Tag Archives: architects
Atria Developments introduced Garment Factory Lofts, a new live/work industrial conversion that will revitalize a former garment factory. Garment Factory Lofts is located in the Queen Street East neighborhood, one that is undergoing an exciting resurgence between Logan Avenue and Leslie Street to form a hip Downtown Toronto East.
This neighbourhood is fast on its way to becoming an urban success story. Garment Factory Lofts is just down the street from the Distillery District, and steps from Leslieville. In the vicinity are eateries such as Verveine and Gio Rana’s Really, Really Nice Restaurant.
Popular nightspots include Barrio, where regulars sip martinis and enjoy tapas-style treats while a DJ spins music on Saturday night. When the proposed changes to the Toronto Film Studio suroundings become reality, that entire area will be home to new retail, residential and live/work housing, adding to the urban tapestry.
Designed by award-winning Core Architects Inc., the eight-storey Garment Factory Lofts meld the original brick faÃ§ade of the warehouse with modern steel and glass to create a striking whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. The building terraces back begin at the third floor, and are distinguished by an acid green canopy that will grace the entry on Carlaw and extend back into the lobby. Every loft offers a glazed balcony or spacious terrace with amazing views.
The Garment Factory Lofts features 150 lofts comprised of studios, one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den/workspace, two-bedroom, and two-bedroom plus den/workspace, and penthouses with views of the lake. Priced from just $139,900, these lofts, will range in size from 525 to 1,303 square foot and offer the lowest price per square foot of any authentic loft in the city.
The spectacular model loft by Fleur-de-lis Interior Design Inc. contains examples of the building’s interesting architectural details such as the original fluted columns, ceilings that soar up to almost 12 feet, and large windows. The model kitchen will feature modern Wenge-stained cabinetry, a stone backsplash and island with a stone top. This one-bedroom plus den/workspace also showcases a gas stove, gas BBQ hookup, and an optional gas fireplace.
Atria Developments is known as the creator of i-Zone live/work lofts, located across the street from Garment Factory Lofts. i-Zone was a major catalyst for change in the surrounding neighbourhood, and is now home to artists, filmmakers, photographers, and other creative spirits. The development of the Garment Factory Lofts will bring a further greening to this former industrial neighbourhood with the inclusion of a parkette that backs onto Boston Avenue.
Atria Developments is a family-owned and operated company specializing in the revitalization of former industrial urban areas by renewing existing sites.
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Well-respected Longo Communities offers the rare opportunity to own a brand new rooftop terrace townhome in Toronto’s historic Corktown area. New Corktown is an intimate gated community situated on the southwest corner of River and Shuter Streets, just minutes from major highways, the St. Lawrence Market, the rejuvenated Distillery District, plus the shops, bakeries and bistros of charming Cabbagetown.
This limited collection of just 16 townhomes is also handy to Toronto’s entertainment and cultural venues including the new Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Situated just south of Regent Park South, New Corktown residents will benefit from the revitalization of that area, which will form a connection with the surrounding neighbourhoods. In addition, Riverdale Park is just a few blocks north, and Lake Ontario a short drive south.
Each of the two- and three-storey townhomes in New Corktown is crowned by a spacious rooftop terrace, perfect for entertaining. The richly detailed, heritage-inspired architecture by renowned Kirkor Architects features heritage brick with stone components, turrets and other focal points to compliment the existing mid-19th century buildings in the area.
Corktown was originally home to thousands of working class Irish who came to Canada from the County of Cork. Many of the original homes of these workers were unadorned, and their simple, straightforward design has become more captivating with time.
Currently, Corktown is undergoing a renaissance, and has attracted a vibrant community of right-brained artists and left-brained entrepreneurs.
Inside Longo’s townhomes, the open-concept layouts satisfy 21st century families with convenient dens, inviting family rooms, formal living and dining rooms, sumptuous master bedrooms and more (all as per plan). One design, the Queen, offers a lovely 312-sq.-ft. rooftop terrace plus a balcony off the living/dining room for maximum outdoor living space.
Each suite comes complete with parking, as well as a long list of luxury appointments. Among these are solid oak handrails and the choice of metal or oak pickets finished in a natural colour; kitchen cabinets with 42-inch uppers; rich ceramic floor tiles; quality 40-oz./Berber carpeting; and engineered pre-finished laminate flooring.
Longo Communities is a third-generation family-owned business with more than 80 years of industry experience. The company has earned a reputation for meticulous attention to detail and unparalleled construction quality. In addition to 1,000 multi-residential rental properties, Longo Communities has developed and built over 1,500 homes and numerous commercial projects in Ontario. International projects include commercial and residential developments in Texas, Ohio and Florida.
