Weekday Walk: Exhibition Place

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 18 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #68. Come on in for a cup of coffee or tea and let’s chat.

Last week I took a self-guided architecture walk at Exhibition Place to revisit some of the buildings and public artworks. I’ve shared a few structures on the grounds of Exhibition Place on my blog before such as the Princes’ Gates, Fort Rouillé, Scadding Cabin, and Liberty Grand.

Dufferin Gate

On this walk, I started from Dufferin Gate, located at the north-west end of Exhibition Place, to visit the Gouinlock buildings first.

Dufferin Gate

This gateway to Exhibition Place has been rebuilt three times (1895, 1910, and 1959). Before the Princes’ Gates were built, the Dufferin Gate served as the main entrance to the grounds. In 1959, construction of the Gardiner Expressway necessitated the demolition of the 1910 gate, which was replaced with the current parabolic arch.

Exhibition Place website

Gouinlock Buildings

From 1905 through 1912, fifteen elaborate structures by architect George W. Gouinlock were constructed in the west end of Exhibition Place. The five still standing buildings are designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988. The oldest is the Press Building with its façade in Beaux-Arts style.

The Press Building
Original name: Administrative Building; Current name: The Press Building, built in 1905
The Music Buidling
Original name: Railways Building; Current name: The Music Building, built in 1907
Toronto Event Centre
Original name: Horticulture Building; Current name: Toronto Event Centre, built in 1907
Medieval Times
Original name: Government Building; Current name: Medieval Times, built in 1912
Fire Station 346
Original: Fire Station; Current: Fire Station 346, built in 1912

Other Buildings

Walking towards the east end of Exhibition Place, I chose the following buildings for their unique architectural styles:

Horse Palace
The Horse Palace built in 1931 in Art Deco style
Stanley Barracks, built in 1841
Stanley Barracks, built in 1841, in military style
Stanley Barracks looking east towards Hotel X
Stanley Barracks looking east towards Hotel X

The British army established a military post here in 1840-41 to replace aging Fort York. Known as the New Fort, it consisted of seven limestone buildings around a parade square, and a number of lesser structures. Massive defensive works were planned for the perimeter but never built. In 1893 the fort was renamed Stanley Barracks in honour of Governor General Lord Stanley. Canadian forces assumed responsibility for the post in 1870 and garrisoned it until 1947. The barracks then served as public housing until the early 1950s, when all but this building, the Officers’ Quarters, were demolished.

Text from the Stanley Barracks plaque
Beanfield Centre built in 1929 by architect Douglas Kertland, in Classical and Modern styles

Exhibition Place has many buildings and public artworks. I enjoyed my Architecture walk on a sunny spring day. The approximate distance was 5 km (3 miles). I’ll be back for an Art walk.

Shared with #ThursdayDoors, #PPAC, #CellpicSunday, #Jo’s Monday Walk.

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77 thoughts on “Weekday Walk: Exhibition Place

    • Natalie May 6, 2022 / 12:43 pm

      Thank you, Janet. I do love living in Toronto.


  1. Denyse Whelan Blogs May 6, 2022 / 8:52 am

    Natalie, it’s great to be back to see and read what you’ve been up to. Lots of walking, taking pics and we share your experience. Thank you. I was doing a bit of a scroll through some photos from when we lived in Sydney, and I did a photo walk around the city snapping buildings of interest and I note that there seems to be similar architectural style from the past. Warm wishes from a rapidly cooling evening here. Denyse

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 6, 2022 / 12:48 pm

      Denyse, Yes, from some of the pictures of buildings in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane that I saw, there seems to be similar architectural style in cities in Canada and Australia. Thank you for joining me virtually. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. leannelc May 6, 2022 / 8:52 am

    I loved the domed roofs Natalie and it’s also amazing that the fire department is still using their 100+ year old building rather than going to something new and modern. Nice to see some history being preserved and still functioning so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 6, 2022 / 12:52 pm

      Leanne, Toronto does preserve some of the historic buildings. That Fire station is fully functioning with the latest fire fighting equipment. In my photo you can see the tail end of a fire truck. The firemen left on a call a few minutes after I took my photos.


