Building upwards on Toronto's main Avenues has been City policy for several years now. Subject to intensification targets set by Ontario's Places To Grow Act, Toronto wants to direct the new density to restricted areas of the city while allowing established low-rise neighbourhoods to remain stable. Well served by transit, the Avenues—many of which are currently lined with uninspired two storey buildings—are the perfect place to be redeveloped with mid-rise buildings.

The new mid-rise Avenues buildings are meant to take advantage of the City's service infrastructure, while not overwhelming the neighbourhoods that border them. To be a good neighbour, the height of the mid-rise buildings depends upon the depth of the lot: the deeper the lot, the higher a building can be without casting overlarge areas into shadow, and without taking too much sky view from adjacent buildings.

The angular planes at The Code Condos, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for BLVD Developments and Lifetime Developments

It's all about something known as the angular plane, a planning term that those who attend public consultations in this city have been getting to know. At 45°, angular planes are measured either from property lines or from the sidewalk on the opposite side of a road, and indicate which areas will or will not be cast in shadow when the midday sun is lowest in the sky on December 21 every year. By not intruding into the angular plane, a new building allows adjacent properties to still get their share of sun and sky.

None of the above is particularly sexy; when it comes to planning buildings that will improve Toronto one property at a time, it's all formulas and studies. Where it gets sexy is how the adherence to angular plane policy is accomplished, and the designers at Hariri Pontarini Architects have translated that into terraces for a development on Forest Hill's southern edge. A new rendering of The Code Condos shows how that works.

Terraces and views at The Code Condos, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for BLVD Developments and Lifetime Developments

The development, coming to St. Clair Avenue West at Parkwood Avenue, and right across the street from Sir Winston Churchill Park (with its great views of Downtown Toronto's skyline), accomplishes the goal of creating a denser, more vibrant city, while transitioning respectfully towards the low-rise residential neighbourhood of Forest Hill directly adjacent to the north. Terraces pull the new building's 9 storeys back from its neighbours while allowing the residents to still connect to the outdoors. Giving people room to recline, nuture a box garden, and enjoy a meal, the terraces maintain a strong connection between outside and in. Imaged with a summer sunset just starting, the rendering demonstrates how a planning restriction has been turned into what will certainly be a strong selling factor for the BLVD Developments and Lifetime Developments project.

Terrace detail at The Code Condos, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for BLVD Developments and Lifetime Developments

The developers of The Code (the names refers to M4V, Forest Hill's postal code which the building will share), released the first rendering of the building earlier this week, sparking our first story about it. We expect more will be coming soon detailing more aspects of the plans. If you want to know more about the building in the meantime, more images and lots of facts and figures can be found in our dataBase file for The Code Condos, linked below. If you want to talk about The Code, choose one of the associated Forum thread links, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

Related Companies:  BLVD Developments, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Lifetime Developments, Strybos Barron King, Tomas Pearce Interior Design Consulting Inc