A site plan approval has been submitted to the City of Toronto for 852 Adelaide Street West. This unique contemporary design by Thomas Payne Architect for W Lifestyle is sure to stand out in the neighbourhood. Following minor technical revisions to the initial proposal for the design—submitted to the City back in 2015—final approval is sought for this mixed-use salon and residential space.

Architectural Sketch, 852 Adelaide, W Lifestyle, Thomas Payne Architect, TorontoQuick first sketch, May 2014, image via Thomas Payne Architect

Thomas Payne established his private firm in 2013 after 25 years of leadership as a founding partner of KPMB Architects. This independence has enabled a search for “truth in architecture in a broad array of related artistic endeavours”—852 Adelaide is his testament to this. The conceptual initial sketch from 2014 has evolved to full renderings and floor plans, allowing a glimpse into the architect’s creative process.

Rendering, 852 Adelaide, W Lifestyle, Thomas Payne Architect, TorontoLooking north to 852 Adelaide rendering, image via Thomas Payne Architect

Situated on a very narrow lot, with a width of only 4.88 m, there is a total of 334m² of finished interior space. The ground level exterior features a smooth concrete finish, reaching all four corners of the property line, with the sleek grey walls extending to encompass a rear courtyard. The upper three floors are encased in reclaimed barn wood, with rounded edges defining the building's silhouette. The front, south facing entrance showcases a large window, spanning from ground level to the second floor, with full-width third and fourth floor terraces above, and retention of the mature tree opposite the front sidewalk.

Architectural drawing 852 Adelaide, W Lifestyle, Thomas Payne Architect, TorontoLooking east to the building, image via Thomas Payne Architect

The first and second floors 171m² commercial space will be occupied by W Lifestyle Salon—the patrons to this project. The front entrance opens to a bright and airy reception space, with window seating and a lounge area. Situated further in the space is four treatment stations and a half bathroom. The second floor contains several more styling stations and an upper lounge for client comfort. The basement will act as a utility space, with additional storage as needed by the salon.

Cross-section, 852 Adelaide, W Lifestyle, Thomas Payne Architect, TorontoBuilding cross section, facing east, image via Thomas Payne Architect

With a separate rear entrance, the third and fourth floors are designed for the owner's private residence, covering 163m². The stairway brings you into the main south-facing living space with an open third floor terrace. Continuing through is an additional living space— the “light court with fireplace”, with a skylight open from the fourth floor above. An open concept kitchen occupies the rear of the space, with an adjacent banquet and powder room. The fourth floor is an open private space, featuring a front “thinking space” or guest room with another smaller terrace. An open walkway connects this room to the rear master bedroom, with a private ensuite and dressing space.

Cross-section, 852 Adelaide, W Lifestyle, Thomas Payne Architect, TorontoBuilding cross section, facing west, image via Thomas Payne Architect

The enclosed back courtyard is landscaped with stone, greenery, and a reclaimed marble slab parking pad. Stainless steel and wood planters hold a mix of greenery, with concrete seating throughout the garden area. An elongated, narrow opening on the east wall acts as a window, opposite the sliding gate—connecting the commercial alleyway to the courtyard on the west of the property.

Architecture Sketch, 852 Adelaide, W Lifestyle, Thomas Payne Architect, TorontoBackyard sketch facing west, image via Thomas Payne Architect

Architecture Sketch, 852 Adelaide, W Lifestyle, Thomas Payne Architect, TorontoBackyard sketch facing east, image via Thomas Payne Architect

Currently occupied by an aging single-detached home, the proposed design will add an unique modern design to an eclectic area where commercial buildings and residential ones of varying ages and sizes sit cheek by jowl. If approved, 852 Adelaide West could become an architectural "hidden gem" in the city.

We’ll update you as the project advances. In the meantime, you can get in on the discussion by leaving a comment in the space provided on this page.