TOBuilt was started in 2006 as the personal project of one man, Bob Krawczyk, who had a passion for cycling around Toronto and taking pictures of old or interesting buildings. Mr. Krawczyk eventually entered over 7,000 buildings into his database, with a photo for each building along with the address, number of floors, year completed and often the architect's name and other information on the property.
ACO became interested in the project and arranged to take over TOBuilt from Mr. Krawczyk in 2013 and improved it for easier use. Hundreds of sites have since been added, and additional information obtained for many buildings. TOBuilt currently contains well over 11,000 entries.
I realized that EHS’s website provided a rich resource of information for many of the heritage buildings in Etobicoke and when linked to a building profile in TOBuilt would greatly enhance their heritage value. Each TOBuilt building page displays an area where a short story on the building can be told, and a “resources“ button at the page bottom to provide a link online from where the information is taken.
Since becoming a member of ACO in November 2019, I have updated 27 heritage Etobicoke building records in TOBuilt and entered an additional 26 buildings. For each of the 53 records, I have provided a link to an article on EHS’s website as a resource. There are many more buildings still to update or add, however research will be required as they have not yet been covered by EHS.
The City of Toronto has an online register of heritage properties, however it only provides minimal information such as whether its status is “listed” or “designated” and the listing date. TOBuilt provides a much richer resource for establishing the heritage value of our historic structures and will play an important role in the on-going challenge of preserving Toronto’s built heritage.
Be sure to visit TOBuilt online: https://acotoronto.ca/tobuilt_new_detailed.php
Researched and written by Neil Park