Past the Don Valley and the rail tracks beyond, Toronto's Leslieville neighbourhood remains a mostly low-rise community. Eschewing much of the high-rise construction boom concentrated to its west, the residential neighbourhood is known for its close-knit sense of community, complemented by a fine-grained retail landscape along Queen Street East.

Although the area maintains much of its distinct character, recent development is gradually bringing greater urban density to Leslieville. Joining a select number of boutique-scale developments to intensify the area—including Leslieville Lofthouses, Printing Factory Lofts, Showcase Lofts, and the nearly completed Oben Flats LeslievilleHarhay's 875 Queen East will add another mid-rise presence to the neighbourhood. 

875 Queen East, looking southeast, image courtesy of Harhay Developments

Designed by OFFICEArchitecture, the 7-storey condominium will add 122 residential units to the south side of Queen Street. Located just east of Jimmie Simpson Park, the development will span a full city block from Booth Avenue to Logan Avenue. While the project introduces substantial new density to the area, the building's impact on the streetscape is mitigated by a number of deliberate design gestures.

Breaking up a potentially monolithic facade, an interplay of subtle setbacks mimics a row of smaller frontages, creating a sense of aesthetic variety. Along the Queen Street facade, the extruded massing is also underscored by two tones of brick cladding. Similarly, dividing the 16,000 ft² street-level retail space into smaller units is meant to nourish the kind of smaller businesses that characterize the area. Above, the upper levels are stepped back to reduce the apparent bulk of the building, preserving the appearance of a relatively low-rise streetscape. 

Looking southwest, the rebuilt heritage structure is visible at the corner, image courtesy of Harhay Developments

As noted in last month's introductory editorial, the project will replace a number of structures that currently occupy the site. At the east end of the site, a three-storey Victorian retail building will be temporarily disassembled ahead of construction, before being incorporated as part of the Queen Street frontage. While the heritage-designated structure will be preserved, the neighbouring Woodgreen Church building will be demolished to make way for the condominium.

Looking southwest, the site as it appears now, image retrieved via Google Maps

Though the mid-century church will make way for residential density, the Red Door Family Shelter housed within will be relocated into the development's Booth Street frontage. The local charity will continue to provide short-term emergency housing from its improved home, offering a vital service to displaced and disadvantaged families.

Taken together, the retail and shelter space take up much of the floor area, giving the project something of a mixed-use character. Nonetheless, the majority of the development will be  given over to residential space, with the 122 one- to three-bedroom suites ranging in size from 448 ft² to 1,289 ft². As seen below, upper level suites will boast generous terraces. Perched above the low-rise surroundings, these suites promise panoramic views of the city beyond.

Looking northwest from a private rooftop terrace, image courtesy of Harhay Developments

We will be sure to return with updates as new details emerge about the project. In the meanwhile, additional information can be found in the project's dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Visit the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment using the field provided at the bottom of this page. 

Related Companies:  Harhay Developments, Juhan Marten Landscape Architect, McIntosh Perry, OFFICEArchitecture, The Walsh Group