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The doors look a little battered, but I was happy to discover that they hadn’t been replaced by plain utilitarian doors.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