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Architectural Conservancy Ontario

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Architectural Conservancy Ontario

The past. Our present. Your future.


LAST UPDATE: November 24 2020

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The Occulus, Etobicoke, photo Catherine Nasmith

The Occulus, Etobicoke, photo Catherine Nasmith

Name & Location
NA South Humber Park
Stonegate-Queensway, Etobicoke

City of Toronto Parks

First Owner:
Etobicoke Parks

Alternate names:
Etobicoke Park Pavillion


Designed in 1958 by British-born architect Alan Crossley and consulting engineer Laurence Cazaly. Built in 1959. A unique example of space-age architecture in Toronto. 

Note photo from Panda Fonds showing the early condition with a sculpture lit by the opening in the roof. A lovely gesture to the everyday users of the place.

On July 16, 17 and 18, 2019, Toronto City Council adopted the following: 1. City Council direct the Senior Manager, Heritage Preservation Services, in consultation with the Director, Parks Development and Capital Projects, to evaluate the Oculus Park Pavilion in South Humber Park, Etobicoke for designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act and report to the Toronto Preservation Board and the Etobicoke York Community Council.The motion was put forward by Ward 3 Councillor Mark Grimes, seconded by Councillor Frances Nunziata.
On July 23, 2019, it was announced that a community-initiative, led by ACO Toronto, ACO NextGen, and Giaimo Architects, to revitalize The Oculus was one of five recipients of Park People's 2019 Public Space Incubator grant, funded by Ken and Eti Greenberg and Balsam Foundation. This revitalization project aims to transform The Oculus into a welcoming community gathering place along the trail by restoring and cleaning the existing pavilion and implementing flexible and contextual outdoor furniture. The project will also include a series of engaging and educational programming, such as walking tours, design workshops, and an installation, that bring new life to The Oculus and provide the community with ongoing occasions to visit the site, explore the space, and learn about Toronto’s built heritage.


Year Completed:

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The following companies are associated with this building

Current use:
Public washroom

Main Style:



  1. Concrete Toronto
    Author - Michael McLelland, Graeme Stewart
    Date - 2007
    Page - 181, Fig. 4
    Notes - Photo from the Panda Fonds,Canadian Architectural Archives, University of Calgary, PAN61464-2, Etobicoke Park Pavilion

  2. The Toronto Park Pavilion needs your love
    Author - Chris Bateman, Spacing Toronto
    Date - 22 July 2016
    More information

  3. Heritage Evaluation Request for
    Author - Member´s Motion by Councillor Mark Grimes, seconded by Councillor Frances Nunziata
    Date - 16 July 2019
    Notes - City Council adopted this item on July 16, 2019 without amendments.
    Document - 6b6a759756e01b7b526f0878e48716fb.pdf
    More information

  4. Support for Councillor Grimes´ motion for a Heritage Evaluation of “the Oculus” in South Humber Park
    Author - Brian Mooney, Chair, Etobicoke York Community Preservation Panel
    Date - 12 July 2019
    Document - a5f39b3966f35d434014d799fe9b2428.pdf
    More information

  5. Announcing five new projects that reimagine public space in Toronto
    Author - Park People
    Date - 23 July 2019
    More information

  6. Space-age Oculus Pavilion to be restored on Humber River Trail
    Author - CBC News
    Date - 24 July 2019
    More information

  7. Long-neglected Oculus Pavilion being revitalized for public use
    Author - Jacob Lorinc, Toronto Star
    Date - 25 July 2019
    More information

  8. Tweet by @chrisbateman
    Author - Chris Bateman
    Date - 24 July 2019
    Notes - Indicates that the missing sculpture eventually ended up in BC and was recently recycled due to rust.
    More information

  9. That time when Space Age landed in Toronto
    Author - Derek Flack, BlogTO
    Date - 20 February 2017
    Notes - Includes a photograph from the Canadian Architectural Archives
    More information

  10. Ask Torontoist: What’s that UFO in the Humber Valley?
    Author - Val Dodge, Torontoist
    Date - 26 August 2009
    More information

  11. Restoration of Space-Age Oculus Pavilion Gains Funding
    Author - Ryan Debergh, UrbanToronto
    Date - 24 July 2019
    More information

  12. The Oculus: Future Uncertain for South Humber Park´s Hidden Modernist Gem
    Author - Julian Mirabelli, UrbanToronto
    Date - 28 July 2016
    More information


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