A recently launched website with a plethora of renderings showcases a new development planned at the southwest corner of Yonge Street and Marlborough Avenue in Toronto's Summerhill area. The project by Devron Developments and Constantine Enterprises uses the existing arched facade of the former Pierce-Arrow automobile showroom at 1140 Yonge Street to inform the design of the 13-storey tower.

Looking east along Marlborough Avenue to 1140 Yonge, image courtesy of Devon Developments

The property, currently occupied by a Staples Business Depot and adjunct surface parking lot, was acquired by Devron in late 2018. The existing building features a row of characteristic arches extending across the full Yonge Street frontage and partially wrapping around to Marlborough Avenue, although incremental alterations to the exterior have largely erased the architectural integrity of the building.

Historical photo of the Pierce-Arrow showroom, image courtesy of Devon Developments

The 1930-built structure originally served as a grand showroom for Pierce-Arrow's "Straight-Eight" cars. The demand for luxury vehicles dwindled with the onset of The Great Depression, and the building was vacated by the dealer and leased to a number of commercial tenants in the following years. The RCA Victory Company, a record and phonograph manufacturer, used the building as a service and repair shop in the late forties and early fifties until the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation purchased the building for use as a studio space in 1954.

1140 Yonge would be grounded by the restored facade of the former Pierce-Arrow car showroom, image courtesy of Devon Developments

The CBC made several changes to the exterior of the building, filling in the windows below the arches and removing the signature rooftop cornice. They vacated the property in 1991 when their new Front Street headquarters opened, with Business Depot moving in. The building was again altered with the painting of the brickwork above and around the stone arches.

Rendering showing the restored facade at Yonge and Marlborough, image courtesy of Devon Developments

One of the stated goals of the proposed redevelopment of the property is to celebrate and restore the heritage of the site. Anchoring the mid-rise residential building above, the existing building would be returned to its former glory, with the original cornice line rebuilt, the signature grotesques restored, and the arched windows of the facade reopened to the street. 

Looking east along Marlborough Avenue at the ground plane of 1140 Yonge, image courtesy of Devon Developments

Just over 1,300 m² of retail space would be provided within the double-height heritage envelope. Early plans include a restaurant with an intimate patio space fronting Marlborough Avenue. The lobby entrance and three townhouses are also proposed along the street.

Looking south along Yonge Street to 1140 Yonge, image courtesy of Devon Developments

Instituting a number of setbacks, the Audax-designed tower would feature east and west loggias comprised of three vaulted arches as signature architectural elements. A total of 66 residential units are proposed, boasting an average 2,250 ft² of space. The unit mix consists of 11 one-bedrooms, 43 two-bedrooms, and 12 three-bedrooms. 

Looking north along Yonge Street to 1140 Yonge, image courtesy of Devon Developments

Devon and Constantine are exploring the feasibility of achieving Passive House energy efficiency standards with the project, which would be the first condominium in the city to do so. The development team is also considering the use of geothermal heating and cooling, and voluntarily meeting Tier 3 of the City of Toronto Green Standard.

A formal development application is expected to be submitted to the City this summer. 

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  Devron Developments