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2005 04 06
Day 3
imageToronto Style

While Toronto’s urban fabric eludes an easy reading, I believe there is a distinct Toronto Style of architecture. Style is not just a look, but a way of being, thinking, and doing things out of which comes an expression. Toronto Style is elusive because it is more about a way of practicing architecture, making architecture than it is in about a coherent, singular legibility. This conception of style is discussed by Detlef Mertins in his essay “Toronto Style” in our recent monograph by Birkhauser.

Toronto is fragmentary but the arterial grid creates a net that absorbs difference and allows this diversity to percolate through the city, catalyzing fusions of cultures. Also consider the Tibetan Munks – who established a temple in Caledon – just outside of Toronto. They wanted to come to Toronto because they saw it as a place that would allow them to be themselves. The ethnic diversity of the city has improved the cuisine; the cultural organizations and festivals have embedded the city an innate civility, the urban gird and the interweaving of residential and commercial districts has created a culture of walking.

So…if you are looking for a singular style, you won’t find it. But you may find that it is a city that makes it possible to find a way of doing things that is dynamic and open-ended. Our practice is a reflection of what is going on – and our identity, even my own, is influenced by living here and embracing the complexity of a remarkable, contemporary city.
[email this story] Posted by Bruce Kuwabara on 04/06 at 09:09 AM

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