1 Spadina Crescent

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1 Spadina Crescent, Toronto, Canada. The new north side is not visible.

1 Spadina Crescent is an academic building of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto (U of T) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated in the centre of a roundabout of Spadina Avenue, north of College Street. Its location provides a picturesque vista looking north up Spadina Avenue; it is an axial view terminus for Spadina Avenue. Built in 1875, the Gothic Revival building is mainly occupied by the fine arts department of the Faculty of Arts and Science. In June 2013, U of T announced a significant overhaul and renovation of the building, completed in 2017.[1]


The parcel of land now known as Spadina Crescent first appeared on maps of Toronto as early as 1835, originally named "Mansfield's Old Gardens"[2] and then Crescent Garden.[3] There was the intention for the city to turn it into a park after Dr. Baldwin's death, however the conditions for this were never met and his grandchildren sold the land in 1873 to the hon. J. McMurrich of the Presbyterian Church for $10,000.[3]

The building was originally the home of Knox College, a theological college of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Knox College became affiliated with the University of Toronto in 1887, and in 1914 moved to its current location on the west side of King's College Circle. During World War I, the building became barracks, and shortly afterward the Spadina Military Hospital. For a period in 1918, Amelia Earhart worked as a nurses aide at the hospital. It remained a veterans hospital until 1943 when it was acquired by the University of Toronto's Connaught Medical Research Laboratories, which became one of Canada's main centers for the development and manufacture of pharmaceuticals. The building was in disrepair at this point and needed substantial renovations. It was also around this time that the basement was excavated.[4] In the 1960s, it was proposed that this building be demolished to make way for the Spadina Expressway, which was never built. It became an academic building again in 1972 with the sale and relocation of the laboratories.

University of Toronto visual arts professor David Buller was murdered in the 1 Spadina Crescent building in 2001. It remains a cold case.[5][6]

Until 2007, the building's location inside a roundabout made it inaccessible by foot without jaywalking; the issue was resolved with the installation of stop-lights on the east side of the circle. On 10 September 2009, Leah Kubik fell to her death from the third floor roof while on a first date.[7]

The building was home to the Ontario division of the Eye Bank of Canada, and an alternative student weekly newspaper, The Newspaper which moved because of renovations.

On December 4, 2015, the Toronto Star published a video by Christopher Hume, its architecture critic, celebrating the building's history, and the University's plan to renovate, update and expand the building.[8]

The renovated building, designed by Nader Tehrani and Katherine Faulkner and including a glass addition to the north side, was opened in 2017.[9]


  1. ^ "In pictures: Turning 1 Spadina Cres. into a playground of urban ideas". The Globe and Mail. 2013-06-11. Archived from the original on 2016-08-28. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  2. ^ McHugh, Patricia (1989) [1985]. Toronto Architecture – A City Guide,. McClelland & Stewart Inc. The Canadian Publishers. pp. Page 119.
  3. ^ a b Arthur, Eric (1968) [1964]. Toronto – No Mean City. University of Toronto Press. p. 153. ISBN 9781487516710.
  4. ^ Bolan, Tim (2003). Structures, Show #9 , "1 Spadina Crescent. Rogers Television.
  5. ^ "Portrait of a Life Cut Short". Maclean's magazine.
  6. ^ "Unsolved-Crimes International". Archived from the original on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  7. ^ "'Ghost hunter' falls to her death". 2009-09-10. Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
  8. ^ Christoper Hume (2015-12-04). "The big change coming to Spadina and College: Hume". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2015-12-06. Retrieved 2015-12-06. Christopher Hume on the best reason to come to Spadina Ave. and College St. in 2016.
  9. ^ "New Daniels Building at One Spadina Crescent". John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. Archived from the original on 2018-03-15.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°39′35″N 79°24′03″W / 43.65972°N 79.40083°W / 43.65972; -79.40083