Gooderham Flatiron Building
April 12, 2019
Gooderham Flatiron Building

One of the first sights that is pointed out on our way out of Toronto is the Gooderham “Flat Iron” building. This is definitely a picture you won’t want to miss. The Gooderham building is a “Flat Iron” structure. This means that the building is a triangle shape. There are “Flat Iron” buildings in several other cities in North America. The most famous is in New York City. The Toronto Gooderham predates the New York City one by 10 years. This unique building was built in 1892 to be the office of the Gooderham & Worts distillery. It was property of the Gooderham Estate until 1952. Since then, it has had several owners. In 1975, the Gooderham building was declared a historic site by the Ontario Heritage Act. The Gooderhanm Building is still being used as an office building. It was built at a cost of $18,000 and sold in 2011 for $15 million. Besides the obvious unique shape, this building boasts some unusual features. There is a “trompe l’oel” (French for “Fools the eye”) mural on the back entitled “The Flatiron Mural” by renowned Canadian artist Derek Michael Besant. This mural makes the wall appear to have more windows than it does on a canvas that is 'fluttering' away where the edges are not 'tacked' down. It is a mirror image of the Perkins Building, which is located directly across the street. On the inside is  the very first manually-operated Otis elevator in the city of Toronto. There is also a walk-in vault for the Goodenham riches and a tunnel that connects with the bank across the street (which Goodenham purchased) without having to walk outside with large bags of cash.

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