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Visiting the Octagonally Towered Oddfellows' Hall, Toronto, Ontario: Ornate, Eclectic Styling Dating from 1891/92

Updated on March 26, 2019
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
Northwest corner of Yonge and College Streets, Toronto, Canada.
Northwest corner of Yonge and College Streets, Toronto, Canada. | Source

Stylistic ornateness for the Oddfellows

Dating from 1891/92, and situated at the intersection of Yonge (No. 450) and College (No. 2) Streets, Toronto's Oddfellows' Hall was designed by Norman B. Dick (1) and Frank W. Wickson (2).

Executed in ornate, multicoloured brick, with some facing in stonework, the building contrasts with the many modern edifices which surround its central Toronto location.

Stylistically, Oddfellow's Hall — as it is known — exhibits various categories. From the College Street elevation the building hints strongly of a French château, with pointed Gothic-style gables, while Syrian arching, popular in Romanesque designs, is also present (3). At the Yonge Street elevation and the corner of the two streets respectively, two octagonal towers rise to the building's highest point.

Interestingly, another building in Toronto has also at times been referred to as Oddfellows' Hall; this is because the late 19th Italianate building at 441-443 Queen Street, West, by H. Langley and E. Burke (see Link, below) once numbered the Odd Fellows among its tenants. This building, at Yonge and College Streets, and known as Oddfellows' Hall, has in fact itself had various business tenant as well as the entity for which it is named.

March 26, 2019

Notes

(1) Norman B. Dick was in partnership with Frank W. Wickson; his early death in 1891 at 35 cut short a promising career.

(2) Frank W. Wickson was a distinguished designer of buildings; he is particularly known for the Timothy Eaton Memorial Church (see Link, below); he served both as President of the Ontario Association of Architects and as President of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

(3) See also: https://tayloronhistory.com/2013/12/28/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-oddfellows-hall-at-2-college-st/

Starbucks NW corner of Yonge and College.
Starbucks NW corner of Yonge and College. | Source

Also worth seeing

The Downtown Toronto area is particularly worth exploring by foot, as is the University of Toronto area, with many fine, historic buildings, situated adjacent to the Parliament of Ontario at Queen's Park. However, the visitor attractions and cultural sites of the Greater Toronto Area are far too numerous to summarize adequately here. But a few of these include the following:

In Downtown Toronto , impressive ecclesiastical architecture includes that of three close neighbours: the United Metropolitan Church , St Michael's Roman Catholic Cathedral and St James's Anglican Cathedral , the second and third of which have tall spires which are local landmarks. Almost opposite St Michael's Cathedral on Bond Street is Mackenzie House , former home of William Lyon Mackenzie, at #82, now a museum. On Queen Street East, and adjacent to the Eaton Centre renowned among shoppers, is Old City Hall , dating from 1899. On Queen Street West are the imposing Osgoode Hall and the historic Campbell House . The CN Tower , off Front Street, is naturally a must-see attraction which receives very large numbers of visitors.

...

How to get there: Air Canada, flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. However, visitors to Downtown Toronto will find many visitor attractions to be easily walkable. TTC line 505 passes 2, College Street; College Station (Subway Line 1) is in close proximity. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Map location of Toronto, Ontario
Map location of Toronto, Ontario | Source

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