The Queensway is one of Toronto's typical suburban arterial roads. Lined predominantly with mostly unattractive two-storey high buildings with shops and restaurants below and apartments above, it, like its counterparts across Toronto, looks tired in spots, and in need of some fresh energy. The City, the residents, the local merchants, and developers know it too: this is the perfect place for Toronto to up its game with new buildings, ones that make better use of the space, take better advantage of the transit, encourage better use of the shops and restaurants, and ones which speak to our concern for better architecture.

The Hive rises over nearby buildings along The Queensway, image by Craig WhiteThe Hive rises over nearby buildings along The Queensway, image by Craig White

The Hive will fit the bill here in every way. Designed by avant garde Modernists Teeple Architects for Symmetry Developments, the six-storey structure is close to topping out at the corner of The Queensway and Lady Bank Road, just east of Islington Avenue.

The Hive under construction on The Queensway, image by Craig WhiteThe Hive under construction on The Queensway, image by Craig White

The building will offer high-ceilinged retail at ground level on a strip which is seeing revitalized commercial activity. The recently established Business Improvement Area called shoptheQueensway.com allows merchants along the road to advertise their activities as a group,  giving the predominantly independently owned shops and eateries the ability to attract more customers and bring new life to the street.

Ground floor at The Hive, iamge by Craig WhiteGround floor at The Hive, iamge by Craig White

While The Hive will eventually bring new life to the street through its unique architecture alone, it's already worth looking at for its innovative construction method. Relatively unseen in Toronto, the floors of the steel structure along with some ground level walls are created through pre-fabricated concrete panels, poured elsewhere but assembled on-site. The method creates less disruption as cement mixing trucks are not required; dry deliveries on flat-bed trucks are accomplished more quietly and efficiently. The method uses less material total to create a greener building at the same time.

The Hive's unique construction on The Queensway, image by Craig WhiteThe Hive's unique construction on The Queensway, image by Craig White

The look of Hive will begin to change substantially in coming weeks as the cladding begins to arrive. We will be back to take an updated look as the windows and the zinc sheets begin installation, but in the meantime you may want to know more about how the Hive will look when complete. You will find renderings of this unique structure in our dataBase entry, linked below. Want to get more involved? Join in on the conversation by choosing one of the associated Forum thread links, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.