Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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History of the Pier 6 Building
Photos and transcription by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted April, 2011
Photo from Google Street View ©2013 Google - Posted July, 2013
Inside the Pier 6 building on Queens Quay West across from York Street is information created by the Toronto Port Authority along with the two photos above. This is what the information tells us:
Coordinates: 43.639767 -79.380130
The Pier 6 building you are in is the oldest structure on Toronto's Central Waterfront. Built in 1907 at the foot of Bay Street as a simple freight shed leased by a ferry company, it became property of the newly formed Toronto Harbour Commissioners in 1911.
In 1926, due to a changing shoreline caused by waterfront development, the building had to be relocated. It was sawed in half, the south portion was floated over to the foot of York Street, where the Toronto Harbour Commissioners used it as a storage shed for the next two decades. In 1953, it was leased to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and served as its "city station" until 1979.
Because of its unique status as the oldest structure still on the waterfront, the building avoided demolition in the early 1980s, although it had to be relocated yet again, a few metres west to make room for developments on York Quay. Then in 1988, it was moved to its current location at the foot of York Street, where it served as a waterfront information centre for several years.
Over its lifespan the building has also been a water gauge used to measure lake levels, a storage house for stage props, a vehicle garage, an office, a restaurant and a cafe. It has survived several relocations, vandalism, and a fire in 1918 that destroyed an adjacent ferry terminal. It is the only remaining example of Toronto's waterfront architecture from the turn of the 20th century.
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