There’s a building in Toronto’s St Lawrence market district. I knew it as the “triangle building” because of its shape. It’s actually called the Gooderham building and is almost as iconic to this city as the CN Tower. Located at 49 Wellington St. E, the building is situated among a number of commercial and retail establishments. It’s one of the most photographed places in the city and is just a few blacks away from other historically significant sites like the St. Lawrence Market and St. James Cathedral.
The Gooderham Building is associated with the Gooderham family, particularly George Gooderham, the eldest son of William, who founded Toronto’s Gooderham and Worts Distillery in 1837. George commissioned the building to be constructed at a cost of $18,000. At the time, it was the most expensive office building constructed in Toronto. At the time of his death, George Gooderham was the wealthiest man in Ontario; needless to say, he had spared no expense when it came to detail.
It started out as the office building for Gooderham and Worts Distillery but was later sold and is currently owned by the Commercial Realty Group. It’s one of the most expensive office spaces in the city and home to prestigious businesses. There’s also a small pub in the basement called the Flatiron: A Firkin’ Pub.
Many visit the Flatiron to admire the interesting mural painted on the back of the building. The mural is a mirror image of the Perkins Building, which is located directly across the street. It was created by the renowned Canadian artist Derek Besant and uses the “trompe l’oeil” effect (literally “trick the eye”), which creates an optical illusion that convinces the viewer that the objects depicted are really there.
The five-story, red-bricked building was one of the biggest of its time, with twelve-foot high ceilings, brass fittings, and the very first manually-operated Otis elevator in the city of Toronto. A walk-in vault was constructed to hold the Gooderham fortune and a tunnel was dug so that those in charge could travel from the building to the bank across the street (which Gooderham purchased) without having to walk outside with large bags of cash.