305 Lost Buildings of Canada
A National Bestseller
The legacies of theaters, hotels, fire stations, flour mills, and more — torn down, burned down, and otherwise lost — are uncovered in this bittersweet collection. Using archival photographs, blueprints, and written reports, Raymond Biesinger has rendered ... Read more
A National Bestseller
The legacies of theaters, hotels, fire stations, flour mills, and more — torn down, burned down, and otherwise lost — are uncovered in this bittersweet collection. Using archival photographs, blueprints, and written reports, Raymond Biesinger has rendered a selection of Canada’s most iconic lost buildings in his signature minimalist style.
Accompanying Biesinger’s illustrations are Alex Bozikovic’s descriptions which capture each building’s historical, cultural, and architectural significance. Bozikovic draws on local histories, archived building permits and his own extensive knowledge of the Canadian urban architectural landscape and its history — from the letters passed through Kelowna’s unlikely art deco post office to the destruction of a home in Halifax’s Africville — to offer fascinating, sometimes forgotten stories about each building and its significance.
An impossible architectural walking tour, 305 Lost Buildings of Canada spans the country, its cities and countryside, and its history. Cities change, buildings come and go, but in this fact-filed compendium, you’ll find the lost wonders of Canada’s architecture.
Raymond Biesinger's work has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker and the New York Times.
Alex Bozikovic is an architecture critic for the Globe and Mail and co-author of Toronto Architecture: A City Guide. He has also written for Toronto Life, Azure, and Metropolis.
“Theatres, hotels and industrial plants from St. John’s to Victoria come to life again in this engrossing work of social history by architecture critic Bozikovic and illustrator Biesinger. Fire and the mid-20th-century mania for “urban renewal” may top the list of direct causes, but a host of factors were involved, including technological revolution and changing tastes. ”
— Brian Bethune
“305 Lost Buildings of Canada reads like a nostalgic road trip. Showing you buildings and places that you might remember, spots you've never seen, and spaces that you wish you could have seen. Sometimes sad, sometimes shocking, this volume is a beautiful blend of story, architecture, and history. ”
— Falen Johnson, co-host of <i>The Secret Life of Canada</i>
“A joy-filled package delivering an equally joy-filled outcome. ”
“It makes for wistful reading, these reminders of what we’ve lost, even in those cases when buildings more functional and “important” have taken their place. But it’s a worthwhile journey just the same. ”
— Adele Weder
“Through [Bozikovic’s] pithily informative short descriptions and [Biesinger’s] handsomely detailed black-and-white drawings, Canada’s ghostly buildings-that-were have effectively been resurrected. ”
— Danny Sinopli
“It might be hard to feel sentimental about what we cannot see; certainly, we cannot be sentimental about what we do not know. These vignettes, stories of a time and place that hinge on a building that was often a reflection of something bigger, are an invaluable contribution to the history of settlement in Canada, the continual process of creation and recreation that shapes urbanization, and our built heritage. Biesinger and Bozikovic's artistry is in hooking a bigger story to that of a single building, and they evoke both wonder and a sense of loss in doing so. I am glad to have read 305 Lost Buildings of Canada, and I hope to become a better city builder for it. ”
— Jennifer Keesmaat, former Toronto Chief City Planner
“Some of the lost buildings mentioned in the book were important architectural gems while others, such as Honest Ed’s and Sam the Record Man buildings in Toronto, are lost iconic landmarks. ”
— Vicki Gilhula
“A gorgeous new book of illustrations celebrating hundreds of examples of the nation’s demolished buildings. ”
— Fish Griwkowsky
“An X-ray tour of the bolder, more adventurous urban landmarks that once populated Canada's streetscapes. They’re all gone, but Raymond Biesinger's brilliantly stylized drawings and Alex Bozikovic's deeply informed texts turn this into a lively wake for the stylish architectural ghosts that lurk along our sidewalks. ”
— Doug Saunders, author of <i>Maximum Canada</i>