In the matter of the Ontario Heritage Act
R.S.O. 1990 Chapter 0.18
City of Toronto, Province of Ontario
Notice of intention to designate
211 Laird Drive (Pease Foundry Company Building)
Take notice that Toronto City Council intends to designate the lands and buildings known municipally as 211 Laird Drive under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act.
Reasons for Designation
The property at 211 Laird Drive is worthy of designation under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act for its cultural heritage value, and meets the criteria for municipal designation prescribed by the Province of Ontario under the three categories of design, associative and contextual values. Located on the southeast corner of Laird Drive and Vanderhoof Avenue and one block south of Eglinton Avenue East, the showroom, office and warehouse complex (1950) was commissioned by the Pease Foundry Company, manufacturers of heating and plumbing supplies.
Statement of Cultural Heritage Value
The Pease Foundry Company Building has design value as a representative example of a mid 20th century industrial building designed with features of the Art Moderne style. The complex exemplifies the Art Moderne in its stepped plan combining single- and two-storey sections that balance horizontal and vertical elements while combining solids and voids, the distinctive square windows on the north wall and, in particular, the office section with a rounded corner overlooking the intersection of Laird Drive with Vanderhoof Avenue.
Historically, the Pease Foundry Company Building is linked to the planned community of Leaside, especially the ongoing development of its industrial core. After the Canadian Northern Railway commissioned the famous landscape architect Frederick G. Todd to lay out a model town, the distinct sector for manufacturing was the first area to be developed in the era following World War I, with additional companies choosing Leaside after the completion of the Leaside-East York Viaduct (Leaside Bridge, 1927) improved access to the community. The Pease Foundry Company was among those to establish facilities for display, administration and shipping with a prominent site on Laird Drive, Leaside's business thoroughfare. With its industrial base, Leaside thrived as an independent municipality until 1967 when it became part of the Borough of East York.
The Pease Foundry Company Building is associated historically with the practice of Toronto architect Earle C. Morgan (1903-1972) who prepared the plans for the complex. He was a partner with Gordon S. Adamson in the firm of Adamson and Morgan from 1934 until the partnership was dissolved in 1946. Practicing alone, Morgan accepted a variety of commissions for residential, commercial, recreational and industrial buildings, including the Pease Foundry Company Building. As his career progressed, Morgan became perhaps best known for the projects he designed for his brother-in-law, the famous Canadian businessman and philanthropist, E. P. Taylor. Of these, the most recognized is Toronto's O'Keefe Centre (completed in 1960 and currently known as the Sony Centre), which received funding from Taylor's O'Keefe Brewing Company and was designed by Morgan in conjunction with Toronto architects Page and Steele.
In its context, the property at 211 Laird Drive is historically linked to its surroundings in the area of Leaside planned for industrial use where the Pease Foundry Company Building is an important surviving reminder of the appearance of this area by the mid 20th century. The Pease Foundry Company Building is placed north of #150 Laird Drive, the office building for Durant Motors that is also identified with Leaside's industrial evolution and recognized on the City of Toronto's heritage inventory.
The heritage attributes of the Pease Foundry Company Building are:
- The scale, form and massing
- The flat rooflines covering the different sections of the building
- The materials, with yellow brick cladding and brick, stone, glass and metal trim
- The design of the west and north facades, with the single-storey section with the rounded northwest corner and the two-storey section that rises behind (south and east)
- The fenestration, with continuous floor-to-ceiling window openings on the single-storey northwest section, the flat-headed window openings on the two-storey section, and the distinctive trio of small square window openings on the two-storey north wall
- The glazed entrances (west and north) that are raised at either end of the rounded northwest section and protected by the projecting canopy
- The detailing, with the stone surrounds marking some of the window openings, and the brick band course on the single-storey (northwest) section
- The placement of the building on a corner lot overlooking Laird Drive and Vanderhoof Avenue
The elevations on the east (rear) and south (overlooking a laneway) are less visible and no specific attributes are identified on them.
Further information respecting the proposed designation is available for viewing from the City Clerk's Department.
Notice of an objection to the proposed designations may be served on the City Clerk, Attention: Francine Adamo, Administrator, North York Community Council, North York Civic Centre, Main floor, 5100 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 5V7, within thirty days of April 18, 2012, which is May 18, 2012. The notice must set out the reason(s) for the objection, and all relevant facts.
Dated at Toronto this 18th day of April, 2012.
Ulli S. Watkiss