What’s old is new in midtown Toronto.
The classic Imperial Bank building exterior is now back at the upcoming Mount Pleasant TTC Station in all of its fully-restored glory.
For nearly 90 years, the former Imperial Bank Building façade stood at the corner of Mount Pleasant Road and Eglinton Avenue East. Most recently, it housed a Second Cup coffee shop.
But the local caffeine spot became a thing of the past once construction began on the infamous (depending on who you ask) Eglinton Crosstown LRT transit line.
According to a blog post from Metrolinx, the transportation company recognized the importance of the building’s heritage façade as part of the architecture for the structure, as well as its place in Toronto’s history. The face of this building, called a “heritage façade,” is an important part of the architecture for this structure. It also plays a big role in conserving Toronto’s history. So, Metrolinx ensured that this heritage façade persisted through the construction.
Last month, the heritage façade was fully complete -- and it looks nearly identical to the original.
Naturally, its restoration was no simple task.
To make way for the construction of Mount Pleasant Station, the building was taken down back in 2016. As Metrolinx details in the blog post, the construction crews carefully labelled, catalogued, and stored all of the façade’s bricks in an on-site facility. They then used the exact same bricks to construct the façade.
The full restoration of the façade marks another step in the (very gradual) progression of the Eglinton Crosstown project. For those residents and businesses plagued by the perpetual construction on the subway line for years, this visible landmark at the upcoming TTC station is undoubtedly a reassuring sign that the end is in sight.
According to Metrolinx, the next step for the station is to continue testing and commissioning station equipment. After that, road restoration and landscaping work are to follow.