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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Endangered Species

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Last year we wrote about the struggle to save the beautiful half-round Riverdale Hospital (pictured here) built on the edge of the Don Valley. Modern buildings are endangered because they haven’t yet become popularly precious — “in fashion” — the way things Victorian or Edwardian have in Toronto. So it’s easier for these places to disappear. Dominion Modern has organized a quick two-day exhibition called Endangered Species to launch a book of the same name to explore what modern architecture means to our city. It’s not far from St. Lawrence Market — so you can see this and the Spadina Expressway retrospective in one nice walk.

We have witnessed the demise of many fine modern buildings like the Inn on the Park, Trend House, Terminal One, Wawanesa Insurance, the Salvation Army Headquarters, Union Carbide to the Shell Oil Tower just to name a few. Now Riverdale Hospital awaits a similar fate?

Endangered Species investigates the notion of modern architecture as an endangered genus. Is modernism bound for extinction? Endangered Species, the book and exhibition opens the debate. Includes the Catalogue of Destruction and essays by Carole Pope, John Martins-Manteiga, Steve Russell, Gene Threndyle, José Castel-Branco, Luigi Ferrara, Peter Kuitenbrouwer and Adam Sobolak.

Exhibition runs March 3-4, 2007
Hours: 1-6pm.
Free Admission @ The Institute without Boundaries
207 Adelaide Street East (at Jarvis),
Opening Reception
Saturday, March 3, 2007



  1. While some of the buildings may look like “architorture”, the way we waste sound buildings is wrong. A premature demolition is an urban oil spill and further destroys the Niagara Escarpment. We need demolition control based on embodied energy and the resources within a building.