Earlier this month, Lamb Development Corporation submitted a Zoning By-law Amendment application to the City of Toronto to redevelop an assembly of lots on Camden Street in Toronto’s Fashion District. Having demolished the low-rise commercial buildings on the site, Lamb has proposed a 16-storey mixed-use condominium whose typology, massing, and gridded articulation reinforces the surrounding existing and emerging built form character of the street and the broader West Precinct.

Looking south to 39 Camden, designed by architects—Alliance for Lamb Development Corp

The property is located on the south side of Camden Street, mid-block between Brant Street and Spadina Avenue. It is situated within the King-Spadina Heritage Conservation District (HCD), designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA), which is currently under appeal.

In December, 2017 the low-rise properties at 45 and 47 Camden Street (not 39) were included on the City of Toronto’s Heritage Register – citing the buildings’ design and contextual values. (The owner has appealed the HCD and is also contesting the mechanism by and rationale for which the properties were listed and/or identified as “contributing.”) As of September 2021, all the buildings were demolished through permits which were issued by the City in 2016 prior to the establishment of the HCD.

Aerial photograph. The subject site is municipally known as 39, 45 and 47 Camden Street. Image by Bousfields Inc

For the redevelopment of this now vacant lot, architects—Alliance have designed a building in keeping with the established tall mid-rise context in the immediate vicinity of the site. The 16-storey structure proposal has a gross floor area of 10,990m² (which includes 364m² of commercial space), for a density of 11.68 FSI. Its proportions, materials, articulation, framed façade, and fenestration patterns are typical of the loft style buildings located throughout the West Precinct of King-Spadina, and are specifically complementary to the neighbouring Ace Hotel, Camden Lofts, Thirty Two Camden Lofts, The Sylvia condominium, and Brant Park Lofts directly behind.

The residential lobby is centred on the Camden Street frontage, flanked by two double-height, highly glazed retail spaces ensuring views inside and out onto the pedestrian zone.

North and South elevations. Vertically, the frames divide up the window wall and create finer grain fenestration patterns. Image by architectsAlliance

The structure is built to the front and side property lines, creating a 13-storey (42m) streetwall height — in keeping with the datum line established by the Ace Hotel (41m) to the immediate west — and a strong and consistent street edge. Above Level 13, the building steps back 2.5 metres, accommodating a north-facing terrace, and again step-backs at the uppermost portions of the blank east and west facades provide private terraces for the penthouse on Level 16.

The masonry cladding is meant to complement the surrounding context and incorporates cues from the buildings formerly on the site. Above the 2nd floor, the front façade is articulated by 2-storey red brick masonry frames, which divide the façade both vertically and horizontally into finer grain rectangular elements. Horizontally, the 2-storey height of the frames generally lines up with the lines and rhythm of the adjacent Ace Hotel’s front facade and mimic the two-storey framed façade elements of Thirty-Two Camden Lofts across the street. The structural frame extends beyond to the top of Level 16, maintaining the overall rectangular shape and the proportions of the building.

The 2-storey brick ‘framing’ provides for a highly intricate and rhythmic façade along Camden Street. Image by architects—Alliance

The proposal houses 154 dwelling units, in a breakdown of 27 studios (18%), 75 one- or one-plus dens (48%), 36 two-or two-plus den bedrooms (24%), and 16 three-bedrooms (10%). A handful of units have been identified as convertible, which can be combined to create two or three bedroom suites.

Residents would have access to 416m² of amenity space, the bulk of which is situated on the 2nd level. It includes a long narrow north-facing terrace directly adjacent to, and accessible from, the indoor amenity space.

Four levels of below-grade parking, accessed via two vehicular elevators, would accommodate 63 vehicles (52 resident, 11 visitor) and 148 bicycles. The garage and internalized loading area would be accessed via the existing rear laneway.

Aerial view looking northeast. Image by Bousfields Inc

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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