Five Condos, a joint venture of Mod Developments Inc. and Graywood Developments Ltd., made quite the splash when it debuted on UrbanToronto early this summer. The project beautifully melds the heritage of existing structures at its site at Yonge and St. Joseph Streets with the soaring, bright shiny modernity of a new 45-storey tower set back from the edges of the site. Early on in this project we had a gorgeous concept rendering of what Five would look like along its west side, the St. Nicholas Street frontage. St. Nick is a rare, narrow, brick-paved lane at this point, and thankfully the team wanted to preserve and enhance the historic character here. The design has since progressed, and we can now present a rendering that is much closer to what this face of the building will look like once complete.

Five Condos on St. Joseph Street by Mod/Graywood with Hariri Pontarini.Rendering of streetscape at Five Condos on St. Joseph Street.

ERA Architects is overseeing the restoration of the heritage components, including both street-level retail and the residential podium units above, in the overall design of the complex by Hariri Pontarini Architects. David Pontarini has designed a new brick and stone façade inspired by the past, complete with large loft-style windows, some with the same Gothic-revival shapes found in the St. Joseph façade. Within this volume are three floors of unique residential lofts, with ceiling heights up to 10’ - making Five perhaps the only loft project in central downtown Toronto.

Five Condos on St. Joseph Street by Mod/Graywood with Hariri Pontarini.Close-up rendering of streetscape at Five Condos on St. Joseph Street.

New retail is being contemplated that will animate this largely pedestrian-style section of St. Nicholas. These spaces have the flexibility to house small shops or be combined to accommodate larger retailers (about 8,300 sq. ft. of retail is planned). Potential uses being considered are art galleries; flower shops; and one-of-a-kind food uses such as cafes, bakeries and fruit stores (reminiscent of the Summerhill Shops farther north on Yonge). Combined with the new retail planned for the restored Yonge Street buildings (about 7,250 sq. ft.), the new loft office space planned for the upper floors of the Yonge Street buildings (about 9,000 sq. ft.) and the 493 units within the FIVE development, there will be a vitality on this block that will serve as a model for future developments.

posted: 2010-08-18 03:19:19