    Great post!

    Like

  32. ms6282 says:

    Unexpected discoveries are often the best. One of the joys of “street haunting”.

    Like

  33. loisajay says:

    Winging it–my most favorite thing to do! This building is beautiful, Joanne. But it makes me wonder why the student population at this school flourishes while at the other school you posted, it does not.

    Like

  34. nrhatch says:

    Great share, Joanne. Enjoyed seeing twin gargoyles toiling away in respective spheres.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I guess they didn’t want to go the route of putting a gargoyle on a school, so they were modified into gnomes … which as far as I’m concerned, are cousins to the gargoyle 😉

      Like

  35. DailyMusings says:

    beautiful building- it reminds me of the building where I went to High School- it was dubbed “the castle on the hill” built in 1928

    Like

  36. Pistachios says:

    Haha that light bulb didn’t escape my attention either! And I agree – I’m glad they didn’t replace the light fixture!
    And I’m with you on “winging it” – the process of discovery makes it all more fun 😀
    Can’t believe this is a high school though! Jeez it’s impressive for a school

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      There’s a lot to be said for both methods and both work 🙂 Sometimes not knowing what I’ve found is part of the fun.

      It explains why all the kids I saw walking on the streets looked so young!! I assumed they were all from the nearby university and that I was suffering from old-age-itis 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  37. A nice find. I have not sought out Central Tech, or any Toronto schools on my door quest. I may have to start. It’s so nice to see that original doors have not been replaced. I’ve seen several old schools forgo esthetics in favour of modern aluminum or steel doors, which seem so sterile and uninviting.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I can understand why they would want to do it though. I’m faced with the same dilemma with an old wooden door on my garage. In the winter, the inside of the door is crusted with frost.
      I’m afraid it will be going in the direction of sterile and uninviting 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Dan Antion says:

    What a great find, and a magnificent building. At that time, I would have loved attending school here and learning a trade, Even when I was in high school, I took a lot of “shop” and I was tempted by our technical schools. “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield“ seems like a motto you could work with.

    I love the grans entrance and those large, well-worn doors. One can only imagine how many boys and girls have passed through them over time. Thanks for great doors and a nice bit of history.

    Like

  39. “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield“. – Yup, that’s got your name all over it!

    Another stellar “Doors” entry, my dear. Nicely done.

    Like

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