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18 records – page 1 of 1.
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 49
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
49
Material Format
multiple media
Date
1902-1949
Physical Description
ca. 1500 architectural and technical drawings
6 photographs : b&w ; 38 x 30 cm or smaller
16 cm of textual records
Admin History/Bio
Benjamin Brown (ca. 1888-1974) was the first practicing Jewish architect in Toronto. Born in what is now Lithuania, he arrived in Toronto at an early age and soon after, quit school to take a job in a garment manufacturing factory to help out his impoverished family. Not finding this career to his liking, Brown enrolled in the Ontario School of Art and Design with the intention of becoming an artist. When this profession proved financially unfeasible, Brown decided to pursue a career in architecture. After completing his high school equivalency, he enrolled in the University of Toronto architectural program, graduating in 1913. Soon after, Brown opened up a practice with fellow architect Robert McConnell, which lasted until the early 1920s. After the partnership ended, Brown set up an independent practice, which he maintained until his retirement in 1955.
Scope and Content
The fonds documents Brown’s design work and renovations of existing buildings through his original drawings, renderings, and building blueprints. The fonds consists of approximately 1500 drawings that are organized into about 150 projects. These projects include single-family residences, apartment buildings, commercial and industrial buildings, as well as synagogue and other community buildings. Many of Brown's buildings were designed in the Art Deco style, with some containing Georgian, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, Tudor and Romanesque elements.
Brown's most important commissions include the Beth Jacob Synagogue located on Henry Street, which was one the largest synagogues in Toronto, and the Balfour Building, an office tower built in the Art Deco style. The designs of Mendel Granatstein’s mansion, which contained a retractable roof for Sukkoth, and a colour sketch of the Primrose Club, which is currently the University of Toronto Faculty Club, may also be of interest to researchers. The fonds also includes some of Brown's files containing articles and illustrations from architecture and design journals of the early twentieth century, which he used as a resource to assist him with his work.
Fonds includes six photographs, one of the Balfour Building, one of Cumberland Hall, and four of Brown as a young man.
Notes
Architectural plans of a lead mine in Burnt River Ontario have been sent to the Kawartha Lakes Archives.
Name Access
Brown, Benjamin, 1890-1974
Subjects
Architecture
Creator
Brown, Benjamin, 1890-1974
Accession Number
1975
1987-9-3
1989-10-6
2004-5-109
2004-5-139
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Jewish community building plans and drawings series
Level
Series
ID
Fonds 49; Series 1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Jewish community building plans and drawings series
Level
Series
Fonds
49
Series
1
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
[1915]-1940
Physical Description
174 architectural drawings
Scope and Content
Series consists of Benjamin Brown’s architectural plans and drawings of significant buildings designed or renovated for Toronto‘s Jewish community, including proposals that were never implemented. Contained within are renovation plans of the Beach Hebrew Institute synagogue, an ark design for the McCaul Street Synagogue, and the complete designs of the Henry Street Synagogue. The last of these projects is of particular significance, because it was the first synagogue in Toronto designed by a Jewish architect and was one of Brown‘s largest commissions. Drawings of the Primrose Club (a Jewish men’s club) and the Brunswick Talmud Torah Day School, as well as plans of Camp Yungvelt (a Jewish summer camp) are also included. Additionally, several preliminary sketches of synagogue facades are contained within.
The majority of these drawings are on tracing or drafting paper, several of which are in colour, and the remainder are either blueprints or drawn on cardboard. Floor plans, elevations, sections, foundation plans and sketches of building exterior facades and interiors are included. Additionally, there are drawings of windows, doors and synagogue arks.
Physical Condition
Several drawings and plans are in poor condition. See file level descriptions for further details.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
Series
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
Series
Fonds
49
Series
3
Material Format
architectural drawing
graphic material
textual record
Date
1919-1949
Physical Description
ca. 1000 architectural and technical drawings
2 photographs : b&w ; 38 x 30 cm or smaller
1 cm of textual records
Scope and Content
Series consists of architectural and technical drawings of commercial buildings that Benjamin Brown either designed or altered. Most of Brown’s clients were Jewish owned businesses, several of which were run by prominent members of the community. These businesses included Imperial Optical, Gelber Brothers Woolens, the City Dye Works, Schipper Brothers Furs, and the Empire Clothing Company.
Architectural plans of apartments, warehouses, theatres, service stations, banks, restaurants, stores, office towers, a bakery and a laundry are included. Several of these buildings are now designated as Toronto heritage buildings. These include the Balfour Building, the Hermant Building (eastern tower), the Hermant Annex, the Commodore Building and the Standard Theatre. Also included are plans of the headquarters of Famous Players Canada, which later became a subsidiary of Cineplex Odeon.