  3. Dan Antion May 6, 2022 / 9:18 am

    This is a wonderful collection, Natalie. I love the history and the fact that they’ve taken steps to preserve the remaining buildings. I love the Railways/Music Building with its angled sides.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 6, 2022 / 12:56 pm

      Thank you, Dan. I’m glad you like this collection. Most of the buildings at Exhibition Place are quite large; each can house from hundreds to thousands of people plus huge space for exhibits.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 7, 2022 / 9:06 pm

      Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare this week.


  4. Ally Bean May 6, 2022 / 10:10 am

    Your photos are lovely. These historic buildings are worthy of note. How do you get pics of them without people in them? That’s my bugaboo when I try to photograph large buildings.


    • Natalie May 6, 2022 / 1:01 pm

      Good question, Ally. I dislike taking pictures with strangers in them so I go on weekday mornings and on days when I know there is no big event scheduled. Ontario just lifted pandemic restrictions for in-person large events a few weeks ago so Exhibition Place is not yet flooded with people. Fast forward to August when the annual Canadian National Exhibition is on, this place will be super busy for 3-4 weeks straight.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 6, 2022 / 4:46 pm

      Thank you, Terri, for your comment. It’s fun for me to explore older buildings in Toronto and learn more about them and the city.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thistles and Kiwis May 6, 2022 / 3:33 pm

    Lovely walking tour of some interesting buildings. You have inspired me to take more note of the buildings in Wellington!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 6, 2022 / 4:47 pm

      I’m pleased to inspire you. I’m sure some of the buildings in Wellington have interesting history and architectural styles.


  6. Lydia C. Lee May 6, 2022 / 4:54 pm

    They’re some lovely buildings. That arch is interesting – engineering-wise (or maybe I just know nothing about engineering?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 6, 2022 / 5:09 pm

      It’s proof that concrete can be bent 🙂


  7. rawsonjl May 6, 2022 / 7:33 pm

    So many lovely architectural design elements and eras here! It looks like you had a lovely walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 6, 2022 / 7:45 pm

      Yes, I did. It’s fun to to explore older buildings in Toronto and learn more about them and the city.


  8. Retirement Reflections May 6, 2022 / 8:51 pm

    Your posts always have a wonderful way of making me homesick. I especially love this area — so rich with history and unique architecture. Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 6, 2022 / 10:02 pm

      Hi Donna, I’m glad to share an area that you love. There is a new soccer stadium (BMO Field) at Exhibition Place that you may not have seen since you were last in Toronto.


  9. Ju-Lyn May 6, 2022 / 9:35 pm

    A stunning walk, Natalie! and such beautiful weather as well. There is just an incredible number of lovely buildings – you photograph them all so engagingly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 6, 2022 / 10:05 pm

      Thank you, Ju-Lyn, for your kind comments. Exhibition Place is good for cycling, walking, and photography. The weather forecast is sunny and warm next week so I’m looking forward to taking more outdoor walks.


  10. Maria May 7, 2022 / 12:42 am

    Thank you so much for sharing all these lovely buildings. I love looking at architecture, and this is so many different styles. The windows of old houses is usually what catches my eye first. Thank you or sharing this with us. Have a lovely weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 7, 2022 / 10:14 am

      You’re welcome, Maria. I’m glad you enjoy the virtual architecture walk. I love looking at architecture, read the history of the building or the place, and take pictures at different angles. Have a wonderful weekend!


    • Natalie May 7, 2022 / 10:16 am

      Hi Sue, Yes, the local weather forecast is sunny this weekend and the full week ahead. I’ll be outdoors exploring for sure. I’m pleased you love the architecture that I shared. Thank you for linking up. Have a wonderful week!


  11. trentpmcd May 7, 2022 / 8:03 am

    A lot of cool architecture. The exhibition place sounds like great place to explore.between events. I hope you are having a good weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 7, 2022 / 10:20 am

      Thank you, Trent, for stopping by. Exhibition Place is a good place to cycle, jog, or walk between events. There is a dedicated bike path and the sidewalks are wide. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 7, 2022 / 8:46 pm

      Thanks for joining in Weekend Coffee Share this week.


