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Toronto Luxury Real Estate: John B. Parkin a Toronto Mid-Century Architect

Now that I’ve shared a bit of information about Mies van der Rohe, I wanted to highlight a significant mid-century Canadian architect, John B. Parkin, who collaborated with Mies on the TD Centre design. John B. Parkin was the largest Architectural firm in Canada in the mid-century.

John B. Parkin Designed Headquarters to the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA)

John B. Parkin received his degree in Architecture from the University of Toronto but headed over to England for a few years to establish his career. He returned to Toronto in 1947 to begin his own practice, then partnered with John C. Parkin (no relation, just a fellow architect) and then brought his brother, a landscape architect, on board to create John B. Parkin Associates. The company continues today, but there are no Parkins working there any more. In the 1950s through 1960s John B. Parkin was involved in the design of many Toronto landmarks, including Toronto City Hall, the Ontario Association of Architects Headquarters, the Toronto-Dominion Centre and an assortment of public schools, TTC bus exchanges, and a gas station.

Bata Shoe headquarters demolished in 2007 and currently the site of the Aga Khan Museum

The Bata Headquarters was a fine example of John B. Parkin’s work but the building and land around it was acquired by Aga Kahn and the building was demolished to build the Aga Khan Museum.

Blog TO wrote a fabulous article highlighting John B. Parkin, touting him as The Architect that Changed Everything in Toronto, that is worth the read.

John B. Parkin is also known for a North Rosedale home located at 3 Old George Place. It was an iconic mid-century home that overlooked the Rosedale ravine on two levels. There was a lovely lower-level living room that featured a stone wall and glass with views out to the circular swimming pool and yard that gently sloped to the ravine. It was rated a Heritage A home, but due to a series of unfortunate events has been completely transformed into a new home that doesn’t really resemble a John B. Parkin design in any way. The now-demolished home at 75 Bridle Path was another fine example of his residential work the home of John C. Parkin the principal designer of John B Parkin and associates. I do feel Toronto has lagged in terms of protecting mid-century properties as demonstrated by two bungalows in South Rosedale slated for demolition for condos and townhomes.

Photo Courtesy of Jacquie Jensen-Roy

Fun fact: John B Parkin designed the Rosedale Subway Station.