According to Tim Morawetz in Art Deco Architecture in Toronto, the Toronto Hydro-Electric Building was constructed from 1931 to 1933 from designs by architects Chapman and Oxley with associate Albert E Salisbury.
From a distance the buildng is very plain except for the decoration along the roofline. Originally the building was intended to be much taller so the current roofline is a band of decoration that would have appeared part-up up the original design.
The central four spandrels of the building are topped which these figures overlooking the street below.
A closer look between the modern t-shirt decals above the ground floor windows also reveals two pairs of relief panels.
The two smaller panels, in my opinion, show woman working with a ribbon of electricity bringing power to a number of home appliances and a man using another ribbon of power in an industrial setting.
The larger reliefs depict figures in a stylised settings perhaps relating to the generation and transmission of electric power.
I particularily like the wavy hair of the figure against the electricity wires in this relief.
MELBOURNE ART DECO
In 2009 Robin Grow published a book on Melbourne Art Deco, with images largely supplied by David Thompson. The book quickly sold out and he is pleased to say that it has now been re-published by Brolga Press, with updates, errors corrected and a new cover.
Best of all, it is selling for about $25 in the shops and on-line. Art Deco & Modernism Society members can purchase a copy from me for $22, (includes postage within Australia). For overseas orders please email for postage rates. Contact me at email@example.com if you are interested, and advise if you would like the book to be dedicated and/or signed.