September 1, 2010

Tribute Communities, in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Military Institute, held a unique “cornerstone ceremony” this morning. The developer and the historic military organization were celebrating the heritage of the RCMI building.

Tribute’s new condo, the Residences at the RCMI [map], will be built on this site, which is Canada’s premier institute for military studies.

Al Libfeld, the president of Tribute Communities, and Lt. Colonel (Ret’d) Jim Breithaupt, the president of the RCMI, removed two cornerstones from the RCMI building at 426 University Avenue.

Speech, speech, speech!

These two cornerstones, dating back to 1907 and 1912 respectively, will be laid in the Residences at the RCMI when construction begins later this month. A new cornerstone will also be laid along with these two historic stones.

No tea jokes, please.


I’d never heard of a cornerstone ceremony before, but these events are quite interesting. Basically, a cornerstone is the first stone laid during the construction of a new building. Sometimes the corner stone has a date engraved on its side and some stones even contain time capsules.

There was some serious speculation that one of the 103 year-old cornerstones removed from the RCMI would contain a time capsule. Those who were hoping to catch a glimpse of relics from a century ago were not disappointed.

A cylindrical time capsule was opened at the event and the contents were revealed by the Honourable Curator, Lt. Colonel (Ret’d) Bruce Savage and the Honourable Librarian, Arthur Manvell.

Honourable Curator, Bruce Savage and the Honourable Librarian, Arthur Manvell reveal the contents of the capsule

The capsule contained a coin and an old scroll of paper which was unfortunately too fragile to be opened at the event. The scrolls will be transferred to a facility equipped to handle aged paper, so fear not! The messages sent to us from the folks of 1907 will still be heard.

Careful! It might disintegrate if you stare at it for too long.

The event was followed by a reception at the swanky University Club nearby. All in all, it was a fascinating event and a great way to celebrate the heritage of this Toronto landmark.

Congratulations to Tribute, and all the purchasers of the Residences at the RCMI!

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