Rapid densification along the trendy King West strip has dramatically increased the population of the western side of downtown Toronto, with dozens of new condominiums bringing in many thousands of new residents. While it is high-rise towers that are popping up east of Spadina, west of Spadina it is the mid-rise projects that are completely transforming this formerly quiet part of town.

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoFashion House, image by Jack Landau

Just a few blocks west of the growing high-rise cluster that is the Entertainment District, a combination of strict zoning, lack of undeveloped land, and a high demand for housing has led to some out-of-the-ordinary residential developments, like Freed Developments’ Fashion House, now under construction at King and Brant.

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoFashion House, image by Jack Landau

The 12-storey, Core Architects-designed project is notable for both the shifting volumes of its modern section, and its restoration and incorporation of a piece of Toronto history, the heritage Silver Plate Building, constructed in 1882 as a factory for the Toronto Silver Plate Company. Though the building’s industrial viability is long gone, its basic form will live on, preserved for future generations as its rebuilt and expanded first floor will be home to a new flagship location for Canadian steakhouse chain The Keg.

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoThe exterior of the 1882 Silver Plate Building, image by Jack Landau

Stepping inside the heritage structure, we can see the now-gutted interior being prepped for its future as restaurant space. The large trench through the middle of the room, seen in the images below, will be where all of the electrical, water—and beer lines—for the bar area for The Keg will be located.

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoInside the Silver Plate Building, image by Jack Landau

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoCrews working inside the Silver Plate Building, note the trench in the foreground, image by Jack Landau

Though the exterior shell of the building will be restored and the cupola above rebuilt, the interior wall which separates the rear of the heritage structure from the new addition will have large sections removed, turning the wall into pillars and creating an open space for the large restaurant.  In the photos below, you can see both the existing rear wall and the addition behind, soon to be united as one large room.

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoThe rear wall will have sections removed to be come pillars, opening up the space behind, image by Jack Landau

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoNewly built rear portion which will contain the bulk of The Keg's seating as well as the kitchen, image by Jack Landau

With a growing restaurant culture along King West, it should come as no surprise that Fashion House will contain not just one, but two restaurants. Right next to the future flagship Keg location, the southeast corner of the building’s ground floor will be home to another soon-to-be-revealed restauranteur.

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoFuture additional restaurant space for yet to be confirmed tenant, image by Jack Landau

The eastern edge of the property, currently being used as a construction staging area, will be home to a pedestrian-only southerly extension of Morrison Street, connecting the half-block long street to King Street. The short street, which will provide a new mid-block connection between Adelaide and King, will feature restaurant patios and ground level commercial.

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoLooking north from King at future pedestrian laneway, image by Jack Landau

Although it can be difficult to imagine the final results when looking at a still very active construction staging area, we look forward to a special paving pattern promised here, as much as pedestrians and cyclists are looking forward to the improved street continuity and navigability in the neighbourhood.

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoLooking south from Morrison Street at future pedestrian laneway, image by Jack Landau

At the rear of the building is a quiet courtyard, just for residents, which, though still in a roughed-in state, looks like it will be quite a relaxing oasis from the bustling streetlife of King Street to the south, or the honking of taxi horns from Adelaide to north.

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoCourtyard space along Fashion House's north side, image by Jack Landau

Directly to the north of Fashion House is another Freed Developments and Core Architects collaboration; Fashion District Lofts.  The vine covered concrete wall which divides the two properties helps to keep the space quiet and intimate, while the overhanging units of Fashion House’s upper floors provide partial protection from the elements, while maximizing sunlight and maintaining an open air feel.  

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoVine covered wall (right) dividing Fashion House from Fashion District Lofts, image by Jack Landau

Fashion House, Freed Developments, Core Architects, King West, TorontoOverhang above courtyard provides partial cover from the elements, image by Jack Landau

There is much, much more to see at Fashion House, and we will return in the coming days with the next installment of our tour. Until then, additional information and renderings can be found in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out one of the associated Forum threads, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided at the bottom of this page.