Bay and Adelaide, Toronto, 2004
British, Canadian, 1942
gelatin silver print
34.5 x 60.5 cm; image: 24.4 x 59.2 cm
Gift of Kathryn Finter and Jim des Rivières, Ottawa, 2011
National Gallery of Canada (no. 45452)
Construction of the Bay and Adelaide Centre in the heart of Toronto’s financial district began in 1990 and was put on hold in 1993. All that had been completed of the fifty-seven-storey skyscraper was an underground parking area and a six-storey concrete elevator shaft. The project had fallen victim to the recession of the 1990s. While various owners drew up proposals to complete the structure over the next decade, none were realized. The concrete stump was finally demolished in 2006 by Toronto mayor David Miller wielding a golden sledgehammer. In James’ photograph, the stump, known by locals as “the bunker,” still stands. The tail end of the letters from the advertisement on its north side is visible at the very far left of the photograph. The skyscraper pictured in the billboard to the right is Trump Tower, a luxury condominium and hotel complex being built by the property developer Donald Trump.
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