robarts library toronto turkey

New York Times editor shouts out Toronto's massive turkey-shaped building

Our American neighbours (spelled correctly with a U) just celebrated their always-late Thanksgiving, and a fever of turkey madness has swept across the nation of 332 million.

The turkey population mourned what is likely one of the darkest days on their nonexistent calendars as Americans choked down an estimated 45-to-46 million of the gobbling birds in a poultry-obsessed feeding frenzy.

But our Yankee neighbours (once again spelled with a U) are also all about consuming non-edible turkey-related content as they wait for the next trough of that weird marshmallow and sweet potato war crime of a casserole they serve down there.

Adam Sternbergh, Deputy Editor at The New York Times and Canadian ex-pat, generated quite the buzz on Twitter, sharing a photo of the University of Toronto's famous Robarts Library, captioned, "this is a real building in toronto."

Sternbergh, who was raised in Toronto, highlights the very poultryesque view of the 1973 brutalist landmark as seen facing northwest from the corner of St. George and Hoskin.

In a follow-up tweet, the accomplished novelist and editor added that when working for a local publication back in Toronto, "we did an ugliest buildings in toronto ranking and this was #1 and we were right."

I mean, you were actually wrong, but that's subjective, I guess.

And no, I don’t have a specific rebuttal that addresses the building's resemblance to a flightless, and often juicy and succulent, bird.

I will share others' arguments, however, like the few commenters who insist that Robarts is actually a giant concrete peacock that could in no way possibly be mistaken for a giant concrete turkey.

Other journalists have leapt to the defence of the monolithic Fort Book, like London (the real one) Associated Press reporter Jill Lawless, who says that Robarts is "the best building in Toronto!"

But Sternbergh fought back, updating his description of Robarts from just a turkey to an even more offensive Lego turkey.

But love it or hate it, I think it's safe to classify Robarts in Toronto's "weird sh*t" department, as one commenter so eloquently stated it.

So for all those living south of the border who are only just learning of the giant turkey- (or peacock!) shaped library that looms over the city, happy (month-and-a-half-late) Thanksgiving from the land of Drake and maple syrup.

Lead photo by

Stephen Yung (Canada)


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