The Bishop’s Block, a designated heritage property, was built circa 1829. It is considered one of the oldest buildings left in Toronto’s downtown core. Originally consisting of five upscale Georgian row houses, the Block housed the Adelaide Hotel in the early 20th century and more recently the popular Pretzel Bell Tavern. By 2005 the building had been abandoned and had reached an advanced state of decay. Bishop’s Block was the site of a significant archeological study that recovered over 60,000 artifacts, including ceramics, writing slates, and children’s toys. An exhibition of some of these artifacts can be viewed on site.
ERA was retained by Westbank Developments Ltd. to document the building and oversee its conservation, including the dismantling and reconstruction of the building’s two principal facades with James K.M. Cheng Architects and Hariri Pontarini Architects as part of the new Shangri La Hotel.