[URBAN NOTE] “One of Toronto’s architectural ‘gems’ could get a new lease on life”
CBC News’ Mary Wiens reports on how the old Bank of Toronto building at 205 Yonge Street, south of Dundas, may yet be made into a boutique hotel combined with a museum. See also Peter Edwards’ recent article for the Toronto Star.
The sign on the door of the grand old bank at 205 Yonge St. reads, “Don’t sleep on the steps.”
That kind of notice would not have done at all in 1905 when this building was erected as the Bank of Toronto on the city’s most important avenue, a neo-classical temple serving both the city’s growing wealth and traditional ideals of beauty.
The front doors have been locked for 15 years and the stunning white marble interior, with its black and gold detailing barred from public view.
But CBC Toronto has learned of negotiations underway this week that could see the building reopen as a combined museum and boutique hotel. The building’s current owner, Irish businessman Thomas Farrell, has confirmed he is in the middle of negotiations with a prospective client to open and operate the building.
The building is designated as a heritage site with both the exterior and interior protected, which means finding the right tenant isn’t easy.