Latlng: (43.662934, -79.389582)

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Toronto

The Whitney Block Tower

Discovered by AUC
Created Mar 22 2021
Recent status Historic Location
Category Commercial
City Toronto, Ontario
Location # 17388

The Whitney Block Tower is located in downtown Toronto, Canada. This is a secret abandoned building that not too many people know about. The tower has been empty since the 1960’s. The building was named in honour of former Premier James P. Whitney. It was designed by architect Francis Heakes who died in September 1930 before the building was completed. The Whitney Block Tower was built in 1932 it has 16 storeys and contains one of the few operational hand cranked elevators remaining in Toronto. Only a handful of people have seen inside this building after it was abandoned so finding interior photos was extremely hard. Thanks to The City of Toronto Archives I found only a few. At the top there are 4 female guardian eight foot tall sculptures made by Charles Adamson representing Justice, Tolerance, Widsom and Power. At the mid height there are eight male figures representing occupations: a labourer and a miner on the north, a judge and a professor on the east, , a farmer and a lumberjack on the west, and a businessman and a doctor, plus a small boy looking up at the doctor, on the south. There was once a bowling alley in the basement and stories of an underground tunnel leading to the Ontario Parliament building across the street. The provincial veterinary services was located on the sixth floor. There are animal pens left over from when provincial veterinary services were housed there. They brought up cows to the lab in an service elevator. There are also reports of the tunnel and tower being haunted. There is no ventilation system in the tower so the only way to get fresh air into the building is by opening the windows. In the summer months the building would get extremely hot and its rumoured they even brought huge amounts of ice to the top of the building in an effort to cool down the interior of the building using the downwards airflow. The lower level of the building is used by government workers but the tower is completely empty. The tower only has 1 set of stairs and a hand cranked elevator. The building does not meet the current fire and safety codes so it has been unused since the 1960’s. There were talks to install a new set of emergency stairs and an elevator on the outside of the building but the plans failed. The tower is still being maintained and they have repaired and upgraded the exterior over the years but the interior is dusty, dark and empty. I have interior pictures that are property of the City of Toronto Archives and can be seen during the video. I only have permission to use them during the video and my social media.

Documentary/Short film here https://youtu.be/t9atCJp3SBk

Latlng: (43.662934, -79.389582)

Comments

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avatar of vern_godlittle
vern_godlittle I went by this place today, there was quite a lot of construction going on inside. I asked a worker in a hard hat what was going on and he told me that they were fully gutting the building and retrofitting it to bring it up to code. He specifically mentioned that there was no air circulation system in the old building, and that they were installing a full HVAC system to circulate the air inside.
Apr 08 2021
avatar of vern_godlittle
vern_godlittle I went by this place today, there was quite a lot of construction going on inside. I asked a worker in a hard hat what was going on and he told me that they were fully gutting the building and retrofitting it to bring it up to code. He specifically mentioned that there was no air circulation system in the old building, and that they were installing a full HVAC system to circulate the air inside.
Apr 08 2021
avatar of Dave Summer
Dave Summer Cool entry!
Mar 26 2021