COBE designs affordable housing in downtown Toronto

housing in downtown Toronto

A client group consisting of Dream Unlimited, Kilmer Van Nostrand Co. Limited and Tricon Capital Group has commissioned COBE to develop a large scale mixed-use residential development in Toronto’s downtown east in collaboration with Toronto-based architectural firm architectsAlliance. Consisting of three buildings, two of which COBE has designed, the project contains 761 market rental apartment units including 30 percent affordable rental units which are indistinguishable in their design. The development has the ability for its future residents to leverage many strong neighbourhood amenities in both the Canary and Distillery Districts, notably the 82,000 square foot Cooper Koo YMCA and 18-acre Corktown Common park.

An Interpretation of the Site’s Historical Context
Located in West Don Lands, a former industrial area on Toronto’s waterfront, which is currently undergoing a dramatic transformation, the site is at the intersection of three distinct neighborhoods, each dating from a different era and with its own unique architectural expression. The project stacks architectural components from the three neighborhoods like building blocks, one on top of the other. The first layer is a contemporary interpretation of the red-brick warehouses of the adjacent Distillery District; the middle layer refers to the Canary District north of the site, with its mixed architectural palette, and the top layer is rendered in light concrete, inspired by the existing industrial silos on the harbor front.

Added Value for Tenants and the Local Area
To promote a high quality of life, the project gives all tenants access to communal amenity spaces. Terraces that result from the stacking of blocks are used to provide generous green outdoor amenity spaces with urban farming, landscaped gardens, outdoor dining terraces, a playground and a pool area. The three buildings are interconnected with a footbridge and underground connectivity. The center-most building contains amenity programs such as a cinema, fitness center, spa, music and childcare facilities, while each of the individual buildings contain local resident lounge and dining areas.

At ground level row houses are planned, each with a front door opening onto the public realm together with publicly accessible functions such as cafés and shops. In the public spaces between the buildings, designed by Montreal based landscape architect Claude Cormier + Associés, there is room for urban life to unfold on open plazas, in intimate urban green spaces and on quiet pedestrian streets with room for children to play. Groundbreaking takes place mid-2019, and completion is scheduled for early 2022. Source and images Courtesy of COBE.

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