Busting the Toronto clouds at more than 50 floors each, the twin columns of Casa II and Casa III chart the course of a new city.
And while the Casa trio– Casa I, at 46 storeys, is throughout the street– stand out for the plain geometry of their wraparound verandas, another set of straight lines much, much closer to the Charles Street sidewalk should have the attention of harried passersby.
As typically occurs with new developments, considerable dedications to the love and care of old buildings were protected by the city from developer Cresford prior to structure licenses were issued. And while that’s not news in itself, the semi-detached, 2nd Empire homes at 62 and 64 Charles St. E., developed by specialist Arthur Coleman and painter Thomas Smith in 1885, now boast an outstanding example of the lost art of tuckpointing.Crisp geometry like this hasn’t been seen on a brick wall for perhaps a century. Not to be puzzled with run-of-the-mill pointing or repointing, tuckpointing (the terms are frequently utilized interchangeably, which is incorrect )involves a multistep procedure using lime-based mortars that leads to a wall worn a sharp grid of thin, raised “ribbons “between each brick.
the lost art of tuckpointing. Dave LeBlanc/The Globe and Mail”It’s to offer the impression that the building was constructed with extremely tight joints, “states Barkley Hunt, 43, of Hunt Heritage Ltd., one of just a handful of individuals in Canada who can tuckpoint according to techniques established in England in the early 18th century. “And actually it’s not– the joints are actually big– however it’s purely cosmetic.”
All the rage by the “second decade of the 19th century,” composes historic preservationist/educator Michael Shellenbarger in a 1993 essay titled Tuck Pointing History and Confusion, the approach was necessary since of the “bad quality of bricks, especially in London.” Irregular and of odd sizes, tuckpointing was a way for the middle classes to achieve the appearance of the “pricey rubbed, assessed, and pushed” brickwork of “royalty or the very wealthy.” By the mid-19th century, tuckpointing was also used “significantly” in the conservation and remediation of “old decayed work.”
Since most homebuilders associated with the building and construction of Toronto’s Cabbagetown or The Annex (and a lot of areas built during the Victorian boom) came from the United Kingdom, tuckpointing ended up being standard practice here, regardless of our better stock of brick.