KESKUS Estonian Cultural Centre | 17.07m | 3s | Kongats

AlbertC

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IEC project team delivers news of positive progress

Updated: Nov 19

The International Estonian Centre (IEC) project team provided an in-person briefing to both teachers and community members Nov. 5 at the Estonian House café on the solid way in which the development is moving forward.

Estonian House president Veiko Parming welcomed all who attended, and IEC project manager David Kalm and architect Alar Kongats outlined steady progress on all fronts. The team met first with Estonian School teachers to brief them on their specific needs and to answer questions.

“The school will become the heart of the facility,” said Alar, noting that a large library, flexible classroom space, a dedicated storage area, and a music room will comprise the school’s layout. He said the design process is moving very well and showed a number of new renderings of the various features of the IEC.

“The capital campaign is making excellent progress.” David said. “A total of $6.2 million has been pledged. We are incredibly grateful to the donors who have stepped forward.”

Updates regarding charitable status, and the ability to make donations prior to year end is pending very soon. The team continues to work with Revera, the retirement home company that has purchased the Estonian House property (re-zoning of the land parcel is ongoing). David noted Revera has assembled an excellent team of professionals to guide the planning and development of the project.

 

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AlbertC

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Interesting strategy and process towards selection of materials here, please check out their website linked below for rest of the article:


Nordic style and natural materials to be showcased at new IEC

Feb 14

The design team for the new International Estonian Centre (IEC), led by Estonian-Canadian architect Alar Kongats, has been digging deep into Estonian culture to source beautiful and sustainable materials that reflect our heritage for the building’s interior and exterior finishes.

The team is looking for two key characteristics when choosing these materials: they must be natural, and connect strongly with the outdoors.

“The new Centre is not an interior-focused building,” Alar explained. “It’s very much an extroverted space that will have an easy flow with the outdoors. This includes the public plaza right outside the building, the rooftop garden and the green spaces on the middle floors.”

“Estonians’ relationship with the outdoors is key and we intend to reflect this with natural finishes in the Centre’s design.”
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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Bumping this thread...as I noticed today that one of those soil sampling doohickes out on the parking lot of this project's planned site. For what that's worth. And I hope no one minds.
 

AlbertC

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A couple notable updates involving the IEC from the past several months this year:

New centre marks milestones at Community Engagement Session

March 23, 2020



Design evolves for IEC neighbour at 300 Bloor West

May 15, 2020

 

smably

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Have we seen these renderings before? From estoniancentre.ca (thanks @AlbertC!):
abb847_02a3b552614842eba2abfde943c07ca1_mv2.jpg
abb847_6c9cc3309d61411fa59d6c15316be8ca_mv2.jpg
abb847_a6ed913a55b34c73b24982d8d169e681_mv2.jpg
abb847_c6ed82c1a89b4ff5b61d1b69cac6cf8d_mv2.jpg


That textured exterior cladding? Aluminum:
Alar [Kongats] also brought samples of the materials to the meeting, including the strong and resilient glass that will comprise the building’s exterior walls, with its bird deterrent feature. Natural granite from Ontario is proposed to comprise the exterior plaza paving.

He also showed a unique product for the non-glass portions on the exterior of the building consisting of textured aluminum panels. The design team is considering this material since it references an Estonian New Year’s tradition to predict the coming year known as “õnne valamine”. The textured finish is created when air is added to liquified aluminum, creating a an open hard foam.


Also didn't realize that the shape of the courtyard is... Estonia:
7+IEC+Concept+Diagrams.jpg

(via https://kongats-architects.squarespace.com/projects#/international-estonian-centre/)

I like this a lot.
 
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Johnny Au

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UtakataNoAnnex

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How would the Estonian islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa be represented if the courtyard is shaped like mainland Estonia?
Yeah...that might put them in the middle of Madison Ave., come to think of it.
 

AlbertC

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IEC Project Update on Sale of Broadview Land Assembly

July 28, 2020

The process leading to the sale of the Estonian House in Toronto has been continuing despite the pandemic. The sale is the next step in the development of the new International Estonian Centre (IEC), for which planning has also continued these past months. When built, IEC will be a vibrant gathering place for all Estonians to share our culture and achievements - and new home for the largest Estonian community in Canada. The IEC project has two major components; the development of the new Centre on Madison Avenue next to Tartu College; and the sale of the Estonian House (EH) property, being sold with the three adjacent Estonian Foundation of Canada (EFC) properties. Despite challenges, we have made substantial progress toward reaching our collective goals.

Some months ago, shortly after the onset of the COVID outbreak, the Purchase Agreement with Revera was terminated. The terms were satisfactory to the Vendors, Estonian House and Estonian Foundation of Canada. A confidentiality obligation binding both Revera and the Vendors restricts either party from discussing those terms. EH and EFC were very pleased that soon after, they were able to conclude a new Purchase Agreement with DK Acquisitions Inc, a subsidiary of a very credible and experienced local development group.

Closing for the sale of the properties is now expected in September at which point the leaseback of the four properties will begin. This means that EH and EFC will become tenants of the new owner and most activities and tenants will be able to continue to operate at these properties until mid 2022. Much will also depend on the state of the pandemic as to how and when Estonian House will be able to re-open. Further details will be ready to share with the community following closing as is normal in these kinds of transactions.

