For those who sorely miss the venerable Ballenford Books, Swipe Books has stepped forward to create a store-within-a-store to fill the void left after the former landmark institution closed it doors. Currently, Built Books offers Toronto's best selection of Architecture and Urban Design publications. It can be found at 401 Richmond Street West, just east of Spadina Avenue. Their website features a blog that discusses new acquisitions as well as architectural issues in Toronto.
The Masonry heater goes by many different names; Finnish Fireplace, Wood Heater, Kachelofen, Grundofen, Varaava Takka, Tile Stove and Ceramic Stove among others. All of these names refer to a large, specially-constructed fireplace that uses small amounts of fuel and is capable of heating an average family home. Although not always appropriate in a retrofit application, in the cold Canadian climate they are a sustainable home heating alternative in new home construction.
Masonry heaters first appeared in Northern Europe in the early 16th century. Historically, they were used in the kitchen, combining a stove, oven and seating areas. Located in the center of the home, they were fired twice daily for the preparation of meals and heating. The heaters were in all homes regardless of social status; however they varied aesthetically from white wash clay to ornate masterpieces.
In celebration of its new issue covering how Toronto "embraces, endures and ignores the coldest days of the year," the venerable Spacing Magazine will host a release party for its Winter 2011 edition on Monday, February 21, 2011. The event will be held at the El Mocambo (264 Spadina Avenue - the corner of Spadina and College) starting at 7:30pm. Existing magazine subscribers pay $5 at the door; $10 for others (however this gets you a copy of the new issue too). The event promises games and prizes for attendees.
If you are in the market for a new home heating system, consider radiant heat. These systems come in different configurations such as under or in-floor, or the traditional radiator variety. The most energy efficient and cost effective systems are water based – or “hydronic” systems. Going from an existing forced air furnace to a different system may seem exorbitant, but if you are in the midst of a home renovation and have the opportunity to reconfigure your heating system, it may be worth the effort.
Kate Harrison is a licensed architect and is the principal of KHA.