    • Natalie May 7, 2022 / 8:54 pm

      Thank you, Marsha, for your comment and linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare. The Press Building in Beaux-Arts style is beautiful and easy on the eyes with its symmetry. I like all of the buildings that I shared in this post and visit them often to study their architectural details. I guess you’re back at home? Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marsha May 7, 2022 / 11:39 pm

        Are you taking art or architectural classes? I think you have a talent in that direction. Yes, I’m back home. Starting next week I’m back on schedule. thanks again for contributing to PPAC this week. 🙂 You’re a star.


        • Natalie May 8, 2022 / 8:41 am

          No class, Marsha, just self-study for fun. I’m interested in architecture and history so I read, visit buildings, admire the style and details and photograph some of them 🙂 I’ll link this post to your upcoming PPAC.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marsha May 8, 2022 / 9:09 am

            Thanks, Natalie. I actually linked it to the last one as well, so I will link it in my Featured Section. 🙂 I appreciate all you do for the blogging world, Natalie. You’re a gem. 🙂


            • Natalie May 8, 2022 / 11:07 am

              Thank you, Marsha. Your positive comments encourage me to keep blogging 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • Marsha May 8, 2022 / 3:19 pm

                Good, they are meant to do that! With your every post, I’m a success! YAY!

                Liked by 1 person

  12. Gary A Wilson May 7, 2022 / 9:36 pm

    Hi Natalie
    I always enjoy sitting still long enough to enjoy how so many older buildings were designed to be both functional & eye-popping unique and interesting 😀
    Thanks another great collection.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 7, 2022 / 9:57 pm

      Thanks Gary for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed viewing my building collection. Exhibition Place is a cool place to visit. Have a great weekend!


  13. csuhpat1 May 7, 2022 / 11:58 pm

    Such a beautiful place. Very nice. I would love to visit there. Thanks for the tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 8, 2022 / 8:42 am

      Thank you, Patrick, for joining in. Have a great Sunday!


  14. Astrid May 8, 2022 / 9:07 am

    Loved learning yet a little more about Toronto’s historic buildings through your post. Thanks for hosting #weekendcoffeeshare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 8, 2022 / 11:07 am

      Thank you Astrid for joining me virtually. Have a great week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 8, 2022 / 11:09 am

      Thank you Jackie. These buildings have interesting history.


  15. Antoinette Truglio Martin May 8, 2022 / 12:12 pm

    Very cool and expected

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 8, 2022 / 12:30 pm

      Thank you, Antoinette. Happy Mother’s Day weekend to you!


  16. Liesbet @ Roaming About May 8, 2022 / 1:57 pm

    Another interesting walk, Natalie. I love the blue sky. And that there’s such a thing as “military style” when it comes to buildings. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 8, 2022 / 3:59 pm

      Hi Liesbet, The weather in Toronto is gorgeous today and all of next week. Blue sky and flowers in bloom everywhere. Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I. J. Khanewala May 8, 2022 / 11:00 pm

    Lovely photos. I like these colonial style buildings. They are the same the world over; the British seemed to have made no concession to weather. The Horse Palace is interesting, quite different from the others. I like that inviting arch. Toronto is in my bucket list, and your photos nudged it up a little.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 9, 2022 / 8:29 am

      I’m pleased to hear you have Toronto on your bucket list. There are lots to see and do here. The Horse Palace was built in 1931, one of the finest equestrian facilities in Canada. Now it’s home to the Toronto Police Mounted Unit and the Exhibition Riding Academy. If you zoom in my photo, there are figures of horses rendered in the masonry on the exterior of the building. Dufferin Gate parabolic arch looks nice at night, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Julie May 9, 2022 / 12:24 am

    I enjoy my walks. Because LA is so sprawled, on some weekends I’ll drive to a neighborhood just to walk and enjoy a different scenery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 9, 2022 / 8:35 am

      Glad to hear you enjoy your walks in LA. A change of scenery is good for our senses.


    • Natalie May 9, 2022 / 1:22 pm

      Thank you, Susan. I’m glad you think the buildings are beautiful.


  19. restlessjo May 9, 2022 / 6:36 pm

    It’s always good to be out under a bright blue sky, Natalie. Thanks for joining me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 9, 2022 / 6:43 pm

      I agree, Jo. The local weather is sunny this week, ideal for walking and being outdoors. I hope to join you again next week.

      Liked by 1 person

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