Junction House Sales Centre, Toronto

Dialogue 38, Toronto

Photography by Kerun Ip

Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood is so named for the confluence of four railway lines in the area. In the previous century, the Junction hosted Canada’s largest livestock market and meat packer, giving rise to Toronto’s Hogtown moniker. The 5,242-sq.-ft. Junction House Sales Centre, in a brick building that previously housed specialty wall-finish painters Moss & Lam, romanticizes the gentrifying district’s gritty industrial past. The original ceiling deck, building fixtures and walls were whitewashed but otherwise left untouched. These base-building components act as the shell in a black-box theatre or art gallery. Only here, the objets d’art are a bench made from weathered railroad ties, the existing old-timey radiators, and big display panels with condo images. These panels, located near the entry, and the display suite near the back, occupy their own pavilion-like substructures within the big space. Another dramatic gesture is the 32-ft.-long white-oak presentation table, accented above by a row of shotgun microphone-skinny pendant luminaires, and below by a segment of the as-found, raw concrete floor. The floor’s messy, patchy crisscross of scars, lovingly preserved, adds a layer of patina and authenticity to the project.