Sunday, April 7, 2013

Torontosaurus Rex

Aesthetically, I found Toronto quite pleasing. From the red streetcars (which I kept accidentally calling the tram) and decorated subway stations, to its brownstone architecture. It had a vibe more similar to Montreal than Vancouver. One of my first experiences in the city was walking up University Avenue from Queen Street, at which point I thought the city felt pretty suffocatingly English-Canadian. Soon after, however, I discovered its richness in multiculturalism (and the associated delicious foods!).

There was of course one exception:
Robarts Library, apparently "one of the most significant examples of brutalist architecture," is, without exaggeration, the most hideous building I have so far ever seen. Apparently designed to resemble a peacock, it looks more like a turkey in my opinion. Named for a former premier of Ontario, I'd frankly be insulted if someone named such a monstrosity in my honour. Katherine, one of my former room mates in France, whom I was with when I took this photo, told that the architect didn't take the weight of the books into account when planning the building. As a result, Robarts is actually sinking at the rate of about one inch per year (reminds me of a similar problem the Dutch face in Amsterdam).

Perhaps reinforcing the lesson to never judge a book by its cover, Robarts is actually pretty cool on the inside. It's fourteen storeys tall and has escalators.

Lest the prominent position of this post lead you to believe I was nothing but horrified, I will tie this post back to the title and leave you with a photo of a tyrannosaurus rex I saw in the Royal Ontario Museum:
If tyrannosaurus rex means "terrible lizard," I think "terrible building" is an appropriate name for Robarts ;)

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