Plans for a micro-retail and daycare centre development at 12 High Park Avenue continue to evolve. The project from property owner Orest Kelebay is set to add life to the bus platform at High Park subway station just north of Bloor in Toronto's West End. Evolving from of the initial application for Site Plan Approval submitted early in the year, a resubmission was recently filed for the TACT Architecture-designed project, responding to a number of concerns presented by City staff.

12 High Park, micro retail, daycare, Orest Kelebay, TACT, TorontoFacing southwest at 12 High Park Avenue, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

The gross floor area of 5,866 m² (63,143 ft²) remains unchanged from the previous submission, though several revisions have been made to both the project's design and layout, most notably the daycare fronting onto High Park Avenue. One concern brought forth was the lack of visual differentiation between the building's “retail bar” and daycare elements. In response, the revised plan introduces changes to both the massing and materiality to create a clearer distinction between the two components.

12 High Park, micro retail, daycare, Orest Kelebay, TACT, TorontoFacing northwest at 12 High Park Avenue, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

Other concerns regarding the design included the desire by City staff for the project's childcare component to take on more of a "house-form" to foster a stronger contextual relationship between the new building and nearby houses. In response, a redesign of the project's High Park Avenue frontage now features a pitched roof frontage that reads more like a house. Other revisions to this part of the project include windows added to the laneway side of the ground floor, as well as between ground floor corridors to offer views into the building to passersby.

12 High Park, micro retail, daycare, Orest Kelebay, TACT, TorontoFacing west at 12 High Park Avenue, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

An exterior staircase along the south elevation—at the rear of the micro-retail component—has been redesigned in response to a concern that it resembled a fire exit. Natural light and colour have been added to this staircase in revised plans via a ground floor window with frosted glazing.

Changes to the micro-retail component include the switch from a light grey horizontal siding to a darker tone, providing improved visual distinction between it and the daycare. The widening of windows and the removal of sections of horizontal siding between retail units creates a more porous aesthetic. Currently the south wall of the bus platform—which only serves the Lambton 30 route—is a long, unrelieved brick wall with nothing of interest for those waiting for a bus. The area boasts a high population within walking distance, with several high-rises nearby, two more under construction, and several more proposed.

12 High Park, micro retail, daycare, Orest Kelebay, TACT, TorontoFacing south at 12 High Park Avenue's micro-retail component, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

Make sure to check out our associated database file, linked below, for more information. Want to share your thoughts on the proposal? Feel free to leave a comment in the space provided on this page, or join in on the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum thread.