Eight Forty on St. Clair | 29m | 8s | Worsley Urban | RAW Design

AlbertC

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
5,523
Reaction score
4,526
Location
Davenport
Interesting article highlighting the transition of the Hungarian community in Canada, decline in the heritage community centre, and future of St. Clair:

http://www.nowtoronto.com/daily/news/story.cfm?content=173557

Quotes regarding development:

"It's going to be quite the ritzy area," Ilyés says, imagines a fancy new building sprouting -- somewhere between seven and 10 stories up -- from the concrete steps he stands on.

"There's gonna be a condo here for sure," he's convinced. "It's just a matter of how high."
He hopes it will provide the cultural centre with the cash they so desperately need to start over in a new location.
The 50,000 sq. ft. building was listed at $5.7 million on January 11. Observers say whatever happens to the property, it will be emblematic of the possibilities emerging from the City's Avenue Study for the area, and the effects of the TTC Transit City plan.

"This is a hot area," says Ward 21 councillor Joe Mihevc. "It means property values are higher and (landlords) are raising rents."

Because the Avenue Study promotes intesification -- up to a point -- in mid-rise zones, he says the Hungarian community stands profit, especially since their own focus is shifting.
The company notes section 27 of the Avenue Study can allow construction of 10 story buildings in mid-rise zones, provided some sort of social service is provided and maintained alongside. Naturally, broker Ernest Kockeritz says he also markets daycare facilities.
 

ProjectEnd

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
8,803
Reaction score
9,433
Hungarian House is history. A firm has been secured and a design is being whittled out. I don't think I can say which office it is at this point but it shouldn't be too hard to figure out if you know who UrbanCorp usually hires.
 

AlbertC

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
5,523
Reaction score
4,526
Location
Davenport
UrbanCorp's past portfolio is awful, but their list of current projects (designed mostly by TACT) are a huge improvement and generally quite decent.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
26,363
Reaction score
13,455
Location
Toronto
Well as if it hasn't happened to their Westside by Baird Sampson Neuert. They can hire anyone they like - but you might not get anything remotely close to what's been rendered.
 

WiddleBittyKitty

Felis catus
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 17, 2008
Messages
580
Reaction score
131
Westside was probably the greatest architectural betrayal of the last decade in this city. Urbancorp should not be let off lightly for that. I am assuming though that it fell through owing to the costs involved in the original design. The switch to Tact is probably predicated on their clean, handsome, if somewhat overly architecturally safe buildings. The Prish Jain interview that ran a few weeks ago talked a lot about Tact knowing how to deliver buildings within a reasonable budget based on their development experience.

The Hungarian Cultural Centre is quite a handsome old building. I'd hate for every trace of it to go. I do trust Tact though to give us something handsome if not exciting.
 

junctionist

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
8,301
Reaction score
1,396
Location
The Junction, Toronto
I was shocked to see the demolition hoarding from the streetcar recently. (I didn't know that the building had been sold to a developer like Urbancorp.) It may not be the most spectacular building, but I always loved its monumentality in the massive arched windows, the flattened columns, and the entrance with a large staircase. The warm brick also gave it a great presence in the streetscape. I bet that a lot of people passing by are confused as to why anyone would want to demolish it.

Losing the unremarkable later additions would probably be insignificant, but the monumental central section of Hungarian House is worth preserving. It would make a great podium for a new building. Places like Hungarian House are often significant in social history. Immigrant communities relied on institutions like Hungarian House to settle in Canada: it gave them a place to socialize and meet people, to organize useful organizations in their communities to help the disadvantaged, and to network as they learned the language and became accustomed to their new home. Losing buildings like this one means losing a valuable and interesting reminder and link to a part of our history: how immigrants settled in the city.
 
Last edited:

Necessary Evil

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
353
Reaction score
58
Well said Junctionist. I wonder what the local councillor has to say about this - I think it's Joe Mihevic.

I have also heard that Urbancorp is negotiating to buy the TD-Canada Trust branch site at the corner of Winona and St. Clair. This will make for a much larger building on the site -- too large in my opinion for this intersection. Given the potential size and height, it would be better suited at a major intersection (major, in the sense of where two transit lines meet) such as Oakwood and St. Clair.
 

Xray_Crystal_Junkie

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 3, 2010
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
2
Location
The Annex
Surely they're not tearing down the original part of the building?
And if so why would ProGreen want to advertise so forcefully, with a massive banner, that they were the company hired to do the deed of removing a historical building with architectural significance?
 

MidtownGirl

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 19, 2012
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
The Hungarian House was/is in a state of disrepair, unfortunately, and I suppose no one was interested in spending millions in reno'ing it from top to bottom. Its too bad it fell apart the way it has-its central hall has a 30-foot parabolic ceiling that gives concerts and shows a pretty remarkable sound. I knew it was going, but still a bit of a shock to see it ready for demolition.
 

Top