After having seen two of the newest buildings on Toronto’s architectural landscape, the second day of the Doors Open event was spent exploring some of the city’s more established sites.
R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant
Located on the shore of Lake Ontario in the Beaches neighbourhood, the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant is one of four water filtration plants in the city. It is sometimes referred to as the “Palace of Purification”. The mundane but essential task of providing safe drinking water is performed by taking raw water from the lake, filtering and disinfecting it, and pumping it out to the distribution network. All this is done within the walls of a beautifully elegant Art Deco style building that was constructed in the 1930s. This crucial piece of city infrastructure provides some 45% of the clean water supply to Toronto.
Coach House Press
Located on an inconspicuous laneway surrounded by University of Toronto buildings, a row of small red brick structures is the home of Coach House Books, a small independent Canadian printing and publishing company founded in 1965. Narrowly escaping demolition a few years ago, the buildings were originally coach houses but now contain printing presses and facilities, and are today protected as a heritage site. The company is well known for publishing the early works of many famous Canadian authors, with particular interest in unconventional writing in the areas of experimental poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.