A recent development proposal at 1925 Victoria Park Road (Toronto) by Well Grounded Real Estate (developer) and Partisans (architect) is noteworthy for a number of reasons:
- The 12-storey, 168-suite residential mid-rise building is proposed to be built out of mass-timber.
- It is targeting Toronto Green Standard Tier 4, which is a voluntary, difficult-to-achieve, and expensive sustainability target. It is the equivalent of net-zero and I believe the only projects to date that have achieved this level in the city are public projects.
- The circulation spaces are exterior single-loaded corridors that face an internal courtyard. This approach is very common in some cities, but almost non-existent in Toronto. Usually because someone will cite our winters as being a problem and because double-loaded corridors are typically the most efficient (rentable area / gross construction area). But the benefits are that you don’t need to heat/cool these corridor spaces and you open up the possibility of suites with windows on both ends.
- The design doesn’t generally follow the typical “pyramid-shaped confection” that has come to define Toronto mid-rise buildings, though it does seem to generally conform to the 45 degree angular planes that we love to obsess over. Instead, it is starting to resemble a typical European courtyard building. Good. For some more commentary on this, check out John Lorinc’s recent piece in the Globe and the Mail.
This is unquestionably an ambitious project. And ambition is what cities need. So I am pleased to write about it today on the blog. If you’d like to learn more, check out their project website.