We didn't plan a theme day, but for the moment UrbanToronto caught up in mid-rise projects, and this is our third profile of the day of one on or close to Dundas Street West. Dundas and its intersecting streets seem to have been a recent discovery by Toronto restauranteurs and gallery owners, and the improvements to street life here have definitely gotten developers interested.

Most of Dundas West can only support the building of mid-rise buildings as it has been designated one of Toronto's Avenues, where the City's Planning Department is only looking for buildings that are about as high as the street is wide. That means new buildings of about 5 to 8 storeys in general, so people who worry that high-rises will take over everywhere need not be concerned: we will end up with more densely built-out and livelier main streets, and stable neighbourhoods will mostly be spared from 40-storey-plus tall point towers looming overhead.

Howard Park Residences, Toronto, Triumph Developments, RAW DesignHoward Park Residences with High Park in the distance, image courtesy of Triumph Developments

Running west off Dundas towards High Park is Howard Park Avenue, named after architect John Howard whose bequest of land to the City brought about the treasured greenspace. While that refernce brings images of treed hills, valleys, tennis courts and more to mind, we are looking at a site at the east end of Howard Park where it meets Dundas. That spot has actually been more of a grimy commercial strip over the decades, but the principals of Triumph Developments saw an opportunity here to clean up the street here, replace aging garages and workshops with something out of the ordinary.

Sales centre for Phase 2, crane for Phase 1 at Howard Park Residences, TorontoSales centre for Phase 2 and crane for Phase 1 at Howard Park Residences, image by Craig White

Howard Park Residences is the result, and it has been a hit. The RAW Designed development consists of a pair of 8-storey buildings which rise 5 storeys straight up from the sidewalk before terracing back another 3 storeys. With the east property line following Dundas Street's 45° angle through the area, the challenge of how to lay out suites to best fit the site has been met through aligning most walls to the edges of the irregularly shaped site. This means that lots of balconies are ending up triangular, creating private outdoor pockets for many of the suites.

Construction of Phase 1 at Howard Park Residences, TorontoLooking northeast at construction of Phase 1 at Howard Park Residences, image by Craig White

Phase One, the east building, is now well on its way. With the structure for the parking lot having been completed, the building has reached ground level and will soon be proceeding into the air. The blank southeast wall of the adjacent Roncesvalles Loft, also by Triumph Developments, will be mostly hidden by Howard Park Residences, with the Howard Park suites looking off the the sides.

Construction of Phase 1 at Howard Park Residences, TorontoLooking west at construction of Phase 1 at Howard Park Residences, image by Craig White

Just a block away from the very engaging Roncesvalles Avenue with its myriad of shops, bakeries, cafés, restaurants and bars, the second phase of Howard Park Residences can be expected to do equally well as the first phase. Anything further afield than that is easy to get to thanks to King, Dundas, and College streetcars all rolling by the front doors or within a block of the project. They can take you directly downtown, to High Park, or up to Dundas West subway station on Line 2 where you will also find a GO stop, and soon enough a stop for the new UPX train to the airport.

A huge number of renderings await anyone who is interested in finding out more about the building, along with all the pertinent info, in our dataBase file for the project. It is linked below, along with associated Forum threads where you can get in on the discussion. Of course, you are always welcome to leave a comment in the space provided on this page.