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The Globe and Mail

See the beauty under the decay of an old Toronto bank

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An exterior view of the one-time Bank of Commerce at 197 Yong St., Toronto. Says developer Gary Switzer, 'Anybody that grew up here, they know that Queen and Yonge was the crossroads - it wasn't Bloor and Yonge. You look at any of those old photographs from the 20s and 30s, you can't even see the sidewalk it's so crowded.'

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Old dentist's office, second floor. Note the 1950s sink with original faucet and taps

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Offices on the second floor are 'creepy in a Blair Witch kind of way,' says Gary Switzer

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Ruins of a fireplace on the third floor. Note the rat trap: 'I have been told, particularly in the basement, there is a rat problem,' says Mr. Switzer.

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Looking out the dirty, double-hung windows on the third floor at advertisements on the Eaton Centre.

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Plaster ceiling above offices on first floor. Says architecture history professor Shannon Kyles: 'You will never find craftsmanship like this again.'

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Detail of interior woodwork (curved pediment and Ionic columns.)

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Detail of mosaic tile found under vinyl floor.

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One storey banking hall that was gutted. It will be demolished to make way for the condo tower.

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Detail of tiny vintage water fountain in the one storey banking hall.

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Gary Switzer studies the well-preserved carved woodwork. 'There's a lot of old buildings that were demolished in Toronto I wouldn't mind rebuilding, like the old post office on Adelaide,' he muses.

Dustin Rabin

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