The Imperial Oil Building
, designed by Alvan Mathers, is a skyscraper outside the downtown financial core of Toronto
. Located at 111 St. Clair Avenue West
, the 21-storey building was built in 1957 as the headquarters of Imperial Oil
, Canada's largest oil company.
The architectural model for this building was the original design for the Toronto City Hall
, Toronto's mayor in 1955, rejected the Mathers and Haldenby design for city hall and opened the commission to an international competition that was eventually won by Finnish architect Viljo Revell
. Imperial Oil, in search of a design for their Toronto head office, bought the design from Mathers and Haldenby.
During construction, catering to the wealthy local residents, welding rather than the then-customary and much noisier riveting technique, was used. The building, on completion, was the largest all-welded steel frame building in the world.
When Imperial Oil assembled the residential properties for the site, Isabel Massie, owner of a house on Foxbar Road, at the rear of the site, refused to sell, despite being offered what was, at the time, a princely sum for her house. Until she died, her property jutted into the Imperial Oil parking lot, an icon of a citizen's refusal to give in to a corporation. Her estate sold the house to Imperial Oil, which demolished it.
The interior layout is based on the 'core' concept, with most offices having windows and with the various service elements (elevators... Read More