When looking around the city, it's the tallest buildings under construction that usually catch the eye. City growth and density however come in all shapes and sizes. Increasingly, developers are finding ways for smaller sized projects to work where the City's zoning bylaws won't permit high-rise. This kind of development is being seen along Toronto's Avenues, arterial roads with transit service which are capable of supporting greater densities and mixed-use development. Two very different buildings now under construction on one of these avenues may represent the future of main streets in this city.

Symmetry Developments, The Hive Lofts on the Queensway, Teeple ArchitectsThe Hive Lofts on the Queensway by Teeple Rchitects for Symmetry Developments

The Queensway in southern Etobicoke is one of the Avenues now seeing this style of development. Along this stretch of road, municipal planners encourage mid-rise development designed not to overwhelm the streetscape nor the surrounding stable neighbourhoods. The Hive Lofts on the Queensway by Symmetry Developments is doing just that with an attractive and very modern 6-storey building designed by the renowned Teeple Architects. A zinc-clad sheath will mark out this building from many others in the city.

Symmetry Developments, The Hive Lofts on the Queensway, Teeple ArchitectsConstruction goes on alongside retail and restaurants, image by Craig White

The project sits a couple blocks east of Islington Avenue along side an increasingly popular retail strip. Construction on the boutique sized building has been progressing steadily. On this project though, you wont find tower cranes or giant concrete super structures. Instead, builders have opted to use a steel frame and custom made precast concrete modular panels. The result is a slender structure with an open feel and signature design scheduled to be complete late in 2013.

Symmetry Developments, The Hive Lofts on the Queensway, Teeple ArchitectsSteel framing and precast concrete panels at The Hive Lofts on the Queensway, image by Craig White

Construction proceeding on The Hive Lofts, Toronto, by Symmetry DevelopmentsConstruction proceeding on The Hive Lofts, image by Craig White

Further east near Royal York Road, First Avenue Properties is continuing the mid-rise trend with Qube Condos. Designed by Romanov Romanov Architects, this 8-storey building will bring 74 new units to South Etobicoke. Both the architecture and construction of this project however is a little more traditional, with poured concrete forming and a brick clad piers along the street.

Qube Condos, First Avenue Properties, Romanov Romanov ArchitectsQube Condos by Romanov Romanov Architects for First Aveneue Properties

Qube Condos, First Avenue Properties, Romanov Romanov ArchitectsConstruction hoarding at Qube Condos, image by Craig White

Excavation at this site is just getting underway, and owners are expected to take occupancy of their suites in 2014.

Excavation activity at Qube Condos, Toronto, by First Avenue PropertiesExcavation activity at Qube Condos, image by Craig White

Both condos join a growing stock of new mid-rise projects along The Queensway which will enrich the streetscape and character of this growing community. As completion gets closer and the residents get ready to move in, UrbanToronto will be sure to have the latest. Check out our dataBase entries linked below to learn more about these projects and leave a comment on this page in the space provided, or in our associated Forum threads to be part of the conversation.