The mandate of this blog is to create an online archive of information about Roland Caldwell Harris, the City of Toronto works commissioner between 1912 and 1945. He held that position longer than any other individual, before or since. But Harris was much more than a long-serving bureaucrat. His legacy is apparent throughout the old City of Toronto.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Harris's Ghosts

As the city prepares for another Doors Open festival, it's worth remembering the doors that won't open because they no longer exist. Toronto, like many growth-minded cities, demolished hundreds of heritage buildings before it began to develop a sense of its own past.

But some doors don't open because they front unrealized architectural visions, some of which are memorialized in Mark Osbaldeston's "Unbuilt Toronto: A History of the City That Might Have Been" (Dundurn, 2009).

R.C. Harris' proposed water tower for the St. Clair Reservoir is one such project. The only physical evidence of its existence is a concrete ring on the southern flank of the reservoir, near a new dog-walking area. I wrote about that water tower in The Toronto Star, here.

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