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BlogTO: Toronto becoming even more of a tech hub as U.S. dominance wanes

Toronto becoming even more of a tech hub as U.S. dominance wanes

Toronto becoming even more of a tech hub as U.S. dominance wanes

Toronto’s tech scene has been consistently growing and thriving for several years now, and cofounder of TechTO Jason Goldlist says we’ve officially surpassed San Francisco and other major tech hubs in terms of the speed of said growth.

This, according to Goldlist, is the result of several factors — including the amount of talent constantly being welcomed into the scene from other industries and abroad.

“It used to be that the growth of our tech sector was fueled just by our excellent education system, which churns out smart young software developers who are available for co-ops and entry-level roles,” Goldlist told blogTO.

“But as winning technology companies scale, they are not just training our junior talent to grow, they are also welcoming more talent into the tech scene. Those that aren’t in Canada yet, they want to be here and be part of this.”

Goldlist said Canada’s smart immigration policies have undoubtedly played a role in the community’s growth, while restrictive policies south of the border are pushing workers out of the U.S.

According to the Financial Post, many immigrant tech workers are purposefully flocking to Toronto to avoid the U.S. thanks to the Trump administrations’ strict immigration policies, including the suspension of H-1B visas in June which are usually given to thousands of skilled tech workers from abroad every year.

And some companies wisely took that opportunity to try and attract even more talented workers to the Great White North, such as Shopify CEO Toby Lutke.

But Goldlist says Toronto’s growth isn’t just about what’s happening south of the border, it’s also about what the city itself has to offer.

“Once you’re part of the Toronto tech scene, you can actually feel the sense of energy and enthusiasm to build and grow together. Today’s technology professionals are going to turn into tomorrow’s tech founders — building new companies, creating new jobs, and powering even more growth to the sector here — you just know it,” he said,

And when the talent comes to the city, he said, companies inevitably follow.

“In the tech industry, talent is everything. Companies know that they can get access to world-class talent here in Toronto. And it’s not just the hard skills, it’s the Canadian culture that helps people work together to win together, and not just seek out chances to disrupt everything and everyone,” Goldlist said.

“World-class talent can choose to live anywhere, and I think they choose Toronto because of our education and health system together with all the important parts of a great city: opportunities to experience arts, culture, dining and nature.”

Goldlist also said he believes the city as a whole will greatly benefit from the increasing growth in the tech scene, and that Toronto is capable of avoiding the ensuing wealth disparities that have arisen in other tech hubs in North America.

“Toronto is going to see increasing levels of investment and innovation,” he said. “Although some tech hubs have seen incredible disparities in wealth and opportunity, Toronto has an environment where we can all ‘win together.'”

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Blog TO: The top 25 day trips from Toronto

The top 25 day trips from Toronto

Day trips from Toronto are all about packing in as much fun as possible without spending too much time in the car. The best one-day sojourns require less than two hours driving time each way, which still leaves an astounding number of options for those looking to escape the city.

Here are my picks for the top day trips from Toronto.

Pamper yourself at a Scandinavian-stye spa

Toronto has some pretty fine spa options, but if you want to get away from the city and relax, Scandinave Spa is the ultimate day trip. With new COVID-19 rules and a registration system for the baths, it never gets completely overcrowded.

The saunas and steam rooms will not be available for use at this time due to COVID-19 and new massage protocols include a reduced schedule and no duo massages. The spa is also operating at reduced capacity so there will be a maximum of two people allowed per group when visiting.

Explore the largest farmers’ market around

Just over an hour from Toronto, St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market is the largest of its kind in Canada. From local produce to farm-raised meat to antiques and hand-made treasures, the market makes for a great destination if you’re looking for a different shopping experience.

The market is open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday but make sure to take note of all their COVID-19 guidelines before you go.

Do Niagara Falls a bit differently

It’s the ultimate day trip from Toronto, so much so that Niagara Falls has become completely predictable. Shake it up next time you go by really soaking up the kitsch on the new patio at the Flying Saucer restaurant before braving the zipline. You can also take the GO Train to get there.

Stroll across an epic suspension bridge

You can walk across a 420-foot suspension bridge at Scenic Caves Adventures near Collingwood. The bridge, which is actually the longest in Southern Ontario, offers up incredible views of Georgian Bay and the surrounding Blue Mountain area.

Keep in mind that there will be a few new COVID-19 guidelines in place when visiting this year.

Go for a hike at Niagara Glen Nature Reserve

There are so many places to hike around Toronto, but one that is definitely worth a visit is Niagara Glen Nature Reserve. The protected land, located only an hour from Toronto, boasts a waterfall, river rapids and breathtaking rock formations to explore.

Try out rock climbing at Rattlesnake Point

Rattlesnake Point is a great place to try out rock climbing for the first time, particularly if you don’t mind crowds. It can get rather busy here due to its proximity to Toronto, but there are plenty of instructional groups that operate on this cliff. It’s also great for hiking.

Visitors are now required to make a reservation, either online or over the phone, before visiting Rattlesnake Point. The Nassagaweya Canyon Trail between Crawford Lake and Rattlesnake Point is also closed until further notice.

Explore the caves of Eramosa

One of the closest cave systems to Toronto, it’ll take around an hour to get to Eramosa Karst. There aren’t really the deep caverns that you’ll find elsewhere in the province here, but there are so many nooks and crannies that it’s a great way to spend a day exploring the time-worn terrain that also features streams and waterfalls.

Get a dose of culture in Alton Mills

Located in the small rural town of Alton, the Alton Mill Arts Centre is a hub of culture in an old stone mill. The space has a gallery, shop, cafe and museum, making it the perfect spot for art enthusiasts to spend an afternoon.

Visit a tropical greenhouse

There’s a lots to eat and see in Hamilton but while you’re there, make sure to stop by the Gage Park Greenhouse for your dose of tropical plants. It’s 14,000 square feet of unique subtropical flora, waterfalls and fish ponds.

Spend a day at the beach in Port Stanley

Port Stanley is home to a long beach with one of the finest stretches of sandy beach on Lake Erie’s north shore and a picturesque beach town. It’s also one of only 27 in Canada to have earned official Blue Flag status for its sublime water quality.

The beach fills up fast on weekends so be sure to get there early and stay informed on potential overcrowding.