Both Estonian House and Estonian Foundation of Canada believe the terms of the new Purchase are favourable. For Estonian House, the new agreement realizes the objectives of their sale which include creating a new centre for the community. It also achieves the goals agreed to in the EH shareholder resolution in 2017. Following closing, Estonian House will start the process to facilitate a structured transition to the new centre.

For EFC, the new agreement realizes the objectives of their sale, which required a fair return on EFC’s investment in real estate. EFC’s purchase many years ago of the three properties adjacent to EH was also a strategic investment as selling all four properties together would increase the development footprint for a buyer. This outcome further benefits the community and EFC’s mission to support Estonian cultural and heritage programs and initiatives across Canada.

As the community prepares to enter an exciting next phase in building the new centre, we will also be entering a period of transition. Every effort will be made to ensure as seamless a transition as possible - and it will be a collective effort. All four supporting organizations, Estonian House in Toronto Ltd, Estonian Foundation of Canada, Northern Birch Credit Union Limited and Tartu College remain champions of the new centre. However, this next phase will also be a time to engage more members of our community in the path forward - despite the pandemic. Further updates on how the new centre has been progressing and anticipated construction dates will also be shared after closing.
 

AlbertC

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Closing of Estonian House Sale Enables Community Move to IEC!

Sept 2, 2020

The International Estonian Centre Project (IEC) has entered its next phase: Estonian House in Toronto Ltd. (EH) and Estonian Foundation of Canada (EFC) are pleased to update the Estonian community that their Broadview group of properties has been sold to DK Broadview Inc. of Toronto for a base price of $15.6 million with a possible upward adjustment depending on the final density achieved by the purchaser on its proposed rezoning of the properties. With this sale, our community marks a major milestone in the creation of a new and dynamic International Estonian Centre in Toronto.

DK Broadview Inc. is a partnership of DiamondCorp and Kilmer Brownfield Development Fund, two experienced and prominent developers who have previously partnered on a number of high profile and successful developments. For the Estonian community, DK Broadview Inc became the right buyer at the right time.

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With decades of discussion and debate about what to do with an ageing Estonian House now behind us, it is time for renewal and rebuilding. It is time to regroup and focus on this next phase of construction and transition. As of September 1, EH and EFC continue to occupy their respective former properties for a period as tenants under separate leases from the purchaser. For most existing Estonian House tenants and licensees it will be business as usual. All tenants will be contacted to understand the upcoming planning for an orderly transition period and move to the new centre anticipated in 2022.

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Despite the pandemic, construction planning for this exciting next phase has continued. Project Manager David Kalm has already submitted the application for a building permit to the City of Toronto, is finalizing the Site Plan Agreement and continuing with submissions to the TTC. Design drawings by architect Alar Kongats are almost complete. The team is ready to hire a Construction Manager within weeks in order to get the job done expertly and on time. A Request For Proposals (RFP) for a Construction Management firm has been completed and will be issued shortly. David Kalm anticipates that construction will start before the end of 2020.
 
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UtakataNoAnnex

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How cool would it be for them to work with the city to actually install metal outlines right on the street, with plaques at streetside explaining what's going on?
If they have the funds to do so and are given permission to do it, why not?
 

AlbertC

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Planning has continued for the new International Estonian Centre

Oct 22, 2020

Why is the TTC approval so important?

The TTC concern during construction is about impact on the subway tunnel and ensuring that the IEC’s foundation work is conducted safely, doesn’t impact transit and doesn’t cause damage. The construction schedule includes a site verification before the construction starts, and the structural, soil/geotechnical and shoring engineers have all provided impact calculations to ensure there will be no problems. As one would expect, the level of scrutiny is high to ensure public safety.

The foundation of the IEC will be specially constructed to support its weight and impact, so that the vibration from the subway won’t be felt within the building. This is key, since many of the activities at the IEC will be musical and cultural performances. The firm retained by the project was the vibration engineering consultant for the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto, home to the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada, and this building also contended with subway tunnel considerations so the project is in experienced hands. The working relationship with the TTC is positive.

Where are things at now with the permit process?

The submission to the City was made before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Toronto. While the pandemic has slowed the permitting process, it has not stopped. The City of Toronto continues to review the submission, and we have been responding to comments from the various municipal departments as they come in. When there is mutual agreement that the process has been completed, then the permit will be issued.

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Are there special considerations for the heritage house at 11 Madison?

Indeed. A valuable member of our team is the heritage architect, who is working with Toronto Heritage Conservation services as part of the building permit process. The 11 Madison property, which comprises part of the IEC, is a heritage-designated residence built over 100 years ago. It is a typical brick home found in this part of Toronto, known as The Annex. This is an historic neighbourhood with many beautifully preserved homes and buildings, and retaining the integrity of the 11 Madison house allows IEC to blend in with the area.

Toronto homes built in this era had a lovely soft, red brick typically sourced from the Don Valley Brick Works. The brick on the exterior of 11 Madison was painted by a previous owner. The paint will be removed and the masonry repaired. The design of the IEC blends this historic property with the modern, Nordic-inspired elements of the rest of the Centre.
 

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