Spanning from Dufferin to the rail tracks at Dundas West, Toronto's Wallace Avenue is one of the Lower Junction's signature streets. Characterized by a mix of single-family homes, adapted warehouses, and fine-grained neighbourhood retailers, it's one of the relatively few Toronto streets to feature such an eclectic combination of uses and typologies. At the northeast corner of Perth and Wallace, another presence is coming to the area, with the former Perth Avenue Methodist Church now being adapted into luxury condominiums.

The adapted church, image via Windmill Development

Counting 39 suites, Windmill Development's Arch Lofts combines the adapted church with a compact new four-storey building to deliver modest density to the increasingly popular neighbourhood. Designed by Caricari Lee Architects, the under-construction project's prominent heritage exterior leaves the structure and architectural expression of the church largely intact, with the contextually deferential new building separated from the 1913 structure to respect the designated heritage building's three-dimensional quality.  

A rendering of the Perth Avenue frontage, image via Windmill Development

Ranging in size from 486 ft² to 1,774 ft², the project's suites come in one- to three-bedroom configurations, with a number of one-of-a-kind spaces offered in the older building. Accompanying the century-old church frontage with modern interiors Andrea Kantelberg Design, the suites will feature engineered hardwood floors, light-filled living spaces, and kitchens by Scavolini—with integrated appliances and sizeable islands.  

Kitchen interior, image via Windmill Development

Targeting a fairly ambitious energy standard, the project will feature geo-thermal heating, as well as energy recovery ventilation (ERV). While geo-thermal pumps harness the stable temperatures 300 feet below ground, passively regulating indoor conditions, the use of an ERV system complements the technology by passively 'pre-conditioning' incoming air with outgoing air.

Most suites will feature private balconies, image via Windmill Development

Cooling warm air in the Summer and heating cold air in the Winter, ERV systems also provide each unit with dedicated fresh air supply. Eschewing the more typical ventilation systems, which supply each unit through a gap beneath the hallway door, the low-carbon ERV technology can facilitate healthier indoor conditions, since incoming air does not pick up the dust particles and contaminants often found in communal hallways. The ERV system allows the suite doors to be flush with the hallways, fostering more private, acoustically insulated living environments. 

As Windmill's Alex Speigel explains, however, the eco-friendly, efficient features would amount to relatively little without an efficient building envelope. "We started with the envelope, ensuring the use of quality materials, and strong seals around the windows, which were positioned to minimize solar heat gain," he notes. 

A closer look at the new loft building's exterior, image via Windmill Development

Now nearing completion at Perth and Wallace, the project joins a popular neighbourhood that's quickly becoming a more prominent part of the city. Now served by the nearby West Toronto Railpath and UP Express' Bloor West station, the Lower Junction has also developed into one of Toronto's premier hubs for gallerists and artists, with the Museum of Contemporary Art_Toronto_Canada (MOCA) now taking over five storeys of the Tower Automotive Building on Sterling Road, south of Bloor. 

We will return in the coming weeks with a construction tour of the project, including a full look at the suite interiors now taking shape. Construction of Arch Lofts is headed up by Ledcor, with sales co-ordinated by Paul Johnston Unique Urban Homes. You can learn more via our associated dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment on this page, or add your voice to the ongoing conversation in our Forum.  

Related Companies:  Andrea Kantelberg Design, Caricari Lee Architects, Ledcor Construction Ltd., Paul Johnston Unique Urban Homes, Windmill Development Group Ltd.