On a recent rainy fall day UrbanToronto toured some of The Daniels Corporation's latest work in Regent Park to get an update on construction progress at Paintbox, their latest condominium tower, and the integrated Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre. Together they form a project unlike any other in Toronto, one which not only attests to the new life that is already bubbling through Regent Park, but one which also heralds Regent Park's evolving change in status from a place best avoided into a veritable destination.

Paintbox Condominiums under construction in Toronto by The Daniels CorporationOur tour group approaches Paintbox and the Regent Park ACC, image by Craig White

UrbanToronto's tour through the construction site included representatives from The Daniels Corporation, including Senior Vice President Tom Dutton, and Diamond + Schmitt Architects, including project architect Jennifer Mallard.

Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre under construction by The Daniels CorporationCurtain Wall window installation taking place at the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre, image by Craig White

When we arrived onsite, curtain wall window installation was taking place along the east wall of the Arts and Cultural Centre, where the entrance area for the performance and event space will be. The Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre will be the home for seven arts and social enterprise organizations which already have a track record in the community. You can read all about them and the Centre at the blue link above.

Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre under construction by The Daniels CorporationInside the largest auditorium at the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre, image by Craig White

This ground floor space will be the largest in the 60,000 square foot centre. Able to accommodate performances and events of all types, the venue is equipped with an extensive catwalk system above, which will allow the partitioning of the space in up to three rooms depending upon the current needs of the users.

Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre under construction by The Daniels CorporationCatwalks above the auditorium at the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre, image by Craig White

Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre under construction by The Daniels CorporationOn the catwalks above the auditorium at the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre, image by Craig White

The ground floor has several other practice and performances spaces, as well providing a home for dance and theatre companies. One floor above, we pass by spaces dedicated to learning; offices will provide space for organizations which foster the development of visual arts, music, and film talent.

Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre under construction by The Daniels CorporationHallway view to a Peter Dickinson designed tower in Regent Park South, image by Craig White

At the end of the second floor hallway above, we have a view east to one of the currently remaining Peter Dickinson-designed apartment blocks of Regent Park South. A few have come down, and more could follow as the Toronto Community Housing Corporation looks for ways to improve its stock of accommodation in the area. While innovative in their time, the towers, marked on their exterior by a pattern which shows the two-floor nature of the units, are proving very difficult to bring up to today's standards.

Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre under construction by The Daniels CorporationExpansive top floor open office space in the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre, image by Craig White

The top floor of the Arts and Cultural Centre will feature high-ceilinged flexible office space for the Centre for Social Innovation, an organization which nurtures other non-profit social mission organizations: in fact 60 organizations will find space that they can run their programmes from here.

Paintbox Condominiums under construction in Toronto by The Daniels CorporationView of Paintbox from top floor of the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre, image by Craig White

The view above of Paintbox from the Centre's third floor, also shows a Regent Park Phase 1 TCHC building rising in the background. Next, we head down to ground level again, and take the "back of house" passage through what will be catering kitchens into the base of Paintbox.

Paintbox Condominiums under construction in Toronto by The Daniels CorporationSpace that will become the cafe-lounge in the base of Paintbox, image by Craig White

The area above will become the area pictured below: this cafe-lounge space will be a casual community hub when completed, and it will benefit from an arrangement made with the George Brown College Culinary Arts programme. It will run catering in the complex, both for events in the Art and Cultural Centre, and for this space. The lounge will provide an facility for culinary arts students which is less formal than the Adelaide Street Chefs House space, which this space will complement.

Cafe-lounge in Paintbox condominiums, Toronto, by The Daniels CorporationCafe-lounge in the base of Paintbox, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Below is how this space, at the corner of Dundas and Sackville Streets, will look from the exterior.

Cafe patio at Paintbox condominiums, Toronto, by The Daniels CorporationExterior of the Cafe-lounge in the base of Paintbox, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

And below is how it fits in to the whole complex:

Paintbox condominiums, Toronto, by The Daniels CorporationPaintbox condominiums with the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre to the left, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Now that we've taken a look at what it will look like when complete, let's head up it to see the views from the construction site now. Below, the obvious view first: how does the Downtown core look from Paintbox on a rainy fall day? Still pretty impressive!

Paintbox Condominiums under construction in Toronto by The Daniels CorporationWest view from Paintbox condominiums while under construction, image by Craig White

This view to the east emphasizes the notch in the north facade which will separate east-facing condo units from west-facing ones. Beyond that; the trees of Riverdale and Leslieville.

Paintbox Condominiums under construction in Toronto by The Daniels CorporationEast view from Paintbox condominiums while under construction, image by Craig White

To the south, and looking through a notch in the façade again. The hallways on each floor will have this view, which takes in the lake and the local surroundings, including the nearby Distillery District, marked by its growing skyline.

Paintbox Condominiums under construction in Toronto by The Daniels CorporationSouth view from Paintbox condominiums while under construction, image by Craig White

Back outside again, we drink in more of the playful spandrel colouration which will mark this building as the community's cultural beacon.

Paintbox Condominiums under construction in Toronto by The Daniels CorporationPaintbox condominiums while under construction, image by Craig White

Paintbox Condominiums under construction in Toronto by The Daniels CorporationBrightly coloured spandrels accent Paintbox's dark charcoal gray cladding, image by Craig White

And that, for now, is it.

Paintbox Condominiums under construction in Toronto by The Daniels CorporationConstruction progress on Paintbox condominiums by The Daniels Corporation, image by Craig White

UrbanToronto will be back to update you in coming months, on a blue sunshiny day we hope! In the meantime, you can find out much more about both components of this complex by clicking on the dataBase links below. Or, why not join in the conversation by clicking on the associated forum thread links? Otherwise, leave a comment below!