The majority of the drawings are either blueprints or pencil drawings on tracing or drafting paper, several of which are also in colour. Some are on linen weave or cardboard. Plans, elevations, sections, sketches, detailing, photographs of building exteriors, building specifications, and technical drawings of the buildings are included.
Physical Condition
Several drawings are in poor condition. See file level descriptions for further details.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 18
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
18
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1948
Physical Description
4 architectural drawings : 3 pencil on tracing paper, 1 pen ; 55 cm length or smaller and 4 cm diam.
Admin History/Bio
Union Bakery was a large Jewish bakery owned by Abraham Stancer. The bakery was previously known as Stancer Brothers.
Scope and Content
File consists of proposed alterations to a two story building for Union Bakery Co. at 779 Dundas St. West. Several floor plans and sections are included.
Related Material
See Photo #1511 for a photo of Abraham Stancer.
Places
Dundas Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 21
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
21
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1948
Physical Description
1 architectural drawing : pencil and hand col. pencil crayon on tracing paper ; 52 cm length and 5 cm diam.
Admin History/Bio
Originally known as the Bedford, the Park Theatre was designed in 1929 by Murray Brown. It was renovated and renamed the Park in 1948. Located at 3291 Yonge Street, the building currently functions as a pet food store.
Scope and Content
File consists of designs of the 1948 renovations to the Park Theatre. A floor plan and a sketch of the stage area are included.
Related Material
See File 49-5-11 for architectural plans designed by Herbert G. Duerr of a theatre on Kingston Road.
Places
Yonge Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 37
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
37
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
[ca. 1946]
Physical Description
2 architectural drawings : blueprints ; 40 cm length or smaller and 4 cm diam.
Admin History/Bio
Percy Hermant was born in Mogilev, Russia in 1882. In 1897, he immigrated to Canada, arriving in New Brunswick, where he began working as a drygoods peddler. In 1900, he founded the Imperial Optical Company, the first prescription lens business in the Maritimes. This company eventually grew to be the largest company of its kind in the British Commonwealth. The head office was located in the Hermant Building (named for Percy) at 21 Dundas Square. In addition to his successful business, Mr. Hermant served as the director of both the Mount Sinai and Runnymede hospitals. He was also a member of the Toronto Board of Trade and other established societies such as the Primrose, and Empire Clubs.
Mr. Hermant was very active in philanthropy and involved in the funding and establishment of the Young Men's Hebrew Association (YMHA), and in the funding of the Associated Hebrew Universities. Mr. Hermant also established several scholarships at the University of Toronto, including the Percy Hermant Fellowship in Ophthalmology for graduates of Medicine who wish to pursue ophthalmology as a profession. Mr. Hermant died in 1959 and was survived by his wife Dorothy, son Sydney and four grandchildren.
Scope and Content
File consists of two block plans for a storage building at 179 Ontario Street for Percy Hermant.
Notes
Benjamin Brown's office was also located in the Hermant building during the 1940s.
Related Material
See File 49-3-97 for the architectural drawings of the Hermant Building.
See File 49-3-106 for the architectural drawings of the Hermant Annex.
See File 49-3-58 for the architectural plans of a factory for Imperial Optical Co. at 270 Ontario Street and for an administrative history of Imperial Optical.
See File 49-3-63 for the architectural plans of alterations to the ground floor of the Hermant Building.
See File 49-3-100 for architectural drawings of Montgomery's Tavern, located on the ground floor of the Hermant Building.
See File 49-3-93 for the architectural drawings of a factory for Imperial Optical at the S.W. corner of Dundas and Ontario Streets.
Places
Ontario Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 25
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
25
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1949
Physical Description
3 architectural drawings : 2 blueprints, 1 pencil and hand col. pencil crayon on tracing paper ; 19 x 30 cm (folded)
Admin History/Bio
The Imperial Bank of Canada, which was founded in 1875, became one of the primary banking establishments in Canada. The bank underwent several mergers during its history. It merged with the Niagara District Bank in 1875, the Weyburn Security Bank in 1931, and Barclays Bank in 1956. The bank finally merged with the Canadian Bank of Commerce in 1961 to form the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
Scope and Content
File contains floor plans for proposed alterations to a branch office of the Imperial Bank of Canada at 21 Dundas Square.
Physical Condition
Some rust on blueprints.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 48
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
48
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1940
Physical Description
5 architectural drawings : pencil on tracing paper ; 55 cm length or smaller and 7 cm diam.
Scope and Content
File consists of architectural drawings of a furrier warehouse for Woodhouse & Co. at 39 Logan Avenue. Floor plans, a block plan, sections and elevation drawings are included.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 100
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
100
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
[ca. 1945]
Physical Description
1 architectural drawing : pencil ; 49 cm length and 4 cm diam.
Scope and Content
File consists of a floor plan of Montgomery's Tavern, which was a dining lounge located in the Hermant Building at 21 Dundas Square for Mr. Alex Christy. Benjamin Brown's office was also located in the Hermant building during the 1940s.
