The 10th annual Doors Open Toronto ran this past weekend, but I was only able to go out on Sunday. I missed the TTC-related sites, but was able to visit the Carlu, the Flatiron and the Drake Hotel.
The Carlu has fascinated me since I watched a piece on its architectural restoration a few years back.
Enter College Park and watch the backlit elevator hands move toward the ground floor. As you step out of the elevator onto the famed 7th floor, take in the clean and cool feel of the lounge and sitting area.
Step into the Rounded Room and appreciate the ledged ceiling, glass-block windows and Lalique fountain.
The Auditorium is known for its acoustics and is themed with horizontal lines and curves.
Historically, the Timothy Eaton family opened a store at Yonge and College in 1930. This project was to span a city block, but the remainder was canceled with the pinch of the Great Depression and WWII. French architect Jacques Carlu was commissioned by Lady Eaton to design the 7th floor, and he brought grandeur in Art Moderne style to the Auditorium, Round Room, lounges and private rooms.
For the next three decades, Eaton's 7th Floor entertained Toronto's finest at concerts, operas, ballet, galas and balls. After the flagship Eaton store was moved one block south to Toronto Eaton Centre, the building was renamed College Park. The doors of the 7th Floor closed as the new owners petitioned for and were prohibited from demolition to make way for office space. The 7th Floor was protected by the Ontario Heritage Act and left to deteriorate as subsequent owners were uninterested in embarking on restoration plans.
In 2001, Jeffry Roick and Mark Robert worked with the College Park owners to restore the 7th Floor into its original purpose as an event venue, while recapturing its stylized grandeur in every possible detail. The 7th Floor was renamed The Carlu in honour of its creator and the doors reopened in 2003. Today the Carlu is considered Toronto's best example of Art Moderne architecture.
The Carlu @ College Park
444 Yonge Street, Toronto