Monday, 26 May 2008

333 memories

Updated 06/01/08
An ongoing collection of comments about Sun Media's pending sale of 333 King Street East, the Toronto Sun's digs since the summer of '75.

Joan Sutton Straus, a Day Oner and former Lifestyle editor: "My main memory of the King Street East building is all those computers - and having to learn to use them.

After the Eclipse building, it was very grand indeed and instead of having to write a daily column, a food feature, a fashion page, a weekly interview and fill the rest of the week's space myself, I looked out on a staff: a secretary and two writers in the Lifestyle department.

My office was bigger but, alas, it did not feature the hole in the wall that made it possible for George Gross to give me daily advice. His office was across the room. Andy Donato still stopped by to give me my daily hug.

The bosses, Creighton and Hunt, were on a different floor from the rest of us, but that didn't mean we didn't beat a path to their door, demanding more money in our budget, threatening to resign and then setting off for the Winston's martini lunch to negotiate.

The space was grander and Pierre Berton and company - who predicted the Sun would never succeed - were eating humble pie, but we were still very much the Sun - committed to its success, competitive, unconventional, joyous.

And I do mean joyous."

Ian Harvey, former veteran Toronto Sun reporter, remembers the food and grooming services at 333, including Doug Creighton's personal barber setting up shop.

"Yeah, the barber, where the ATM machine was on the ground floor. He had a little tiny room Doug set up for him. He was Doug's barber. I want to say his name was Tony, but that would be too much of a cliche."

Ian also remembers the roaming cafeteria: first down in the basement, with vending machines, to the full 6th floor cafeteria "where you got off the elevator, walked by the executive offices with those lovely ladies and west to the cafe with the tables overlooking King St.

"Then when they added the west wing, they moved downstairs to the first floor and called in Reds.
Not that Doug ever ate there. He was too busy at Winston's."

Bill Brioux, former Toronto Sun television writer: "All I know is I'll be pissed if they move the Sun to Brampton.

"As someone who worked there in the last decade, it certainly was nice to be sandwiched between the re-emerging Distillery district and the 'Old Toronto' charm of the Market area. I do miss walking that 'hood.

"I also always felt that, from the wide foyer to the grand, well lit atrium at the top of the stairs, it was a cool building to enter, but that it got less and less impressive the closer you got to my desk.

"I was interviewing somebody downstairs in Reds once - might have been Dave Foley from Kids in the Hall or Brent Butt from Corner Gas - and when they realized the address was 333, they said, 'Makes sense - the place seems about half Satanic.' Boy, were they right."

E-mail your comments on the sale of 333.

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