Documents recently submitted to Toronto's Planning Department in support of a Site Plan Application for Halo Residences, a 38-storey condominium being developed by Cresford at Yonge and Grosvenor streets, show that architectsAlliance want to recreate a ghostly version of the firehall that originally stood on the site, to go with a restored landmark heritage clock tower which still remains.

Halo Residences on Yonge, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for CresfordA ghostly version of original firehall will be part of Halo Residences on Yonge, image by architectsAlliance

Most recently associated with the St Charles Tavern, the clock tower was originally part of the 1871-built Fire Hall No.3. The firehall was expanded (and its original front lost) before being decommissioned in 1929. The clock tower however, with its late Victorian architectural flourishes, has persisted onsite ever since, having been incorporated into larger buildings on the site. It will be restored through a plan conceived by heritage specialists ERA Architects as will another building at the south end of the Halo site on Yonge. The recreation of the original firehall frontage will be done through constructing a steel framework and overlaying it with glass.

Halo Residences on Yonge, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for CresfordA ghostly version of original firehall will stand in front of Halo Residences on Yonge, image by architectsAlliance

The ghostly effect will be achieved through fritting. Frit is an enamel which is baked onto glass, normally in dot patterns, and typically used on balcony guards on Toronto buildings to provide some privacy for those on the balconies, while still providing views from them. Typically dot spacing on balcony glass is fairly tight, but more widely spaced frit is also employed on larger panes of glass on new buildings—on at least the first 12 metres above the ground where most birds fly—as it has shown to make the glass visible to birds, significantly reducing the number which are injured or killed from striking what they cannot otherwise see. In this case, the frit will trace the features of the original architecture.

Halo Residences on Yonge, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for CresfordLooking southwest to Halo Residences on Yonge, image by architectsAlliance

You can see more renderings of Halo Residences on Yonge in our database file for the project, linked below. You can register your thoughts on the plans in the space provided on this page, or join in on the conversation in our associated Forum threads.