Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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Benjamin Brown (1890-1974)
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted April 2017
On the sidewalk on the southeast corner of Spadina Avenue and Adelaide Street can be found this 2015 Heritage Toronto plaque. Here's what it tells us:
Benjamin Brown, one of Toronto's first Jewish architects, designed more than 200 buildings throughout his career. Born in Lithuania, he came to Toronto as a child. Brown graduated from the University of Toronto's architecture program in 1913. He was partners with architect Robert McConnell until 1921 when he set up an independent practice.
Commissioned largely by members of Toronto's Jewish community, Brown's projects ranged from parking garages and gas stations to apartment houses and factory lofts. His Tower Building (1927) and Balfour Building (1930) on Spadina Avenue at Adelaide Street formed a gateway to Toronto's garment district. Other well-known buildings by Brown include the Hermant Building (1929) on Dundas Square, the Primrose Club (1920), and the Beth Jacob Synagogue (1922), the first Toronto synagogue designed by a Jewish architect. Brown retired in 1955.
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