Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto - Bronze Window Restoration

Edited by Admin

Historical Background:

The Princess Margaret Hospital is a prime example of Art Deco Architecture. Built in the 1930’s, it was originally designed as the Toronto Hydro Commission head quarters with two stylized water falls that flank each side of the main entrance. The opulent design made from limestone blocks with bronze accents such as the interior elevator doors and surrounds, bronze doors and frames and also the focal point, a bronze window that graced the front entrance. Inside the bronze framing, are glass blocks created as waves representing the essential source of power, water. The window measures approximately 12 feet high by 10 feet across. The bronze elements were originally high polished which was typical of the architectural style of the day, which included the bronze window which is a mirror image of itself for both the interior and exterior with an accessible walkway between the windows. 


The entire bronze window was painted over at some point using a bronze-like paint to possibly replicate the original appearance. This may have been a temporary solution once the bronze started to show signs of corrosion. It is possible to assume the window was originally high polished that would have reflected on the opulent Art Deco style and giving the high polish finish of the interior bronze elements as well. The condition of the bronze window varies between the upper and lower sections. The paint in the upper section seems to still be adhered to the bronze frame with only small sections of the paint flaking off. Where as the paint on the bottom section may have had long term exposure to the elements causing the paint to fail and corrosion to develop. The areas where the paint had failed exhibited a thick layer of green corrosion as well as areas of a reddish color, possibly Cuprite that was under the green corrosion. 

Contractor: Colonial Building Restoration 

Architectural Firm:  ERA Architects