Learn about Ontario’s craft cider scene

Ontario’s craft cider scene is blowing up, and a perfect little day trip is a visit to Spirit Tree Cidery in the picturesque community of Caledon. There’s a bakery and bistro on site, so you can do a tasting and stay for a meal.  The Ciderhouse Bistro at Spirit Tree Cidery remains closed due to COVID-19 but the outdoor patio is now open.

Take a lazy cruise down a river

There are lots of options for tubing near Toronto, but perhaps the best is along the Grand River. You can float down the water in the Elora Gorge or use access points in Paris and Waterloo for a more laid back experience with less rocks and mini-rapids to navigate.

Go mountain biking at Kelso

While there might not be a ton of technical trails or obstacles, Kelso is a great place to spend a day mountain biking thanks to the serious climbs up the Niagara Escarpment and gorgeous single track. when you’re done riding, hit up the beach for a cooling swim.

Get a buzz in wine country

Toronto’s close proximity to Niagara wine country is pure fodder for day trips. Not only is the landscape beautiful from spring through fall, but the tasting experience at most wineries is both educational and fun. Beamsville is a popular destination, but Niagara-on-the-Lake is great as well.

Get lost in Glen Major Forest

Glen Major has long been on the radar of mountain bikers and hikers. This 1,548 hectare woodland just northeast of Toronto is dotted with challenging trails and feels completely separated from the bustle of this city, despite the fact that it’s less than an hour’s drive away in low traffic.

Check out ancient rock carvings

If a mix of nature and history is your thing, you’ll love Petroglyphs Provincial Park. Home to over 900 symbolic First Nation carvings, it has the largest and oldest petroglyph collection in the country. There’s also a super rare lake in the park that is a greenish-blue colour due to the layers of the water never mixing with one another.

Walk across a marsh boardwalk

Located just 30 minutes from the city, Rattray Marsh Conservation Area is the last remaining lakefront marsh between Toronto and Burlington. It’s best known for its picturesque raised boardwalk that takes you through the protected wetlands.

Test your legs by cycling in Grey County

There’s plenty of great places to ride a road bike in and around Toronto, but if you want to spend a day really testing your mettle, head to the Grey County area around Blue Mountain, where you can sweat it out on climbs like Scenic Caves Drive (be careful of traffic here) and Grey Road 19.

Take in the quaint delights of Port Perry

We tend to think of cottage country as being more than two hours of driving from Toronto, but a trip to Lake Scugog won’t take that long. Kinsmen Beach is a lovely spot to spend an afternoon, and you can also check out Old Flame Brewing Co. for a tasting and tour.

Avoid the party at Wasaga Beach

Is there a beach that’s more fun in Ontario? With apologies to Grand Bend, Wasaga is the ultimate beach day trip from Toronto but this year it’s more about fun with a few friends than with a larger group. Now there are pods with limited capacity in order to limit the number of people on the beach due to COVID-19.

Go waterfall hunting in Milton

While Hamilton might be famous for its waterfalls, Milton has a hidden gem you can find during your hike at the Hilton Falls conservation area. It’s just a 45-minute drive away and comes with lakeside trails and Old Mill ruins. Just make sure to make a reservation in advance.

Go for a swim in an old quarry

The St. Mary’s Quarry is considered Canada’s largest freshwater swimming pool and it’s less than two hours from Toronto. There’s a large grassy area for sitting and soaking in the sun and a floating dock with a waterslide attached.

Your visit may be a little different due to COVID-19. You must register and pay for your swim online before you come to the quarry. You’ll also be required to wear a mask when entering and using the washrooms.

Walk in a lavender field

The numerous lavender fields a short drive from Toronto have become popular spots to get that Instagram moment, eat some lavender-infused ice cream and take in all those lovely floral scents. Make sure to book in advance as entrance policies have changed.

Explore the Kawarthas in a canoe

Kawartha Highlands provides all the beauty of Algonquin Park without the crowds. The 250 lakes and rivers in the area make it the perfect spot for a canoe trip, with endless opportunities for exploration. There are six recommended canoe routes through the park, ranging from easy to moderate in difficulty.

Soak in some small-town charm in Paris

Voted the Prettiest Little Town in Canada, Paris is definitely worth a visit. Stop by Penman’s Dam for a picnic with a view, paddle the Grand River or explore the shops in its historic downtown, an afternoon here won’t be boring. There’s also the Paris Wincey Mills, a fun ultra-hip market, open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

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Architectural Digest: Studio Gang Completes a New Twisting Tower in San Francisco

The 400-foot skyscraper houses 392 luxury condos behind a stunning spiraling façade

Studio Gang Completes a New Twisting Tower in San Francisco

Looking up toward the façade gives a real sense of how it appears to twist for those pedestrians in passing.

The booming San Francisco housing market continues to grow, particularly with new projects by such legendary architecture firms as Bjarke Ingels Group, MVRDV, and Arquitectonica. The latest new build to be completed, however, is Studio Gang’s Mira, a striking residential tower.

Rising 400 feet above the rapidly developing neighborhood between SoMa and the Embarcadero, Mira dazzles with a twisting curtain-wall façade—something of a technical masterpiece—that recalls Frank Gehry’s undulating 8 Spruce Street in New York. It comprises a modular system that repeats every 11 floors and borrows engineering techniques from the aerospace industry to create a completely smooth, all-white surface.

“Reinterpreting the classic bay windows of San Francisco, our design amplifies the dynamic quality of the neighborhood,” Jeanne Gang, founding principal of Studio Gang, said in a statement. “Spiraling all the way up this 400-foot tower, bay windows create unique spaces in every residence that offer fresh air, expansive views, and changing qualities of light throughout the day.”

A view of a model unit inside the building, showing the open floor layout and ample natural lighting.

The façade is also high-efficiency, helping to reduce the building’s overall energy consumption in conjunction with a graywater harvesting system, green roofs, and a VRF cooling system. With such measures in place, Mira is aiming for LEED Gold certification.

A view from the model unit shows the surrounding water and Bay Bridge.

Behind the dynamic façade are 392 luxury condos ranging from one- to three-bedrooms, 156 of which are being listed below market rate, plus amenities like rooftop lounges, a fitness center, and valet parking, as well as 10,000 square feet of retail space on street level.

 

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Architectural Digest: See Inside Zaha Hadid’s Revolutionary Oeuvre

A new book by Taschen surveys the Pritzker Prize–winning architect’s process, including her paintings and drawings—which are works of art in their own right

While many of Zaha Hadid’s buildings have become icons of contemporary architecture, there is much more to the late architect’s oeuvre than her most famous designs. Author Philip Jodidio, who is known for his monographs of Tadao Ando, Shigeru Ban, and Santiago Calatrava, explores Hadid’s groundbreaking career in Zaha Hadid. Complete Works 1979–Today (Taschen, $60). The book, which updates the monograph first published in 2009, compiles the architect and her firm’s work over the past 41 years, beginning with her unrealized design for the Irish Prime Minister’s residence in Phoenix Park, Dublin. While Hadid died in March 2016, Zaha Hadid Architects continues to realize her final designs and carry on her legacy of innovation. The architect’s works in progress, including the Mandarin Oriental in Melbourne, Australia, and Moscow’s Sberbank Technopark, are profiled as well.

The book reveals the Pritzker Prize–winning architect’s process, including the paintings and drawings—works of art in their own right—that she created to introduce and express her radical ideas. Architectural paintings show her buildings translated almost into complete abstraction. As Jodidio notes, “Sometimes related to specific projects and sometimes not, the early paintings of Zaha Hadid are more than the aesthetic musings of a talented artist; they are the blueprints for her revolutionary approach to architecture.” Also on display are the architects product designs, exhibitions, and installations.

Read on to visit some of the memorable projects featured in the book.

Photo: Doublespace Photography

Jockey Club Innovation Tower (Hong Kong)

Completed in 2014, the 15-story structure was built for the School of Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation. The interior of the over-160,000-square-foot building was designed to encourage collaboration and exploration, from the glazed work areas to the interior and exterior courtyards.

Photo: Hufton + Crow

Photo: Hufton + Crow

Port House (Antwerp, Belgium)

At Port House, the headquarters of the Antwerp Port Authority, a four-story cloud of glass and steel appears to float atop an old fire station. Integrating the older building on Mexico Island was a requirement for the project, and ZHA was able to preserve it completely, adding steel columns and two concrete pillars with stairs and elevators to the building’s existing central courtyard, which was then glassed in to bring more light into the space.

Photo: Hufton + Crow

King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

ZHA devised an organic five-building campus for KAPSARC, including an energy knowledge center, a conference center complete with a 300-seat auditorium and an exhibition hall, an energy computing center, a research library, and a musalla, a space for prayer. The complex, which was completed in 2017, was the first of the firm’s projects to be awarded LEED Platinum certification.

Photo: Hufton + Crow

Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre (Nanjing, China)

This impressive complex includes two towers set on a five-level mixed-use podium and a conference center with a 2,100-seat conference hall and a 500-seat concert hall. The Centre first opened in 2014 as the headquarters and housing for the Youth Olympic Games. The project was completed 34 months after design began thanks to the use of top-down/bottom-up construction, which reduced the time by a year.

Photo: Hufton + Crow

Photo: Hufton + Crow

Morpheus at City of Dreams (Cotai, Macau)

The 40-story high hotel, completed in 2018, has a distinctive free-form steel exoskeleton which encases the building. Three voids are carved into the structure, bringing in light and creating unique public spaces. A sky pool sits on the 40th floor where the two main towers within the building meet.

Photo: Hufton + Crow

Photo: Hufton + Crow

520 West 28th Street (New York)

Overlooking the High Line, the 11-story building at 520 West 28th Street includes 39 condominiums. The exterior has a curving steel façade, which highlights the split-level design of the floors. The building was outfitted with a sky-lit lap pool, an IMAX theater, and a sculpture garden.

Photo: Hufton + Crow

Photo: Hufton + Crow

Al Janoub Stadium and Precinct (Al Wakrah, Qatar)

Inaugurated in 2019 and commissioned for the 2022 World Cup, the Al Janoub Stadium takes design inspiration from local boats, called dhows. One of the most impressive aspects of the stadium is the operable roof section spanning over 300 feet, designed by Schlaich Bergermann Partner, which complements the structure’s pleated roof and covers the field during the summer.

Photo: Ju Huanzong

Photo: Ju Huanzong

Beijing Daxing International Airport

The new airport was built about 28 miles south of the city center and ZHA designed the terminal building and neighboring transportation center. The airport includes four runways and 79 gates within the six-pier design. By 2025, it will accommodate 72 million travelers per year.

Photo: Hufton + Crow

Photo: Hufton + Crow

Beijing Daxing International Airport (continued)

Inspired by Chinese architectural traditions, the dramatic interior spaces of the airport are arranged around a central courtyard. Skylights bring in light and help guide passengers through the terminals.

Photo: Hufton + Crow

Photo: Hufton + Crow

Leeza Soho (Beijing, China)

Located in the Fengtai business district, the Leeza Soho tower boasts the world’s tallest atrium. The 46-story building’s two halves twist 45-degrees around the central atrium, while four skybridges connect the towers at the 13th, 24th, 35th, and 45th floors. The building incorporated a number of sustainability elements, including double-insulated low-e glazing, and earned LEED Gold certification.

Zaha Hadid. Complete Works 1979–Today (Taschen, $60).

Zaha Hadid. Complete Works 1979–Today (Taschen, $60).

 

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BlogTO: 10 breathtaking boardwalk trails near Toronto to visit this summer

Boardwalk trails near Toronto provide incredible forest and lakeside views without the difficult hike. What more could you ask for when it comes to a rejuvenating day trip outdoors?

Here are some of the most breathtaking boardwalk trails not too far from Toronto that you should visit this summer.

Valens Lake Conservation Area

Located just over an hour from Toronto in Hamilton, Valens Lake is home to this 300-metre wetland boardwalk, more than 10 kilometres of walking trails and even an observation tower, offering a stunning view of the surrounding forests and lake.

 

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Cyprus Lake

This five-kilometre looped hiking trail in the Bruce Peninsula wraps around the crystal-clear Cyprus Lake and brings you through a forest of century-old trees. Partly made up of a wooden boardwalk, it makes for an easy and scenic stroll.

Spruce Bog 

This marshy trail in Algonquin Provincial Park contains several boardwalk sections throughout its 1.5-kilometre loop and gives visitors a close-up look at two typical northern spruce bogs.

 

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Beauty everywhere?? • • • • • • • • • ? by @enracu_

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Crawford Lake Conservation Area

This nature reserve is under an hour from Toronto near Campbellville, and provides breathtaking views of the Niagara Escarpment and the surrounding meromictic lake, along 1.4-kilometres of the elevated boardwalk. Note: reservations are required this summer.

White Water Walk 

Located about an hour away, this 400-metre boardwalk, complete with multiple viewing platforms, brings you right next to the raging rapids of the Niagara River and the more than 400-million-year-old rock layers of the Niagara Gorge.

Sifton Bog

This 400-metre boardwalk in a conservation area in London cuts through a picturesque and unique swampland, combined with a lush green forest before opening onto a floating viewing area at Redmond’s Pond.

Kelso Conservation Area

With the stunning Niagara Escarpment as a backdrop, Kelso in Milton is a mecca for anyone who loves the outdoors. Besides the scenic lakeside boardwalk, the park is home to an extensive network of forest trails for hiking and biking, a variety of lookout points and a sandy beach. Note: reservations are required this summer.

 

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Presqu’ile Provincial Park

This provincial park in Brighton is home to a one-kilometre looped boardwalk trail through a marsh. The pathway features two observation towers where you might even be able to see some migrating birds. More than 300 different bird species have been recorded in the park.

Keep in mind that parts of the boardwalk may periodically be closed due to high water levels.

Rattray Marsh Conservation Area

You only have to travel 30 minutes to visit this stunning marsh boardwalk. As the last remaining lakefront marsh between Toronto and Burlington, this nature escape in the middle of Mississauga features an extensive boardwalk with waterfront views.

 

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Exploring Sauga ? #Mississauga #Ontario – ? @t.h.e.photography_

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Grundy Lake Provincial Park

The Swan Lake Trail winds through a protected nature reserve in this provincial park. The highlight of the 1.5-kilometre trail is the marsh boardwalk, where you’re sure to spot a good amount of wildlife including the rare Blanding’s turtle or the Great Blue Heron.

 

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Remember to check trail and weather conditions before you head out, pack water and a snack, and enjoy your day on the trail.

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Architectural Digest: Atelier Oslo and Lundhagem Architects Complete Norway’s Most Dynamic Library

The Deichman Bjørvika features cantilevers that jut out more than 65 feet over the plaza below.All photos by Einar Aslaksen

The Deichman Bjørvika features cantilevers that jut out more than 65 feet over the plaza below.All photos by Einar Aslaksen

Located across the street from Snøhetta’s iconic Oslo Opera House, Deichman Bjørvika incorporated cantilevers into the design to offer breathtaking views of the city

The Oslo waterfront has a new architectural jewel. Located across the street from Snøhetta’s Oslo Opera House is the city’s new central library, Deichman Bjørvika. The structure was designed by architecture firms Atelier Oslo and Lundhagem Architects, who won the competition to create the building in 2009.

The firms wanted to create a space that encouraged exploration and served all the needs of a modern library. The library is spread over six floors—five above ground and one below—and is home to 450,000 books, as well as a number of public resources such as a theater, a podcast studio, and instrument stations. Faced with a small site, the architects incorporated cantilevers into the design, including the first and fifth floors. The fifth floor’s cantilever is perhaps the most striking part of the façade. It juts out more than 65 feet over the plaza and has soaring views of the Opera House and the Oslo Fjord.

The structure was designed by architecture firms Atelier Oslo and Lundhagem Architects, after the firms won a competition to design the building 11 years ago.

The structure was designed by architecture firms Atelier Oslo and Lundhagem Architects, after the firms won a competition to design the building 11 years ago.

The interior is filled with light thanks to “light shafts” originating at each of the entrances, cutting diagonally through the building, and ending in a skylight set within the origami-esque roof. The architects also chose to keep the façade of the first floor completely transparent for additional sunlight. The other floors are clad in alternating insulated and glass panels, for energy efficiency and evenly distributed light. Panoramic windows were installed in the corners of each floor, providing views of the city.

The interiors are light-filled due to the abundant windows, open spaces throughout, and a central skylight.

The interiors are light-filled due to the abundant windows, open spaces throughout, and a central skylight.

The library is filled with open spaces that were outfitted in calming neutral tones by interior architecture firm Scenario. Three black book towers anchor the floors and contain colorful niches that can be used for installations. Locating the books in central towers allowed the architects to keep the exterior walls open for views and light. The building also boasts a restaurant, Centropa, and a café with a terrace.

Throughout the library’s six floors, there are 450,000 books, as well as a theater and a podcast studio.

Throughout the library’s six floors, there are 450,000 books, as well as a theater and a podcast studio.

While glass and concrete abound, there’s still plenty of whimsy and color throughout the building. The second floor is home to a vibrant section for children, complete with lots of colorful spots to curl up with a book. Norwegian artist Lars Ø Ramberg’s site-specific white and yellow neon sculpture Brainstorm adds color and energy to the lobby space. A piece by American artist Martin Puryear, the nearly 23-foot-tall granite sculpture Creature From Iddefjord, was installed outside the library. Additionally, a room in the library is home to an ambitious public art project by Scottish artist Katie Paterson called Future Library. Each year for the next 100 years, a writer will contribute a work that will be published and put on display in the library in 2114.

The sixth floor of the library provides dramatic views of Oslo.

The sixth floor of the library provides dramatic views of Oslo.

Deichman Bjørvika was set to open on March 28, but was delayed due to COVID-19. The library officially opened to the public at the end of June with stringent safety guidelines, including limiting visitors to 1,000 at a time, as opposed to the normal 3,000-person capacity. Eventually the library hopes to have 2 million visitors per year.

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Urban Toronto: Carlyle Condos Settlement Offer Includes Hotel Component

A residential tower proposed by developer Carlyle Communities for the southwest corner of Richmond and Peter Streets in Toronto’s Entertainment District now includes a significant hotel component. In the latest plans presented to the City for approval, the architectsAlliance-designed Carlyle Condos has gone through a number of revisions since the initial rezoning application was tabled in 2015. A settlement offer was approved by City Council and the LPAT in 2018 detailing a 42-storey tower, but that has now changed.

Comparison between the previous and current plans, facing west from Peter Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto

City Council endorsed the settlement at its July, 2018 meeting, approving plans that would have seen a residential and retail development rising above five preserved heritage buildings at 128 Peter Street and 357-359 Richmond Street West. An LPAT hearing on January 7, 2020 approved the proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment application but withheld its final order pending a number of preconditions, including the provision of the final form of the rezoning application.

Project statistics, initial and revised settlement proposals, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Now, a revised settlement offer that was received by the City on May 19, 2020 is scheduled to be considered by City Council on May 28. It proposes the addition of a 106-room hotel and the removal of the retail component. Several other aspects of the design have also been altered in the new submission of materials.

Looking southwest at Richmond and Peter, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Previously approved at 42 storeys, the new design contemplates a 39-storey volume. Although the height of the building excluding the mechanical penthouse has been reduced from 128.9 to 121.5 metres, the overall 141.36-metre height including the mechanical penthouse levels remains unchanged.

Looking west towards the podium of Carlyle Condos, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The hotel would occupy levels one through 13 within the tower, as well as the five heritage buildings on the property. Total residential gross floor area has been reduced from 22,581 to 16,777 m², resulting in a considerable drop of residential units from 348 to 270. Some of the amenity spaces will be shared between residents and hotel guests.

Looking southeast at the preserved heritage facades along Richmond Street West, image via submission to the City of Toronto

A network of exposed columns situated at the corner of Richmond and Peter, supporting the cantilevered tower above, has been eliminated in favour of a simplified four-storey base building. The cantilevers expressed overhead of the retained heritage buildings remain part of the plan, but are proposed at a lower height than previously envisioned.

South and north building elevations, image via submission to the City of Toronto

East and west building elevations, image via submission to the City of Toronto

A portion of the publicly accessible pedestrian walkway proposed along the western edge of the site would be reduced from three to two metres in response to changes to the design of the interior servicing court, and to accommodate loading, pick-up and drop-off spaces for the hotel.

Peter & Richmond - Carlyle Communities

The revised Richmond Street West frontage, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The total number of vehicle parking spaces has increased from 56 to 58, and bicycle spaces have decreased from 363 to 287. A knockout panel previously planned in the underground parking garage to accommodate loading between the site and the adjacent property at 401 Richmond Street West has been removed.

City Council is expected to adopt the revised settlement offer at their meeting this week.

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Urban Toronto: Mixed-Use Carlyle Junction Development Revised Following Feedback

Carlyle Communities has amended its plans to build a mixed-use development in Toronto’s Stockyards area following comments from City staff. First submitted in October, 2019, the Carlyle Junction project proposed for 6 Lloyd Avenue and featuring architecture by RAW Design includes an 18-storey residential building, a five-storey office building and a 920 m² public park.

Rendering of Carlyle Junction, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Revisions to the massing of the two-volume residential component, and a reduction in height of the office portion, were outlined in our previous article. The latest submission of materials includes an updated rendering of the development and a massing diagram highlighting the changes from the 2019 version.

Massing revisions, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Stepbacks proposed on the north residential building have been simplified to provide additional sunlight on the north sidewalk. An eight-storey podium now steps up to 13 storeys, which is attached to the main 16-storey sloping element. The 18-storey volume to the south employs the same dramatic angular facade. The frontage on Mulock Avenue boasts a continuous four-storey street wall with street-facing townhouse units.

Angular plane from neighbourhood edge at Mullock and Lloyd, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The site would contain a total of 512 new residential units—including 37 affordable units—the 3,258 m² office component, and 2,035 m² of commercial retail space. A total of 335 vehicular parking spaces are proposed above grade along the rail corridor, serving as a noise and crash wall.

Angular plane from property line at St. Clair West, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Section 37 benefits include the affordable housing component, a public daycare, and the public park at the southwest corner of the property, which in the original application exceeded parkland dedication requirements, with the extra land now being redeployed to create a larger outdoor play space for the daycare. A proposed public connection between Mulock and St. Clair will now be designated exclusively for private use as a larger public stair and ramp connection is already envisioned on the west side of Mulcock under the City’s St. Clair Transit Master Plan.

Additional information and images can be found in our Database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field below.

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BlogTO: This new Toronto apartment building will come with 37 affordable homes

A piece of land in Toronto’s Stockyards that has sat empty for more than a decade could soon be the site of 529 new residential units, including 37 affordable ones for artists and their families.

Plans for a 3-acre site referred to as 6 Lloyd Avenue, now Carlyle Junction, has been in the works for years, with two previous proposals to turn this triangular plot of land by the rail corridor into a cluster of mixed-use buildings.

The latest plan submitted from Carlyle Communities and RAW Design shows what we can expect to be built on the former site of a Benjamin Moore paint plant.

The previous proposal, which was pitched by troubled Toronto developer Stanton Renaissance as JunXion Condos before the company filed for bankruptcy in 2017, was shot down by city planners in 2015.

The heights of the three 14-storey residential buildings and one eight-storey office building were deemed “excessive” for the area, considering the rubber factory next door.

Located just a stone’s throw away at 35 Cawthra Avenue, the plumes emitted from National Rubber Technologies meant that people in any building taller than 16 metres “would be subject to unacceptable levels of odour”.

But according to Carlyle’s commissioned air quality study, submitted in October 2019, “National Rubber Technologies was assessed in greater detail… The results indicate that odours from the current National Rubber Technologies operations will be below the detection threshold.”

The amendments from Carlyle Communities and RAW Design submitted last month has instead seen the residential building heights go up to 16 and 17 storeys, while the office building has been reduced to four storeys.

A main selling point is the proposal’s proximity to the upcoming St.Clair-Old Weston SmartTrack Station, which will be appealing for future workers of 32,000 square-feet of new glassy office space being proposed, if built.

The two-volume condo will include two-storey townhomes, encompassing some of the 218 one-bedrooms, 209 two-bedrooms, 57 studio units, and 45 three-bedrooms in the plan.

And in adherance to Section 37, which requires developers to provide some form of community benefit in their applications, Carlyle will also be including a daycare and 37 affordable rental housing units, the latter which will be planned in partnership with Artscape.

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Urban Toronto: Mixed-Use Centre Proposed Near Future St. Clair SmartTrack Station

Carlyle Communities have proposed a mixed-use office, retail, and residential project at 6 Lloyd Avenue, to the southeast of the intersection of St Clair and Keele in Toronto’s Stockyards neighbourhood. Abutting the rail corridor, the project is the third such proposal on the site in recent years, with the previous version by Stanton Renaissance preceding the firm’s eventual bankruptcy. The site comes with the particular challenge due to its proximity to an adjacent rubber factory, whose emissions restricts the height at which a building can rise on this site’s southern end. The recent submission takes this consideration into account, differing from the renderings that surfaced early last year.

Aerial overview of the site, image via Google Maps

The project consists of a two-volume mid-rise building on the north end of the site rising 16 and 17 storeys, and a four-storey office component on the southern end. The 529 units and 32,000 ft² of office will be poised to take advantage of the upcoming St Clair-Old Weston SmartTrack station envisioned for where the rail corridor crosses St Clair adjacent to the northeast corner of the site.

Eastern Elevation of Carlyle Junction, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The condo units are proposed in a mix of 57 studio, 218 one-bedroom, 209 two-bedroom, and 45 three-bedroom units. A number of these units will be two-storey townhomes at ground level.

Designed by RAW, the residential buildings would feature a glass-clad lower level reaching down to the street along St. Clair near the dip in the road by the rail underpass. Stepping up to the established grade of the rail corridor, the façade treatment shifts to brick with punched windows. The building takes angled steps back as the it rises to the upper levels.

Looking across St. Clair to Carlyle Junction, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Contrasting with the red brick is the office component, utilizing a faceted glass design traversed with angled metal bands. The office was originally proposed at 8 storeys, with the recent resubmission taking into account the rubber plant emissions, reducing the height to 4 storeys. Pictured below is a rendering of the 8-storey version, the design language of which appears to be retained in the new 4-storey version.

Office rendering, 8-storey version, image courtesy of Carlyle Communities

17,000 ft² of retail would be located both along St. Clair and within the base of the office building, along with childcare spaces. 316 parking spaces are proposed within an above-ground garage that sits abutting the rail corridor, acting as a crash wall and noise barrier for the grade-level townhomes.

Additional information and images can be found in our Database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment below.

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Urban Toronto: Multi-Tower, Mixed-Use Development Proposed at Danforth GO Station

Developers Carlyle Communities and Slate Asset Management have submitted an application to the City of Toronto seeking rezoning to permit a large mixed-use complex at 6 Dawes Road, just southeast of the Main and Danforth intersection. The Quadrangle-designed proposal calls for three residential towers of 49, 46, and 40 storeys, along with a City-run community centre and an entrance from Main Street to Danforth GO station. The development would replace an existing self-storage facility on a linear strip of land abutting the GO rail corridor.

Site of the proposed development, image via submission to City of Toronto

Site of the proposed development, image via submission to City of Toronto

The proposal calls for a total gross floor area (GFA) of 123,652 m²/1,330,979 ft², consisting primarily of residential floor area, at 118,418 m². With a total 1,425 units, 1,033 condominium units and 392 rental units are spread across the three residential towers, while the remaining 5,233 m² is planned as a six-storey community centre at the east end of the site.

Looking southwest to 6 Dawes Road, image via submission to City of Toronto

Looking southwest to 6 Dawes Road, image via submission to City of Toronto

The new recreation centre would replace the existing Main Square Community Centre, adopting its name. The aging centre’s modern replacement is to include a swimming pool, an aerobics space, a gym with basketball court, a fitness centre, activity rooms, a kitchen, and other amenities.

Looking south to community centre at 6 Dawes Road, image via submission to City of Toronto

Looking south to community centre at 6 Dawes Road, image via submission to City of Toronto

Along the southern edge of the proposal, an improved platform will be built for Danforth GO station, while a new entrance will be integrated into development at the west end of it where Main Street crosses over the rail corridor. Adjacent to the new community centre, the plan also calls for a mid-block privately-owned public space (POPS) that would improve connectivity to Danforth GO at the east end too. Residents will get a direct connection to Downtown Toronto to the west, or Scarborough and eastern GTA suburbs to the east. Main Street subway station is walking distance to the north.

Looking northeast to 6 Dawes Road, image via submission to City of Toronto

Looking northeast to 6 Dawes Road, image via submission to City of Toronto

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BlogTO: Toronto’s newest community centre will also be a GO station

Looking southwest to 6 Dawes Road, image via submission to City of Toronto

Looking southwest to 6 Dawes Road, image via submission to City of Toronto

The city of Toronto might be getting more community space thanks to two developers who looking to the city to rezone a piece of property on Danforth East as a mixed-use complex.

According to Urban Toronto, Carlyle Communities and Slate Asset Management have submitted an application to rezone 6 Dawes Road, at the intersection of Main and Danforth, to allow for three residential towers.

The proposals for the towers range from 40 to 49 storeys, and would include a city run community centre. The development would replace an existing self-storage facility on a linear strip of land next to the GO rail corridor.

Looking south to community centre at 6 Dawes Road, image via submission to City of Toronto

Looking south to community centre at 6 Dawes Road, image via submission to City of Toronto

The proposed residential building would have a total of 1,033 condo units and 392 rental units, spread across the three residential towers. The remaining space would be used for the six storey community centre at the east end of the site.

The new recreation centre would replace the existing Main Square Community Centre, adopting its name, and will include a swimming pool, an aerobics space, a gym with basketball court, a fitness centre, activity rooms, a kitchen, and other amenities, if approved by the city.

Currently the community centre is three levels, and houses a 25 metre pool, two multipurpose areas, a kitchen, and a small weight room.

In addition to the housing and community spaces, the southern edge of the proposal includes an improved platform for the Danforth GO station, while a new entrance will be integrated into development at the west end of it where Main Street crosses over the rail corridor.

Looking northeast to 6 Dawes Road, image via submission to City of Toronto

Looking northeast to 6 Dawes Road, image via submission to City of Toronto

Adjacent to the new community centre, the plan also calls for a mid-block privately-owned public space that would improve connectivity to Danforth GO.

Residents will get a direct connection to Downtown Toronto to the west, or Scarborough and eastern GTA suburbs to the east.

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Urban Toronto: New Plan Emerging for Stalled Keele and St Clair Project

A reimagined plan has surfaced for a stalled mixed-use development at Keele and St Clair in Toronto’s Stockyards area. The previous plan designed by McCallum Sather Architects for Stanton Renaissance came to an end with Stanton’s bankruptcy. It called for three 14-storey buildings and one 8-storey building on the 2.66-acre site on Lloyd Avenue next to where the GO Kitchener line crosses St Clair Avenue West. A new GO/SmartTrack station is planned within a short walk of the site. St Clair streetcars and Keele and Weston Road buses are also a short walk away.

The site was sold to Carlyle in November 2017, and their plan’s architecture comes from RAW Design, calling for residential and commercial components with contrasting massing and materials. Multiple residential condominium buildings are proposed, to contain a combined 550 units. The buildings would rise to heights between 8 and 16 storeys, with brick framing windows on residential floors, and projecting metal fins acting as brise soleils on lower office floors.

Office component, 6 Lloyd Avenue, image via carlylecommunities.com

Office component, 6 Lloyd Avenue, image via carlylecommunities.com

An eight-storey single-use office building wth a glass facade features a faceted massing and a network of crisscrossing metal bands, somewhat reminiscent of the effect on the east and west facades of the Theatre Park condo tower in the Entertainment District.

Carlyle’s website states that a development application has been submitted to rezone the property, though no updated documents are currently available on the City’s website. Meanwhile, a case file for the project remains listed as open at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), with no upcoming hearings or meetings listed. A website for the project hints at an upcoming resolution, with a build-out date for the project targeting Summer 2023.

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Pinterest To Open 1st Canadian Office In Toronto

THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, JEFF CHIU A pin signifies the Pinterest office in Japan on a map at the Pinterest office in San Francisco, April 1, 2015.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, JEFF CHIU
A pin signifies the Pinterest office in Japan on a map at the Pinterest office in San Francisco, April 1, 2015.

Pinterest says it has 12 million Canadian users, who save 4.5 million photos on the platform daily.

SAN FRANCISCO — Pinterest is opening its first office in Canada in Toronto at the start of October in an effort to expand its presence outside of the U.S.

The San Francisco-based technology company runs an online platform that allows users to create a digital board they can pin aspirational photos to.

It says it has 12 million Canadian users, who save 4.5 million photos on the platform daily.

Run by former Facebook Canada sales head

Pinterest says it hopes the Toronto office will help spur the business’s international growth and serve local advertisers.

The Toronto office will be run by country manager Erin Elofson, who previously led Facebook Canada’s sales team and spent 11 years at Microsoft Canada.

Pinterest says Elofson will help the country localize its offerings, including an ad program, which it says advertisers will be able to use to target French-speaking Canadians by the end of the year.

Read the story: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/09/26/pinterest-canadian-office_a_23542409/

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CBS plans production hub in Canada to satisfy demands of peak TV

Photo: Bloomberg News

America’s Most Watched Network’’ is opening up shop in Canada.

CBS Corp. leased 260,000 square feet outside of Toronto to serve as its base in a burgeoning hub of film and TV production. The space, including six sound stages, offices and support facilities, is the largest studio opened by a U.S. broadcaster north of the border.

Though primarily known as a broadcast network, CBS is expanding into Canada to support its growing output of shows, including “NCIS’’ and “Madam Secretary’’ for CBS, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’’ for the CW and “American Vandal’’ for Netflix. CBS Television Studios is producing 63 shows in all.

The company ranks as one of the world’s biggest producers of TV programming at a time when demand for new shows has never been higher. The U.S. TV industry will crank out more than 500 original scripted series this year, according to research from FX.

CBS already shoots a handful of productions in Canada, including “Star Trek: Discovery,’’ the latest installment of the popular science-fiction franchise. The new studio is expected to open in mid-2019.

“CBS has a strong production history in Canada,” said David Stapf, president of CBS Television Studios. “The Toronto area specifically has provided our series with diverse and appealing locations, as well as production infrastructure and crafts expertise that cannot be easily found. These new stages will provide valuable resources and additional capacity for our company’s growing production slate.”

Studio space in Toronto, totaling about 2.2 million square feet, is stretched, according to real estate research firm Altus Group Ltd. TV and film production jumped 10% to a record C$2.98 billion in Ontario in the year to March 2017, and 42% to C$2.99 billion in British Columbia, according to the Canadian Media Producers Association.

Read the story: https://www.crainsnewyork.com/entertainment/cbs-plans-production-hub-canada-satisfy-demands-peak-tv

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Microsoft is opening a huge office in downtown Toronto

Carlyle Communities news
Microsoft just announced something big for Toronto—the tech giant will be opening a new office downtown.

As part of the move, the company plans to inject $570 million into Toronto. It will create 500 new jobs, and 500 student placements at first, and over 60,000 jobs in the long-term.

The tech giant’s new Canadian headquarters will open at CIBC Square at 81 Bay Street, covering four floors of the tower and about 132,000 sq ft. It is expected to open in 2020.

With the announcement that a giant tech company is coming to Toronto, perhaps Amazon will finally make up their mind and choose Toronto as well. Only a matter of time.

Lead photo by Kevin Peesker

Read the story:  https://www.blogto.com/tech/2018/09/microsoft-cibc-square-downtown-toronto/

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MaRS Discovery District is opening a new location on Toronto’s waterfront

enants of the new Waterfront Innovation Centre will have immediate access to Alphabet Inc.'s 'neighbourhood of the future.' Rendering via Menkes Developments / CNW Newswire

enants of the new Waterfront Innovation Centre will have immediate access to Alphabet Inc.’s ‘neighbourhood of the future.’ Rendering via Menkes Developments / CNW Newswire

 

Toronto’s eastern waterfront is fast becoming a new type of hub for the city’s fast-growing high tech sector, and MaRS Discovery District — the largest science and technology incubator in Canada — wants a piece of the action.

The non-profit innovation and research centre announced plans this morning (in partnership with the University of Toronto) for a new, 24,000-square-foot office inside a forthcoming Menkes development next to Sugar Beach.

Called the Waterfront Innovation Centre, the development is expected to open in 2021 and accommodate more than 3,000 employees.

It’ll be “just a stone’s throw from the proposed Sidewalk Toronto neighbourhood,” as U of T puts it, creating plenty of much-needed office space for the city’s booming tech industry in one centralized location.

Tenants of the new Waterfront Innovation Centre will have immediate access to Alphabet Inc.'s 'neighbourhood of the future.' Rendering via Menkes Developments / CNW Newswire.

Tenants of the new Waterfront Innovation Centre will have immediate access to Alphabet Inc.’s ‘neighbourhood of the future.’ Rendering via Menkes Developments / CNW Newswire.

“As Toronto becomes a destination for global talent, venture capital and tech corporations, demand for space is at an all-time high,” said MaRS CEO Yung Wu in an announcement on Tuesday.

The non-profit’s 780,000-square-foot West tower at College Street and University Avenue is currently 99.8 per cent full, meaning that viable startups are being turned away every week due to lack of space.

“Toronto is experiencing its lowest commercial vacancy rate ever (three per cent), making the city the most sought after market in North America,” Wu said. “Our startups and partners need more space to scale, and this new development is the ideal location for that growth.”

A supply crunch on downtown Toronto office space has tech giants turning to the eastern waterfront with plans for a community of their own. Rendering via Menkes/UofT.

A supply crunch on downtown Toronto office space has tech giants turning to the eastern waterfront with plans for a community of their own. Rendering via Menkes/UofT.

A supply crunch on downtown Toronto office space has tech giants turning to the eastern waterfront with plans for a community of their own. Rendering via Menkes/UofT.

MaRS and U of T will only take up a fraction of the two-tower Waterfront Innovation Centre’s total 400,000 square feet, but its important to both organizations that they have a presence at the complex.

“U of T sees itself as a primary anchor of Toronto’s innovation ecosystem,” said U of T’s Scott Mabury. “If that ecosystem is going to expand to a different part of the city, then we want to have U of T’s flag planted there.”

If all goes well with the lease agreement, MaRS and U of T will be located together in a tower called “the HIVE.”

Startup workers and university researchers will have access to scalable, collaborative working space with floor-to-ceiling windows, among other resources, and a high-speed broadband network fuelled, in part, by self-generating solar power.

Lead photo by Menkes/UofT

Read the story: https://www.blogto.com/tech/2018/09/mars-discovery-district-opening-second-location-toronto/

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Sales data from Toronto homes will finally be available to everyone

Carlyle Communities

A Supreme Court of Canada decision is being hailed as a huge victory for consumers today as GTA realtors finally win the right to make home sales data public online.

Long story short: Anyone will soon be able to see how much any property has been sold for in the past — without hiring a realtor and jumping through hoops to get basic information.

Canada’s Competition Bureau has been fighting for this to happen since 2011, when it challenged a Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) policy preventing the publication of home sales data.

At the time, TREB only allowed its roughly 50,000 members to share the history of a property’s sale price with clients via fax, email or by presenting it in person.

Brokerage websites were prohibited from publishing the information, regardless of whether or not it was password protected.

The competition bureau has argued that, by hoarding such information, TREB was impeding both competition and innovation in Toronto’s real estate market.

TREB has countered repeatedly by saying that posting the data would violate the privacy of its clients and break copyright law.

The duelling organizations went back and forth for years, first at the Competition Tribunal and then at the Federal Court of Appeal, where TREB was told to release the home sales data publicly.

The real estate board subsequently asked the Supreme Court of Canada to hear an appeal.

On Thursday morning, the Surpreme Court basically said “nah.”

Canada’s highest court announced around 9:45 a.m. that it would not hear an appeal from TREB, which means that the lower court rulings stand: Toronto realtors can now publish home sales data on their websites, and Toronto residents can get a better look at what they’re investing in.

Lead photo by Laurin Jeffrey

Read the story: https://www.blogto.com/real-estate-toronto/2018/08/sales-data-toronto-homes-will-finally-be-available-everyone/

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This could be Toronto’s home of the future

As many as five families could comfortably live in the space formerly occupied by two single-family townhouses in BCA's concept plan. Batay-Csorba Architects/The Globe and Mail

As many as five families could comfortably live in the space formerly occupied by two single-family townhouses in BCA’s concept plan. Batay-Csorba Architects/The Globe and Mail

The City of Toronto’s population has been exploding in recent years, ushering in an exciting, yet challenging period of growth for industries across the board.

With the number of people living downtown expected to more than double by 2041, the housing industry has been particularly busy — both when it comes to building homes (hello cranes) and in figuring out how to build as many residences as the city will need in the years ahead.

The Toronto-based architecture firm Batay-Csorba Architects (BCA) — famous for its award-winning Double Duplex project, among other works — might have a solution.

BCA recently designed architectural plans for The Globe and Mail in response to an article about how planning regulations in Toronto are limiting the amount of new housing units than can be built.

Batay-Csorba Architects focused on wasting less space and light than traditional homes in a series of conceptual multifamily housing units. Batay-Csorba Architects/The Globe and Mail

Batay-Csorba Architects focused on wasting less space and light than traditional homes in a series of conceptual multifamily housing units. Batay-Csorba Architects/The Globe and Mail

As architecture critic Alex Bozikovic explains, city planners and councillors are often opposed to the construction of low-rise apartment buildings in existing residential areas, despite the fact that this would be the most efficient way to solve our housing problem.

“So I asked BCA to try something that might be more palatable,” wrote Bozikovic on Monday.

“We chose at random a site near Bloor and Christie Streets that’s currently occupied by two semi-detached houses. The challenge: to add more good-quality housing units here, while roughly maintaining the visual rhythm and scale of the street.”

What they came up with is a large brick building with space for five families — a structure that would replace the two single-family townhouses on that lot.

Architects say they thought beyond the “long and narrow lots” Toronto is so familiar with when coming up with their concept, putting the units “back-to-back, instead of side-to-side.”

Each of the proposed homes would be about 2,500 square feet with separate entrances (one in front of the site, one beside it and one in the back) and their own “screened-in courtyard” porches.

You can see all the renderings here and learn about why multifamily housing is worthy of further exploration — whether city planners and longtime neighbourhood residents like it or not.

Lead photo by Batay-Csorba Architects/Norm Li/The Globe and Mail

Read the story: https://www.blogto.com/real-estate-toronto/2018/09/could-be-toronto-home-future/

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