A January 28th community consultation brought to light a slightly tailored design for Mizrahi Developments' 21-unit luxury condominium at 128 Hazelton, just to the east of the intersection of Avenue Road and Davenport in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood. Following our introductory editorial last month, slight changes to the architectural expression now see the project slightly revised to better fit the neighbourhood context. Responding to input from the City's planning department, the new design sees minor changes to the massing alongside subtle improvements to the public realm.
AUDAX Principal Gianpiero Pugliese was on hand to introduce the project's design to the public and explain the rationale that informed the recent changes in massing and architectural expression. Describing the proposed 9-storey building as a "modern interpretation of a classical 19th century European project," Pugliese characterized the aesthetic as a "marriage between classical typology and a contemporary design treatment."
One of the most significant changes to the design was the slight reduction in massing along the building's southwest elevation, fronting Hazelton Street. The 9-storey building now steps down to a 2-storey residential 'townhouse' entrance; a slight reduction from the 3-storey massing previously proposed (below). As Pugliese explained, this was done in order to better integrate the building with the low-rise residential context to the south, with the 2-storey townhouse now referencing the cornicing on the neighbouring property.
As part of the City's presentation, planner Oren Tamir explained that the project's site—which consists of existing properties at 126 and 128 Hazelton—fits into two different zoning guidelines. The property at 128 Hazelton (currently a Hakim Optical) fits a mixed-use designation suitable for intensification, in the vein of Mizrahi's neighbouring buildings at 133 and 181 Davenport. However, since the property 126 Hazelton (currently occupied by a 1990-built house) forms part of the low-rise neighbourhood to the south, the developer and architect face the challenge of integrating a single development into two zoning criteria (below).
The new two-storey residential entrance introduces a more distinctly low-rise typology to the project, while a series of step backs attempts to integrate the townhouse with the 9-storey building. Other changes to the design included the addition of more landscaping—appointed by The Planning Partnership—along the sidewalks on both Hazelton and Davenport, as well as new cornicing on the building's west elevation (below), creating a more aesthetically cohesive envelope.
Following the presentation, community members got a chance to share their thoughts about the project. Concerns about the transition to the residential context on Hazelton Avenue were voiced by some attendees, and some felt that the scale of the building was overwhelming, with the potential of isolating the neighbourhood to the north.
A number of attendees praised the building's architectural expression and felt that the scale was appropriate for the area, though numerous commenters expressed concerns that another building of this same scale—alongside the neighbouring 133 Hazelton and 181 Davenport—would be excessive, with shadowing concerns cited. A preference for trees over sidewalk planters (seen above) was also noted by some, though the overall mood of the meeting was less contentious than many of Toronto's community consultations.
We will keep you updated as the development continues to take shape. In the meantime, check out our dataBase file for more information, linked below. Want to share your thoughts on the project and its design? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page, or join in the conversation in our associated Forum thread.