Now that the hype surrounding the recent opening of the new Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences is over, our attention turns to the old Four Seasons Hotel, which is undergoing substantial renovations to become the New Residences of Yorkville Plaza by Camrost-Felcorp. The 31-storey building, located at 21 Avenue Road, was built in 1970. Its original design firm, WZMH Architects, comes full circle at this address as it is also the firm responsible for the re-design and renovation of the tower.
The location of The New Residences at Yorkville Plaza is a desirable one, in the tony Yorkville neighbourhood, so very close to the neighbourhood's boutiques and restaurants, a short walk from Bay or Museum subway stations, and nearby institutions such as the ROM and the University of Toronto.
The new Four Seasons in the background of the old Four Seasons, now Yorkville Plaza:
It is a more challenging task to repurpose an exisiting structure from its original use. Designers must get very creative and work within the confines of a building that was originally designed to be a warehouse, factory, church or in this case, a hotel. Many buildings in Toronto are being repurposed, particularly for residential use. The city's architects and designers are gaining a lot of experience and have come up with interesting and attractive ways to convert non-residential spaces into new homes.
The design for Yorkville Plaza retains the original building's shape and dimensions. The most noticeable change will be at the ground level, where a new two-storey glass podium will replace the cold concrete from the era in which the hotel was built. The tower itself will remain much the same, but with new glass and exterior finishings. When it is complete in 2014, Yorkville Plaza will add 493 new reisdential units to the Yorkville neighbourhood. Other projects set to increase the density of Yorkville include Exhibit Residences on Bloor and 140 Yorkville Avenue.