Toronto architecture

Mad Men star rips Toronto's bland architecture

Apparently Jared Harris, the actor who portrayed Lane Pyrce on the wildly popular AMC drama Mad Men, doesn't think much of Toronto architecture.

Speaking at a public meeting in support of a Manhattan grocer/deli that's witnessed a steady decline in business due to longterm construction on Houston Ave., Harris suggested that the loss of such a shop would have terrible consequences for the city. It would make New York like Toronto. Oh no.

"This area is attractive to people, to real estate developers, because this area has character," Harris proclaimed. "If you rip down the buildings and rip out all the character, you just end up with Toronto, which is a fantastic city, but everything looks the same there."

Ouch. We'll take fantastic city (thank you very much), but is our architecture really that bland?

Harris might have a point; this city's track record on heritage preservation is abysmal, but it's not exactly a Toronto-specific problem. Mom and pop shops are disappearing from New York at a breakneck rate.

Is Toronto architecture as characterless as Harris suggests? Perhaps it might seem that way on a short visit to the city, but if you get out and explore, there's a ton of messy urbanism to soak up. Put your dukes up, Lane. I'm up for the argument.

Photo via Charles Brodi in the blogTO Flickr pool


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