R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant

Started in 1932 and operational on November 1st, 1941, the Art Deco water treatment plant, also known as The Palace of Purification, continues to supply water to Toronto. Located at 2701 Queen St. E. at the foot of Victoria Park Ave, the area was a waterfront amusement park, called Victoria Park, from 1878 to 1906. Then in 1906 to 1932 the site was used as the Victoria Park Forest School (there are some photos from 1913 of the school on the Fallingbrook neighbourhood page.

But as Toronto continued to grow in the 1920's and 1930's it was clear a new, modern water filtration plant was required. The focus on architectural design led to a public works building that has captured the imagination of Toronto. For a fictional account of the people who built the plant, see Michael Ondaatje's book In the Skin of a Lion . The buildings have also appeared as various fictional jails in movies over the years.

List of all subjects. You can also see all the historic photos for a given neighbourhood. We also have a list of all the photos arranged by date.

And you can also go up a level to see the other photos we've put under the category of Other_Historic_Toronto_Buildings photos.

1930 Historic photo from 1930 - Service Building - south elevation - blueprints - R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant  in FallingbrookService Building - south elevation - blueprints - R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant
94 years ago - Fallingbrook - 1930
Link to archive record - Map location
1930 Historic photo from 1930 - Filtration Building - south elevation - blueprints - R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant  in FallingbrookFiltration Building - south elevation - blueprints - R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant
94 years ago - Fallingbrook - 1930
Link to archive record - Map location
1933 Historic photo from Monday, May 15, 1933 - Building the foundations for the west wing retaining wall of the R.C. Harris Plant in FallingbrookBuilding the foundations for the west wing retaining wall of the R.C. Harris Plant
91 years ago - Fallingbrook - Monday, May 15, 1933
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1935 Historic photo from Monday, April 1, 1935 - R.C. Harris Water Filtration Plant from the south-west in FallingbrookR.C. Harris Water Filtration Plant from the south-west
89 years ago - Fallingbrook - Monday, April 1, 1935
Max temp: 3.9°C - Min temp: 0.6°C - 0.8cm of snowfall (weather details)
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1935 Historic photo from Thursday, November 28, 1935 - Guniting complete, curve Suction Header No. 1 (a big pipe) in the R.C. Harris Plant along Lake Ontario in FallingbrookGuniting complete, curve Suction Header No. 1 (a big pipe) in the R.C. Harris Plant along Lake Ontario
89 years ago - Fallingbrook - Thursday, November 28, 1935
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1935 Historic photo from Monday, April 1, 1935 - Looking west across the excavation by the Lake in front of the R.C. Harris Plant in FallingbrookLooking west across the excavation by the Lake in front of the R.C. Harris Plant
89 years ago - Fallingbrook - Monday, April 1, 1935
Max temp: 3.9°C - Min temp: 0.6°C - 0.8cm of snowfall (weather details)
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1936 Historic photo from Thursday, March 26, 1936 - Twenty ton crane and steel roof frame during construction of the R.C. Harris Plant  in FallingbrookTwenty ton crane and steel roof frame during construction of the R.C. Harris Plant
88 years ago - Fallingbrook - Thursday, March 26, 1936
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1952 Historic photo from Friday, September 26, 1952 - R.C. Harris Purification Plant, east side - lawn, steps, towers in FallingbrookR.C. Harris Purification Plant, east side - lawn, steps, towers
72 years ago - Fallingbrook - Friday, September 26, 1952
Max temp: 16.7°C - Min temp: 10.6°C (weather details)
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1952 Historic photo from Friday, September 26, 1952 - Tower at east side of the R.C. Harris Purification Plant in FallingbrookTower at east side of the R.C. Harris Purification Plant
72 years ago - Fallingbrook - Friday, September 26, 1952
Max temp: 16.7°C - Min temp: 10.6°C (weather details)
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1985 Historic photo from 1985 - Art Deco entrance to the R.C. Harris Plant along Lake Ontario in FallingbrookArt Deco entrance to the R.C. Harris Plant along Lake Ontario
39 years ago - Fallingbrook - 1985
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1986 Historic photo from 1986 - Aerial view of the R.C. Harris Plant along Lake Ontario in FallingbrookAerial view of the R.C. Harris Plant along Lake Ontario
38 years ago - Fallingbrook - 1986
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
2011 Historic photo from Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - Filtration room, R.C. Harris water treatment plant at 2701 Queen St. E. at the foot of Victoria Park Ave
 in FallingbrookFiltration room, R.C. Harris water treatment plant at 2701 Queen St. E. at the foot of Victoria Park Ave
13 years ago - Fallingbrook - Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
2015 Historic photo from Monday, July 6, 2015 - Complete north facade of the Filter Building at the R.C. Harris Plant in FallingbrookComplete north facade of the Filter Building at the R.C. Harris Plant
9 years ago - Fallingbrook - Monday, July 6, 2015
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
2016 Historic photo from Sunday, May 29, 2016 - Interior - filter operating galleries in the Filter Building R.C. Harris Plant along Lake Ontario in FallingbrookInterior - filter operating galleries in the Filter Building R.C. Harris Plant along Lake Ontario
8 years ago - Fallingbrook - Sunday, May 29, 2016
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)