The term ‘adaptive re-use’ conventionally applies to revitalized heritage buildings, often with restored historical features and contextually sensitive additions; but sometimes adaptive re-use projects stray far from the conventional. The partnership between developers Cityzen Development Group and Fernbrook Homes has drawn lots of attention in the past few years, championing ambitious projects like Absolute World and L Tower along the way. The team’s latest under-construction project, Ion Condos, takes a similar outside-of-the-box approach, utilizing an old above-ground parking garage and smartly incorporating it into the structure and design of an 11-storey condominium. An eyesore will disappear through an environmentally responsible transformation.

Ion Condos construction site, image by Jack Landau

Designed by Architecture Unfolded, Ion Condos will consist of 200 condominium units, built atop the refurbished parking garage,  a structure which in its heyday served the building to the west, formerly a hotel. With preparation work in full swing inside the garage, a tower crane was recently erected at the construction site, located just southeast of the Keele and Wilson intersection.

Ion Condos construction site, image by Jack Landau

Ion Condos location (right of centre) viewed on Apple Maps

The garage’s exterior will vanish beneath a new façade, one which will match the new condominium design, while the garage itself will be completely refurbished to address both the performance of the structure and all the mechanical and electrical systems.

A new façade will be applied to the garage, to match to condo being built above, image by Jon Hurd

Despite the new structure being built directly atop the garage, the condominium will not actually impose any new load onto the parking garage below. Several newly-built columns and footings throughout the existing structure will transfer the new structural loads down to undisturbed soil below ground. The existing structure will act, however, as horizontal bracing for the new columns, which will slowly thread their way up to support the new condominium floors above.

New columns rising atop the parking garage, image by Jack Landau

Many openings have been cut into the concrete structure, accommodating the necessary columns, stairs, elevators and other key features required to transform a blighted above-ground parkade into a functioning residential mid-rise.

Openings being cut into concrete, image courtesy of Cityzen Development Group

Cut-section for future stairwell, image by Jon Hurd

Once the project is complete in 2015, the existing parking garage will retain its current function, serving both the new condominium residents above, as well as spillover traffic from surrounding commercial areas. 

Ion Condos, image courtesy of Cityzen Development Group

For additional information including building facts and renderings on this impressive project, please visit our dataBase listing, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out one of the associated forum threads, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided on this page.

Related Companies:  Architecture Unfolded, Cityzen Development Group, Fernbrook Homes