Campus House and Other Buildings

On a recent visit to Toronto,

I strolled through the University of Toronto’s sprawling campus, which actually IS in the middle of downtown Toronto. The university grounds have lead to the preservation of a large swath of urban parkland as well as to the preservation of many of its original buildings. They are still going strong at an average age of about 130 years old, but have been re-purposed and refreshed with additions.

In this country, I still find it a little surprising to find excellently preserved old homes and other buildings living well in the centre of a big city, continuing to be useful and healthy. North America hasn’t been particularly good at this, but it’s getting better, I think.

Honouring age doesn’t just apply to buildings, it applies to people too, of course. The tendency to write people off because they’re “older” (whatever that means) is sad.

What do you think?

28 thoughts on “Campus House and Other Buildings”

  1. This is a wonderful thing to see. The “rip it down and build something new” was the motto here in Texas for a long while, but the last few decades have seen a resurgence of appreciation for what was and still can be. This makes me happy, as I truly love historical architecture.

    Interestingly enough, back in Oklahoma, there’s a vast treasure trove of older buildings that have managed to persevere, especially in Tulsa. Honestly, I think it had more to do with nobody having the money to tear things down (it’s a relatively poor state) but, whatever the case, there are glorious survivors. The icing on the cake is that Tulsa was the epicenter of the first true oil boom in the 1910s and 1920s, resulting in many of the Grand Old Dame buildings being exquisite examples of Art Deco aspirations….

    1. The way these old buildings have been integrated with the new is terrific. Until recently, I don’t think North America has been all that great at looking after the old buildings, even though people went to Europe and exclaimed over the preservation there.
      I love those 1910-20s houses and buildings! It’s good to know that they are still around in certain areas. 🙂

  2. I love to see old buildings restored. Enjoyed your photos. As for old age – I am there. So don’t write us off. We still have a good brain – despite our looks. Ha Ha

  3. Hi Lynette. We wandered through this area back in 2018. Some of the most beautiful buildings are from another era, as anyone who travels through Europe will agree. I think writing anything or anyone off due to age is a mistake, like blanket statements or thinking about any one group tend to be. I am inspired daily by the achievements of those beyond my many years. The Notorious RBG, Mother Theresa and Maya Angelou come to mind, but there are many more. With age (and life experience) comes wisdom, at least for those who pay attention. Allan

  4. I’m always heartbroken when I see a beautiful old home or building torn down so some modern monstrosity can take it’s place. Sadly, it happens way too often. I love the architecture of old buildings that come from an age where beauty and attention to detail where important.

    1. I find that heartbreaking too! And it does happen much too often. Most buildings built today have a “lifespan” of 25-30 years. It’s assumed that they will be torn down, so who cares what they look like? Here today, gone tomorrow …

      1. There was this beautiful house not far from me. It was a newer version of a Victorian and had only been there about 20 years. Someone bought it, tore it down and there is now the mega, modern monstrosity going up in it’s place. I was so sad to see that house come down because it was so pretty, even if it was newer.

  5. I love historical buildings. Sometimes I can actually feel the souls of the lives who lived there in years past. St Augustine, Florida was my favorite place in that state. It’s the oldest town in the U.S. There are old buildings, old cobblestone streets, and a 17th century Fort sitting smack dab in the middle of the town.

    Don’t get me started on how we throw away people as we age. My mom lives in a senior complex, and I watch all the old people shuffling around there seemingly forgotten. It’s as if they’re put there to get them out of the way of regular society. I sometimes feel bad that my mom is there, but it was her choice. She has a ton of friends there. In fact, I’m putting together a surprise 80th birthday party for her this weekend and have invited them all.

    1. I love historical buildings as well. For me, they seem to give off a character of some sort – maybe it’s a mingling of everyone who has been there before? You’re better at discerning those of the past.

      We live in such a disposable society that it’s no surprise we throw away our elders.It’s different if your mom made the choice to go there, but I think many people don’t.

      Happy 80th to your mom! 🎂That’s quite a milestone. I hope all your preparations go well! 🙂

  6. It really is sad when we write off things and people because of their age.
    I’m grateful to be getting old. Not so many of us do. I know my friend who died this November would have appreciated it too.

    1. My condolences! I’m sorry to hear of your loss.

      I am enjoying the ageing process as well (if only the joints worked a little better!). There is so much about it that I like, but I really could do without the ageism as well. So annoying and unnecessary. We are old buildings, but there’s a lot to be said for that. 🙂

  7. I love the architecture. 🙂

    Ageism is a difficult thing. My husband strongly feels it has contributed to his not being able to find work in the last several months.

  8. Unfortunately, just about every style goes through that period between when it first goes out of fashion until it’s old enough to be considered “retro cool” where it seems to be universally disliked. I don’t get it… I’ve always been practical over pretty. Unless it can be both, like squirrels!

    1. Hahaha! 🙂

      Good point. Buildings (and many other things) go through a “disliked phase” before they’re old enough to be cool again. I wonder when I’ll hit MY cool period?? 😉

  9. Having grown up in Portland Maine, the architecture is very familiar. If you ever visit, stroll along the “Western Prom” near “Maine Medical Center” and you will see what I mean! Incredible craftsmen produce timeless structures.

    1. I really like Maine – so beautiful, in more ways than one. I haven’t been to Portland in many, many years, but I recall it as also being beautiful. It’s good to know that the grand old buildings are still there. 🙂

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