The building is located at Yonge and Dundas in downtown Toronto, East of Yonge St. The building is steps from Eaton Centre, Atrium on Bay and other fine shops and restaurants and from Dundas Subway Station. It's convenient location, closeness to the heart of the City's business and financial heartbeat was always an asset in favour of the building.
The history of the building can be divided in 2 parts, the first one from the early 1920s to the mid 1970s. The second part can be from the mid 1970s when George Herczeg became the landlord and the Renovation and Addition started to take place.
277. Victoria St. was originally built in the 1920s. City of Toronto's Central Property Registry shows that the building was built in 1929. At this time the Street was called : Upper George St.
The site was called "The Film Exchange Building"
because it was built to accomodate Film Companies who needed special environment
storing those easily flammable materials.
Found an article with a picture in The Telegram dated October, 1923, which says: " This structure was erected to meet the demand for a fireproof building to accomodate firms ..... films" The picture shows only a 3 storey building, so most likely the original structure was not 6 but only 3 storey high.
There was another picture published
years ago in a Real Estate Publication, it showed the 6 storey site
with horse drawn carts parking in front of
it in the late 1920s. Unfortunately I can't locate this paper anymore since I've seen it in the early or mid 1990s.
But here is another picture from Apr. 1928 which shows the building with 6 floors already.
The Owner's name I could find at the Reference
Library is: J.B. O'Brian
Architect of the building was: Molesworth, West & Secord \ (H.F.Secord)
Found the Engineers' name on a plan from 1920-21, Harness, Loudon & Hertzberg
Contractor's name is: Jackson-Lewis Co. ( from Reference Library records #82 microfilm )
There is though
a record at City Hall Records Dept. (on the 17th fl in the East Tower)
referring a major Fire and Explosion in the building sometime in November,
1943. Another record I've found says some details of the damages this fire
has caused, including "blown out windows and 2 front columns damaged. Probably
cause is mentioned as huge quantity of celluloid films' fumes and electrical
Found an Application form for repairing these damages, dated in Dec. 6. 1943. Applicant's name is: Estate of O'Brian, ( 34 Warren Rd.) On
another record I've found the names : Grace M.O'Brian & Mary Campbell Extrxs. Estate of James B.O'Brian 34 Warren Rd, Toronto 5, Ontario
On a Nov. 30. 1943 record there are already two names mentioned only as the Architects of the building:: Molesworth & Secord (Address: 18 Toronto St)
The first record of the sale of the site is dated back to Sep.1966, when the property was sold for $ 275,000 (Purchaser & Vendor not identified)
The building was sold again for $ 300,186 (No parties identified)
Aug. 19. 1979.
Mr. George Herczeg bought the property for $ 1.25 millions . The vendor was CIBC and the purchaser Inaugural Investments Ltd. (82. Birch Ave.)
I've found a Renovation, Addition Application (City Hall, Records) under the names of Front Trinity Development Ltd. and Inaugural Investments from March 18.1992. Permit No. 126-631. Lot & Plan : 22A PT Lots 70-73
There was a Bar in the basement, " Nuts & Bolts". A restaurant was operating on the south side of the ground floor, named: "All Star Eatery"
Construction started in 1988 (?) and was completed in 1990 when the first tenants started to move in. After the renovation and addition the site became an almost 10,000 square feet per floor office building. Total of 110,000 square feet has been outfitted with state-of-art building systems to include; high efficiency Heat Pump HVAC system, 2 new quick response elevator cabs, double paned glass windows for maximum energy conservation and a latest technology security card access and fire safety monitoring system.
Property Manager during and after the construction was Mr. Glen Ralph and later Mr. George Weisz joined the company to help Glen to manage couple of other buildings for George Herczeg Ltd. and Inaugural Investments Inc.
Paul Laszlo was hired by Mr. George Herczeg to be an on-site Manager of the building in Sep. 1989.
CIBC Development Corp. took over the building from George Herczeg's Inaugural Investments Ltd. Mr. Robert Thorpe from CIBC Dev. Corp. became the Property Manager of the site.
City of Toronto purchased the site for $ 3,7 millions. CIBC D.C. continued to manage the site for the City of Toronto. Paul Laszlo is still the Building Manager at 277. Victoria St. as of today. (Dec.'99)
Mr. Ray Gohren took over from Mr. Thorpe as the Property Manager for 277. Victoria St.
Mar 31, 1999.
There was a fire on the 11th fl, staff from the 10th fl gym area saw some
smoke and flames going up by the glass partition. The quick reaction of
staff and the building manager avoided a much more dangerous fire and property
damages to occur. Couple of weeks later there was a small celebration for
these people on the 10th floor, that's where this picture was taken:
Dec. 1 .1999.
As of today, CIBC Development Corporation is not in business anymore, they are selling their portfolio just like Royal Bank did it a short time ago. Other Banks are following suit, too. Cadillac Fairview and all their assets are sold, too.
CIBC DC is just a numbered company
from now until the 100% and in partnership owned bldgs are sold.
Deals should close by next March or April.
Property Manager, Ray Gohren advised Paul that from this date all who worked for Dev.Corp. are working for CIBC now ( no any official Memo was issued to the employees so far).
Dec. 10. 1999.
CIBC DC sold it's 100% owned buildings all over Canada for about $ 900 millions to a British Columbia Investment Fund. The deal is expected to close next spring.
Jan. 10. 2000.
Paul Laszlo received a Job Termination Notice from CIBC Dev. Corp. which stated that by Jan.28.2000. his employment with the company will be terminated.
Jan. 11. 2000.
The City of Toronto decided to give the job of managing 277 Victoria St. to Allied Canadian Corp. On the same day later in the afternoon Paul received a call from Paul Runcini, manager of Allied Canadian that they'd like to talk to him about staying on the job for them.
Jan. 31. 2000.
Allied Canadian Corp. offered the job of Building Operator to Paul Laszlo, who accepted and signed up with them to continue to manage the site for the new company. Paul is on 3 months probation with Allied until the end of April.
Feb. 1. 2000.
Allied Canadian Corporation's first day at 277.Victoria St.
Return to Main Page