Consumer’s Gas Showroom
The Consumer’s Gas building was designed by architect Charles Dolphin and was completed in 1931 as a retail showroom and demonstration kitchen for gas appliances. Its façade incorporates the use of uncommon materials, such as Tyndall stone from Manitoba and cast aluminum. The latter is used in sculptural features including relief panels on both street-facing elevations. The front entrance is framed with steel and cast iron. The building is designated under part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. The art deco influenced architecture is exceptional for its use of materials and decorative detailing. Dolphin also designed the Postal Delivery Building, which is now the Air Canada Centre.
ERA developed a scope of conservation work in conjunction with the owners interior renewal to accommodate a new full building tenant. The conservation work included the restoration of clad marble pilasters using photographic evidence, repair of exterior stone and the introduction of flashings to better protect the facade, repair of steel windows with doubled glazing added, repair of the feature clock mounted on the sculpture of an eagle facing Yonge street, double glazing of the rooftop skylight and repair of the entrance with its terrazzo flooring. The aluminum elements had weathered overtime and had blackened; they were cleaned to a lustrous finish. A new ventilation system was installed. The focus for conservation was on the restoration of the exterior elements, but also included interior repairs to the decorative plasterwork.
All current photos courtesy of ERA Architects.
Archival photographs taken from Construction magazine, no. xxvi, February 1931.