It's been more than three years since we first heard about North Drive InvestmentsThe High Park, a condominium development at 1990 Bloor Street West. Designed by Quadrangle Architects, this 38 metre mid-rise building will consist of 103 units, of which 24 will be rentals, spread out over 11 storeys and located in the immediate surroundings of High Park and the eponymous subway station. 

The High Park, Quadrangle Architects, North Drive Investments, Bloor WestThe High Park seen from Bloor Street West looking North, by Quadrangle Architects for North Drive Investments

While many concerns were expressed initially by local residents about the height and design of the building, a discussion was engaged to try to find alternative ways to integrate the structure in one of Toronto's most beautiful neighbourhoods. What came out is a unique building, featuring limestone cladding at the base, while an innovative warm-toned metal or composite panel system will be featured above.

The High Park, Quadrangle Architects, North Drive Investments, Bloor West1990 Bloor Street West before the demolition started, picture by interchange42

A series of step-backs from the seventh floor and up will reduce the prominence of the building when walking along the street, and allow the upper units to benefit from large terraces with impressive views of the city, High Park, and Lake Ontario. Steps away from other developments such as Daniels' HighPark Condominiums to the east and a future phase of The High Park at 2114 Bloor to the west, this new development replaces a three-storey 24-unit rental apartment building at the corner of Parkview Gardens and Bloor, and a house located at 26 Parkview Gardens. The former was subject to Section 111 of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, related to rental housing demolition and replacement. 

The High Park, Quadrangle Architects, North Drive Investments, Bloor West1990 Bloor Street West as of December 17th, 2014 at the beginning of its demolition, picture by abcde

Both the apartment block and the house came down over the last few weeks, officially starting the construction process. Some might regret losing the unique High Park/Bloor West Village character of the original building, but in a city that suffers from constant heavy traffic, the redevelopment of lands this close to high-capacity transportation seems inevitable and necessary. The High Park will bring more than 359 square metres of at-grade commercial space on the ground floor, diversifying the local retail offerings further. Finally, according to the developer's website, more than 80% of the units have been sold, demonstrating the popularity of the development.

The High Park, Quadrangle Architects, North Drive Investments, Bloor WestThe building was almost completely down on January 12th, picture by DG

We will return as construction progresses. In the meantime, check out The High Park’s newly updated dataBase page, linked below, complete with several additional new renderings including those which place the building in context across from High Park itself. If you want to get involved in the conversation, visit the related Forum thread, or leave a comment in the section provided below.