As a longtime presence on Toronto's development scene, Hullmark has played a notable part in bringing a wealth of projects to the market over its decades-long history. Often partnering with larger developers in its earlier days, the company—founded by Murphy Hull in 1950—fostered a consistently growing reputation throughout its long history, culminating in the construction of North York's Hullmark Centre.
The eponymous Hullmark Centre, which was completed this year, now serves as a landmark project for the company. Developed in partnership with Tridel, the high-rise development stands out for the quality of finishes throughout the complex, with the Kirkor Architects-designed complex becoming a focal point of the Yonge and Sheppard area.
Over the last few months, UrbanToronto has profiled some of the company's most prominent Toronto projects, taking an in-depth look at the innovative 60 and 80 Atlantic Avenue projects. In addition, we interviewed Jeff Hull, the company's current President and Murphy's grandson, developing a better understanding of the company's evolving identity. In recent years, Hullmark has embraced new paradigms of urbanism and community development, seeking long-term investments that aim to maintain and grow the character of the neighbourhoods around them.
Now, with an understanding of the company's principles, we take a closer look at some of Hullmark's current Toronto properties. A high degree of sensitivity to neighbourhood context and a specialization in adaptive reuse (and the long-term value it brings) is now seeing Hullmark grow into an increasingly progressive and thoughtful presence in an industry sometimes more driven by short-term profits. In addition, a heightened focus on Downtown commercial properties is also driving Hullmark towards restoring and maintaining older office buildings, many of which are highlighted below.
In Liberty Village, the award-winning 60 Atlantic Avenue project saw a former warehouse converted into contemporary office space by Quadrangle Architects (above), with the finished project showing respect for architectural heritage while creating a functional new environment. Profiled in an earlier story, the award-winning building has been celebrated for the quality of its adaptive restoration.
Directly to the north of it, meanwhile, the neighbouring 80 Atlantic—also designed by Quadrangle—is set to add a new presence to the neighbourhood with a wood-framed office building replacing the current parking lot (below).
The architecturally groundbreaking project—which will be Toronto's first timber-framed building decades—is distinctly contemporary in style while still preserving the industrial character of the area, evidencing an uncommon combination of innovative design and sensitivity to the surrounding neighbourhood.
Slightly to the west of the Atlantic Avenue projects, the Toronto Carpet Factory stands as one of Toronto's most grandiose century-old industrial facilities (seen below). Built in 1899, the building—managed in partnership with York Heritage Properties—takes up a full city block, boasting 320,000 square feet of adapted office space.
Inside, a contemporary creative space has been created from the industrial vestiges of the long-neglected property (below), bringing a second life to the historic building while bringing new activity to the neighbourhood following the extensive restorations begun in 2002.
West of Liberty Village, meanwhile, Parkdale's 340 Dufferin Street (pictured below) features nearly 22,000 square feet of retail space. The building's impressively high ceilings and exposed brick interiors—featuring a mix of wood and steel beams—create a sophisticated industrial-chic ambiance.
To the east, the property at 76 Stafford Street & 850 Adelaide Street West also serves as an example of a sensitively adapted industrial property. The discretely restored building seen below—located south of Trinity Bellwoods Park—now forms a subtle and elegant addition to Toronto's office properties.
Boasting a clean, grey exterior, and some 30,000 square feet of office space, the revamped complex also now serves as an impromptu hub for neighbours and nearby workers, with the uniquely styled Tokyo Smoke cafe nestled between the two buildings.
Continuing east, another restored property at 545 King Street West is also home to 40,000 square feet of office space, with an outpost of Pizzeria Libretto fronting King along the trendy stretch.
Like Tokyo Smoke, Pizzeria Libretto serves as a popular gathering spot for the area, evidencing the adapted historic property's positive presence in the neighbourhood, as well Hullmark's ability to foster neighbourhood development through its projects.
In the same block, the distinctively shaped building at 474 Wellington Street (below) offers 20,250 square feet of gross floor area, divided into retail and office components. Located near the intersection of Wellington and Portland, the building forms part of a growing cluster of converted offices along the strip, which are home to some of the city's new, cutting-edge businesses, as well as a number of trendy restaurants.
In the nearby Entertainment District, Hullmark's historic property at 230-240 Richmond Street West, known as the Richmond Duncan Building, houses a variety of OCAD Facilities—including a student art gallery—as well as a number of private offices. An eye-catching edifice, the property (seen below) stands as a valuable remnant of an architectural era that has in large part disappeared from the city's landscape.
Across the Don Valley, Hullmark oversees a trio of restored properties near the intersection of Queen and Broadview. The largest of these is the Quadrangle-designed 100 Broadview (below), which adds 78,000 square feet of office space—as well as 6,000 square feet of retail area—to the Riverside area.
Alongside Harhay Developments' modern addition to the property—a three-and-a-half storey commercial building—Hullmark's restored heritage interior and new office spaces invigorate the area with an expansive complex that does not compromise the existing architectural character of the site.
Slightly to the west, two smaller properties at 635 (seen below) and 672 Queen Street East respectively add 32,000 and 7,600 square feet of of retrofitted space to the market. Both buildings feature modernized interiors and simple, elegantly dark exteriors.
While the property at 635 Queen East is entirely devoted to office space, the smaller building 672 Queen East also features retail space at grade (below).
Rounding out our overview, Hullmark's portfolio also includes a cluster of projects in the West Queen West area. Perhaps most notable among these is the property at 944-952 Queen Street West. The longtime home of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art—which is moving to a significantly expanded location near Bloor and Lansdowne—the site was set to be converted into a 9-storey condominium by Urbancorp.
However, when Hullmark took over the site earlier this year, the company decided to maintain the current building on the site (above) instead of altering the low-rise streetscape with a condominium. "We see the value in spaces like this," Jeff Hull told us, "and long-term we think it's more valuable to improve the building and courtyard area than to put up a condo."
Almost immediately to the west, at the Ossington intersection, the highly recognizable retail space at 1000 Queen Street West (below) is currently home to Stüssy and Sam James Coffee Bar, but will soon welcome the first Canadian location of Detroit-based retailer Shinola.
Right across the street, a distinctive white building at 12 Ossington completes our Hullmark roundup. As with many of the company's recent projects, the 9,000 square foot property is an example of Hullmark's adaptive reuse, with the old house now serving as a retail and commercial space (below).
As many of Toronto's streetscapes continue their rapid transformations during the city's ongoing construction boom, Hullmark's sensitivity to developing contextually cohesive projects, as well as carefully preserving older buildings—and adapting them to modern uses—makes the company a valuable presence in Toronto's market.