Site Seeing With Hume: Toronto’s 330 Adelaide Gets Its Grade

Toronto Storeys standout feature “Site Seeing With Hume” reviews the city’s most talked about condos — and has architects and building designers on the edge of their structures. Renowned architecture critic and veteran journalist Christopher Hume has revived his condo critiques, exclusively for TorontoStoreys.com. 

330 Adelaide

Address: 330 Adelaide Street East
Developer: PlazaCorp
Architects: N/A
Completed: 2001

GRADE: D

330 Adelaide

Anyone who thinks condo architecture in Toronto hasn’t improved over the last few decades should take a look at 330 Adelaide St. E. Though it seems to have come straight out of the 1960s, maybe ’70s, it actually dates from the late ’90s.

Amazingly, occupancy was in 2001.

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Regardless, this 11-storey masonry slab is about as dreary a building as you’ll find in these parts. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration; but there’s no question it is one very plain structure.

With its boxy proportions and generic appearance, it’s one of those buildings so unremarkable it has become strangely invisible. You could pass it a thousand times and never actually see it.

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This isn’t entirely bad; not every building in the city needs to stand out. In Paris it can be hard to tell where one building begins and the next ends, but each is part of a larger whole. This one, grandly named Imperial Square, sits in a state of isolation that’s anything but splendid.

At street level, it offer little in the way of appeal. Perhaps the designers were trying to emulate the industrial architecture that once defined Adelaide.

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But even these old factories and warehouses were more more robust and convincing. The old bakery now occupied by George Brown College is a wonderful example.

Perhaps the best that can be said of this project is that brought life to a precinct where there was little.

Indeed, there was a time when the idea of living on Adelaide would have seemed crazy. Not any more though; today it is lined with residential towers.

Ugly or not, they have never been more desirable.

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