The Starbucks currently located on the North West intersection of College Street and Yonge Street is fluid with over 100 years of intriguing history. Constructed in 1891 to 1893 by Dick & Wickson Architects and influenced by the Gothic Revival, Oddfellows’ Hall became home to local retail shops, cigar sellers, business owners investing in office space, The Bank of Commerce, and Toronto’s elite Independent Order of Odd Fellows.1 In 1920, the great hall located on the third floor was said to have been turned into a painting studio by Canada’s renown Group of Seven.2 Today, the meeting hall remains remarkably similar in architecture to its historic identity (including a barrel vaulted ceiling, intricate tracery detail, and ornamented corbels supporting the barrel arches) but instead is used as a ballroom for practising yoga. The tobacco shops and office spaces too maintain their form but are now The Burger Bar, various specialty shops, Ritz restaurant, and of course Starbucks.
1 (Author unknown) “Oddfellows’ Hall, Toronto.” Toronto Daily Mail 21 Jan. 1893: p13/16.
2 (Author Unknown).“Oddfellows’ Hall.” Sugar Sugar: Body Sugaring Studio Inc. Toronto ON: 2003. Page Tab: Location. <http://www.sugarsugar.ca/location/index.html>