Immediately south of the Darling Building, on the southwest corner of Spadina and Adelaide Street, is a warehouse loft with the postal address 80 Spadina Avenue. In the early decades of the 20th century, there were houses on the site where 80 Spadina is today located. The postal addresses on Spadina Avenue changed during the years ahead, creating difficulties in discovering the identities of buildings. However, the 1928 Toronto Directories reveal that the property south of the Darling Building contained a laneway and the building to the south side of the laneway possessed the postal address 82-94 Spadina. This is the where the structure that is today 80 Spadina is located.
The building is typical of the warehouse lofts constructed in the 1920s on Spadina. In that decade, the area was the centre of the garment district, and the large warehouses were built to meet the demands of the industry. In their interiors, the floors were open-plan, allowing the spaces to be converted to meet the needs of multiple tenants. Renting these spaces reduced the costs of maintaining the building. The first floor of the building at 80 Spadina is partially below ground, and there are four storeys above it. In 1928, it was occupied by W. J. Gage and Company, Wholesale Books and Stationary and Educational Book Company.
The red-brick facades of the building possess few architectural details, although there are attractive brick patterns beneath the unadorned cornice. The corners of the building that face Spadina have structures that resemble half of a tower, creating a solid, heavy appearance. The base of the building contains large stones, which add to the solid look of the structure.
Today, the building has multiple tenants, similar to when it was constructed in 1928.
The east facade, facing Spadina Avenue.
The south facade, the view looking west.
Gazing upward at the east facade.
The large stones at the base of the structure, at 80 Spadina Avenue.
Brick patterns and windows on the east facade
An interior beam on the ground floor.
The building at 80 Spadina and the Darling Building to the north of it (photo 2014). The view gazes north on Spadina toward Adelaide St. West.
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Recent publication entitled “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” by the author of this blog. The publication explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It also relates anecdotes and stories from those who experienced these grand old movie houses.
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