Date: 1914

Origin: CNE Archives

Built by G.W. Gouinlock in 1907, the Horticulture Building is a finely executed Beaux-Arts pavilion. With its large, glazed central dome, the Horticulture Building is also closely related in design to two of Gouinlock’s other works, the Medieval Times Building and the Music Building. The Horticulture Building is also known for its distinctive E-shaped layout, its decorative portico entrances and metal cornicework. Although the Horticultural Building has primarily served the same function since it first opened in 1907, the structure has performed other duties. For example, between 1942 and 1946, when the CNE grounds were in use by the Canadian armed forces, the Horticulture Building became the Quartermaster Stores. Late in September of 1949, Toronto’s single worst marine disaster, the burning of the passenger liner the S.S. Noronic, turned the Horticulture Building into an emergency morgue. As such, the Horticulture Building temporarily housed as many as 104 casualties until the bodies could be identified by next-of-kin. In 1961 the floral competitions were moved out-of-doors to allow the Horticulture Building to host Mediscope ’61, an exhibit of medical equipment and procedures sponsored by the Ontario Medical Association. In the following year, however, the traditional use of the Horticulture Building as a centre for floral displays and competitions was restored.