Notes
Formerly listed as Commission XI.
Related Material
See File 49-3-97 for the architectural drawings of the Hermant Building.
See File 49-3-106 for the architectural drawings of the Hermant Annex.
See File 49-3-63 for the architectural plans of alterations to the ground floor of the Hermant Building.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 70
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
70
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1940
Physical Description
3 architectural drawings : pencil on tracing paper ; 74 cm length or smaller and 5 cm diam.
Admin History/Bio
Link Brass and Copper Co. Ltd. was owned by Mr. K. Link.
Scope and Content
File consists of architectural drawings of a building for Link Brass and Copper Co. Ltd. at 108 River Street. Sections, elevation drawings and floor plans are included.
Related Material
See File 49-3-71 for architectural plans of a foundry and forge building for Mr. K. Link at the rear of this building.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 71
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
71
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1940
Physical Description
1 architectural drawing : pencil on tracing paper ; 73 cm length and 5 cm diam.
Admin History/Bio
Link Brass and Copper Co. Ltd. was owned by Mr. K. Link.
Scope and Content
File consists of architectural drawings of a foundry and forge for Mr. K. Link. A foundation plan, floor plan and elevation drawings are included.
Related Material
See File 40-3-70, for architectural plans of main building at 108 River Street.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 72
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
72
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
[ca.1940]
Physical Description
5 architectural drawings : 2 blueprints, 3 pencil on tracing paper ; 78 cm length or smaller and 6 cm diam.
Admin History/Bio
The Jolly Miller Hotel is a designated heritage building that was built in the late 1850s by the Hogg family. It is currently known as the Miller Tavern.
Scope and Content
File consists of architectural drawings of additions and alterations to the two storey Jolly Miller Hotel at 3885 Yonge Street. Elevation drawings, sections, floor plans and a foundation plan are included.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 73
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
73
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1947
Physical Description
2 architectural drawings : pencil, 1 hand col., pencil crayon on tracing paper ; 55 cm length or smaller and 6 cm diam.
Scope and Content
File consists of floor plans of additions to a factory at 104 King Street East.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 87
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
87
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1940
Physical Description
17 architectural drawings : pencil on tracing paper ; 71 cm length or smaller and 7 cm diam.
Admin History/Bio
Mr. Morris Alspector was a Jewish real estate agent and developer.
Scope and Content
File consists of sections, elevations, detailing, floor plans, a foundation plan and a section of a two storey hotel for Mr. Morris Alspector on Lakeshore Road at Jackson Point on the south side of Lake Simcoe.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 89
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
89
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
[ca. 1945]
Physical Description
1 architectural drawing : pencil on tracing paper ; 109 cm length and 7 cm diam.
Scope and Content
File consists of a floor plan for a proposed addition to the Genosha Hotel at King and Mary Streets in Oshawa, Ontario. Additions include a powder room, smoking room and two large beverage rooms for ladies and men respectively.
Notes
Due to the fragility of these drawings, the description is partially based on the item level descriptions created by Steve Speisman.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Jewish community building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 1; File 1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Jewish community building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
1
File
1
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1940
Physical Description
12 architectural drawings : pencil on tracing paper ; 48 cm length or smaller and 7 cm diam.
Admin History/Bio
Founded in the 1920s, Camp Yungvelt was originally situated on Lake Wilcox. Two years later it moved to Pickering, where it operated until it closed in the 1950s. It was established by the Workmen's Circle, as a Yiddish summer camp for Jewish children. Camp Yungvelt was known for accepting the children of poor immigrants for a small fraction of the regular fee.
Scope and Content
File consists of architectural drawings of several new buildings that were erected at Camp Yungvelt. Floor plans, a foundation plan, and several elevation drawings are included.
Subjects
Camps
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Places
Pickering (Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Reference materials series
Level
Series
ID
Fonds 49; Series 5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Reference materials series
Level
Series
Fonds
49
Series
5
Material Format
architectural drawing
textual record
Date
1912-1947
Physical Description
28 architectural drawings
15 cm of textual records
Scope and Content
Series contains articles and illustrations from a book and several architecture and design journals that influenced Benjamin Brown‘s work, as well as plans of buildings he didn’t design, but he either subsequently altered, influenced his work or was built for one of his clients.
Included are the original plans of an office building of Doctors Solway and Pollock that Brown later altered, the plans of a Talmud Torah Hebrew School in New York City and the plans of a theatre on Kingston Road. Architectural drawings of the house of Samuel Godfrey and stores for Mr. A. Levy, both of whom hired Brown for other projects, are also included.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Reference materials series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 5; File 1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Reference materials series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
5
File
1
Material Format
textual record
Date
1947
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of one book titled "Brick and Tile: as utilized in American Architecture".
Source
Archival Descriptions
18 records – page 1 of 1.

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