Townhomes at New Corktown range in size from 1,037 to 1,279 sq. ft. and are priced from just $349,900 – remarkable for downtown Toronto. Plus, for a limited time, Longo Communities is offering a grand opening bonus of granite kitchen countertops, stainless steel kitchen appliances and a gas barbecue outlet on the rooftop terrace. Closings are slated for the fall of 2007.
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By John Bentley Mays – The Globe and Mail
A few days ago, I dropped by a couple of downtown Toronto residential projects that were still twinkles in their architects’ eyes when I first wrote about them a couple of years ago. Both designs â€” the Hudson apartment tower at the corner of King Street West and Spadina Avenue, and the Gardens at Queen, on Bathurst Street â€” have since put on bones and flesh, and are nearing completion. So it seemed a good time to pay a visit, just to check out how the architectural realities have lined up with what I imagined they would be.
Designed for Great Gulf Homes by David Dow, principal in Diamond and Schmitt Architects, the Hudson stands in a district of old factories and warehouses near the bottom of Spadina. Globalization long ago swept away most of the manufacturing enterprises that gave the neighbourhood its industrial character, but workaday architecture lingers on to remind us of the past.
As Mr. Dow explained when I wrote up the scheme in 2004, the Hudson was designed to echo its historic context â€” and, indeed, it does so. The flat rooflines of the Hudson’s elements (a 21-storey tower and lower buildings, all joined on the bottom storeys) reinforce the flat-topped skyline of the area, and make the compact complex seem at home among its neighbours.
But despite all its best efforts to be polite to its surroundings, the Hudson is not really one of the blue-collar guys down on lower Spadina. It is lithe and athletic, while the warehouses tend to be chunky. The buff brick â€” an old Toronto standby â€” that Mr. Dow has deployed on the Hudson’s exterior may be a nod to ordinariness, but its use here is elegant, even chic â€” more GQ, in other words, than Truckers News.
It was clear to me from the designs that the Hudson would be more refined than what’s around it. I was less certain, however, of this sophisticated building’s ability to hold its own on the noisy, busy intersection of King and Spadina. Now that the project is done, it’s clear that my hesitation was unfounded. The Hudson, as things have turned out, is a confident, handsome corner monument â€” not imposing itself on the streetscape, but marking an important downtown crossroads with modern grace and modest authority.
The Gardens at Queen, by Chestnut Hill Homes, never had an intersection to live up to, so it could afford to be more playful than the Hudson. And playful it is, in the way a “historical” setting in a theme park so often is: awash in nostalgia, brimming with references to a glamorous past, but, in the end, rather bare under its decor and doodadery.
This project of 177 units in seven 31/2-storey buildings would sweep us away from Toronto to 19th-century Paris, or so its early advertisements proposed. The Gardens, as built, sweep us (if anywhere) to Regency London: The exteriors are pale yellow stucco in the British manner, not Parisian grey limestone. Flights of steps lead to upper-storey entrances, each framed by a ponderous little porch, again in the British townhouse manner. The superficial effect â€” and it is superficial â€” is poshy and stodgy, and as jowly and bluff as an English bulldog.
There is a durable market for this kind of historical fantasia, both downtown and in suburbia, so I expect to be seeing new specimens of it for the rest of my days on Earth. But if architects must provide such storybook pageantry, then let it be done in a spirit of faithfulness to the finest examples of the historical style. The best Regency domestic architecture, for example, is light and trim. The buildings at the Gardens at Queen are overdressed and heavy-handed, and crowned with parapets that, like the other trimmings and flounces, are ostentatious â€” as though we would not otherwise get the point that the project is seriously old-fashioned.
When I talked with Clifford Korman, the architect, about his project two years ago, he said he intended it to be a “catalyst for the neighbourhood.” Whether the Gardens at Queen will energize its rundown Victorian context remains to be seen. But if it does change things, what will it change them into? More historical pastiche? Is this the kind of Toronto we want? Or is it merely the best we can hope for?
As things stand so far, the Gardens is hardly an isolated island of antiquarian architecture in the midst of a 21st-century city. Many other contemporary residential projects around town self-consciously hark back to some style hauled up from the past. If it’s not Second Empire, then it’s bully-boy Victorian or pompous Edwardian. We will know that our city’s architectural conscience has come of age when we see more buildings done boldly in the spirit of the current age.
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