Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Toronto CBC Building - 250 Front Street West

This beautiful building is a definitely a landmark in Toronto and a place you should see if you're a tourist visiting the city.   If you have a favourite CBC program you can probably get tickets to be in the studio audience in the studios housed there.  I got to see Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes, anyone?) when I went to see the recording of the The Hour featuring George Stroumboulopoulos.

The Barbara Frum Atrium is HUGE.  There are a couple of food court and cafeteria style restaurants (but the real food court is in the lower level) and an inner courtyard with lots of open space, tables for eating and a lounge with a giant TV showing - of course - CBC. The inside of the building is 10 stories high with many elevators and brightly coloured walls to mark each floor. If you look up you will see the balconies and far up above the glass ceiling.  To really see what I am talking about go here.  CBC have set up a web page which you can use like an interactive google streetscape like map - using the controls you can look up and around the interior of the atrium.

You might also want to go here and also have a look at the Lobby area immediately in front of the piece of art described below.

There is also quite a few art installations in and around the building.  The one I am going to feature today is one of my favourites in the building.  It is located just off the foyer as you decend to the food court area which connects to Toronto's underground Path System - a maze of walkways connecting several square kilometres of downtown area buildings  underground. 

 On the south side of the building, which is on Front Street, there is the Glenn Gould Studio, a 341 seat concert hall.  Outside this entrance is a bench/sulpture which features this Toronto native himself, sitting on the bench as you might imagine he once did.

The Glenn Gould Studio is unique in North America. It is a combined recording studio and public concert hall, designed principally for recording and broadcasting classical music and other radio performance programming. If you would like to have a virtual tour of the Concert Hall Lobby go here.  The CBC is the largest producer and distributor of classical music in Canada and the recording facility is well used for this purpose.

So who was Glenn Gould and why is a concert hall named after him?  Glenn Gould was a Canadian pianist who became one of the best-known and most celebrated classical pianists of the twentieth century. He was a well known eccentric with a long creative history with the CBC both in radio and television as well as live recording.  His last live performance was given in 1964, he preferred the recording studios and stayed off the public stage until his premature death at ag 50 in 1982.  When the CBC building was conceived it was appropriate that the studio be dedicated to his memory. 

Next Tuesday I will focus on the courtyard to the east of the CBC building which is between it and the Workman's Compensation Building on Front Street.  This is an extremely interesting and imaginative public space and I have lots of pictures to show you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails