Toronto architect Don Schmitt, co-founder of the well-known firm Diamond Schmitt Architects, has presented an scheme for Blue Diamond, a new residential project by Camrost-Felcorp on St. Clair Avenue West, a few steps east of Avenue Road.
The former Deer Park United Church, an picturesque Gothic-revival building, will be creatively adapted into a public courtyard with retail along St. Clair, townhouses on Foxbar, and a stunning tower affording exceptional views of the city.
“I happened to visit an old church that had been designed by Christopher Wren that had been bombed in World War II and lost its roof,” says the archiect. “Rather than rebuild it, they had chosen to turn it into a sculpture garden, where the local residents could sit in the sun and enjoy the surroundings.”
In the Blue Diamond proposal, the roof of the church, interior and rear parish hall will be removed, and the walls rehabilitated and left to stand on their own, creating a semi-enclosed parkette with paved and green areas.
Space for shops is planned in the main floor of the tower, as well as a café. If everything unfolds according to plan, the developer will get a glassy 28-storey tower architect Schmitt described to me as “discreet, quiet and simple.”
Location: Toronto, Canada
Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects
Landscape Architect: Janet Rosenberg & Studio
Heritage Architect: ERA Architects
Programm: 27 storeys; 226 units
Retail and townhouses at street level
Article by Marco Rinaldi