134 Peter Street, and properties to the north of it on Queen Street, and to the west of it on Richmond Street, are undergoing a major change, one which is bringing some major intensification and modernization to the area, but one which is meant to enhance the district's workaday brick character. When it is done in a few short years, the complex will be known as QRC West, or Queen Richmond Centre West, and we expect it will be a favourite for readers of UrbanToronto.

Aerial view of QRC West, Toronto, by &Co Architects for Allied REITAerial view of QRC West from the southeast, Toronto, by &Co Architects for Allied REIT

Allied Properties REIT are turning the four-storey brick buildings into a 17-storey office complex in an area where the Entertainment District blends into Queen West and the Fashion District. They call it Downtown West now, although it wasn't more than a few years ago that we just knew it as the Warehouse District. Those brick warehouses are under threat in many spots in the area as development pressure - mostly for new condominiums - mounts. In the case at 134 Peter, Allied REIT has tasked &Co Architects with retaining the brick's building's robust character while floating a major addition of new office space on top of it… and providing a spectacular 70 foot high atrium lobby to access it.

Lobby at QRC West, Toronto, by &Co Architects for Allied REITLobby at QRC West, Toronto, by &Co Architects for Allied REIT

Starting on the property means preparing the existing 1915-built building for a gut of its interior slabs, while keeping the masonry walls supported. UrbanToronto member Hawc recently took this photo of the work.

134 Peter Street braced for office redevelopment, Toronto134 Peter Street braced for redevelopment, image by Hawc 2011.12.09

UrbanToronto member Red Mars took these two shots in late October when boarding up fo the windows had begun. These shots give you a better idea of the current context.

134 Peter Street being prepared for office redevelopment, Toronto134 Peter Street being prepared for redevelopment, image by Red Mars 2011.10.27

134 Peter Street being prepared for office redevelopment, Toronto134 Peter Street being prepared for redevelopment, image by Red Mars 2011.10.27

UrbanToronto will be going much more in depth on this project in the future, but in the meantime you can check out the plans and several renderings of this very cool project in our new dataBase page for it. It's linked below along with the associated Projects & Construction thread for QRC West if you are interested in getting in on the discussion.