Adding to a recent wave of infill projects to intensify some of Toronto's mid-century apartment communities, North York's Fenelon Drive is one of the latest sites to face potential densification. Just to the southwest of the Don Valley Parkway/401 interchange at 135 Fenelon, Courtleigh Manor is a 1966-built apartment, proposed to be joined by a pair of mid-rise rental buildings. At 6 and 8 storeys, they would replace some of the surface-level parking and unused green space that surrounds the 19-storey mid-century expressionist tower.

135 Fenelon, Toronto, by Beaux Properties, Kirkor ArchitectsCourtleigh Manor, image via Google Maps

Proposed by land owners Beaux Properties—the management company that oversees Courtleigh Manor—the redevelopment calls for 6 and 8-storey buildings to flank the oval-shaped tower to the north and south. Designed by Kirkor Architects, the development would add a total of 249 rental units to the site, along with a new street-fronting retail space. 

135 Fenelon, Toronto, by Beaux Properties, Kirkor ArchitectsSouth building, with retail space seen at front, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Although all three buildings would be integrated underground—sharing a parking garage that would be expanded with 210 new spaces—only the 6-storey addition to the north of Courtleigh Manor would be attached to the existing building. To the south, meanwhile, the new 8-storey building would be separated from its neighbours by a driveway and reconfigured parking lot. Here, a 300 m² retail space would front onto Fenelon, contributing one of the area's few pedestrian-friendly commercial amenities.

135 Fenelon, Toronto, by Beaux Properties, Kirkor ArchitectsSite plan, click for a closer view, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The 249 proposed rentals feature a unit mix of 22 bachelor, 172 one-bedroom, and 55 two-bedroom suites, with no three-bedroom apartments planned. With 218 units in the existing 19-storey building, the redevelopment would likely more than double the site's residential population. For the residents, 5,842 m² of new indoor amenity space is being proposed. 

135 Fenelon, Toronto, by Beaux Properties, Kirkor ArchitectsNorth building, showing connection to existing tower, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Despite the new density, north of the new 6-storey building, an abutting arm of Graydon Hall Park and adjoining school grounds means that the tower-in-the-park setting would persist for Courtleigh Manor, and the site would retain an FSI of only 2.57. Green space and surface parking would continue to occupy much of the lot, with significant new landscaping planned as part of the improvements. East of the existing tower, a set of community garden plots would contribute a more animated outdoor space, and a source of fresh produce. 

135 Fenelon, Toronto, by Beaux Properties, Kirkor ArchitectsNorth building, north elevation, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Providing a more efficient use of land for the site, the infill development is one of many recent proposals to address Toronto's tower-in-the-park communities. In this case, however, the addition of a new structure to the 1966-built apartment tower invites a consideration of the older building's heritage qualities. Although Courtleigh Manor is neither heritage-listed nor designated, the structure's aesthetic quality offers a distinctive street-level presence.

135 Fenelon, Toronto, by Beaux Properties, Kirkor ArchitectsSouth building, north elevation, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Like much of Toronto's threatened mid-century modernist architecture, however, the structure faces an alteration that—in years to come—may come to be seen as a-contextual. Nonetheless, the intensification of tower-in-the-park sites such as this one provides a valuable influx of density to underused sites. Combined with new retail and valuable communal amenities like community gardens, the new residential density could enhance the community. 

135 Fenelon, Toronto, by Beaux Properties, Kirkor ArchitectsAerial view of the site, image via submission to the City of Toronto

We will keep you updated as the project continues to evolve, and more information becomes available. In the meantime, you can learn more by checking out our associated dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space on this page, or join the conversation in our Forum.