Expanding on their west-end project portfolio, Hullmark, together with BentallGreenOak, recently published a proposal for a heritage informed multi-use residential development at 340 through 376R Dufferin Street and 2 Melbourne Avenue, in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. Working with Sweeny & Co, the proposal consists of 2 towers on podiums and 2 mid-rise buildings connected at different points by terraces, ultimately embracing an improved courtyard in the middle of the site.

The design for Hullmark's 340 Dufferin Street development, seen looking south west. Image from submission to City of Toronto.

Located just south of Queen Street West, the taller of the 2 towers, which fronts a lane named Milky Way on the north, is proposed to be 25 storeys, reaching a height of 86.35m. The second tower, just to the south, fronts Dufferin Street, and is 21 storeys, reaching a height of 73.75m. The taller mid-rise, south of the 21-storey tower, will stand 11 storeys at a height of 42.85m while the shorter mid-rise will occupy the northwest corner of the site, standing 6 storeys. As noted on Hullmark's project website, the guiding principles for this application include community uses, maker spaces, architectural significance, and transit supportive development. 

The site is currently occupied by a cluster of industrial buildings that provide context for the name "Radiator", making reference to the Dominion Radiator Company. The original buildings have experienced change in various ways over the last century, but the Victorian era qualities can still be seen in the contrasting buff brick lintels and segmentally arched openings. Newer office and storage buildings were added to the site in the 50s and late 70s, while some of the original buildings were repurposed into office spaces. 

Addresses and property lines of the existing buildings on the site are shown here in white. Image from submission to City of Toronto.

The development brings 658 new dwelling units to the area, a considerable intensification framed around the expanding public transit network. With both Dufferin Street and Queen Street West integrated in the 10 minute transit network, the addition of the Ontario Line in coming years will further deepen the reliable transit infrastructure servicing the area. The unit breakdown has allotted 10% of the total for three-bedroom suites, while one-bedrooms account for 65%, leaving 23% for two-bedrooms and 2% of the total for studio suites. 

View of the courtyard looking northwest. Image from submission to City of Toronto.

Beyond the four buildings, the project is accented by a mid-block, at grade courtyard of 2,013m² that, with a community garden and an 87m² POPS (Privately Owned Publicly accessible Space), will act as a community hub. The courtyard will create the opportunity for walk-through retail spaces with entrances on the Dufferin Street frontage that have rear exits into the courtyard, where residents and pedestrians alike can enjoy seating and tree coverage in the rustic, industrial-style outdoor space. With the four buildings surrounding the courtyard on all sides, access points in the form of covered and open air walkways will also be placed on Dufferin Street as well as on Milky Way and Melbourne Avenue. 

Coloured segments in this model of the site will be preserved and incorporated into the new design. Image from submission to City of Toronto.

Adaptive reuse of the site’s existing industrial buildings is an aspect of the project, despite the lack of heritage designations for the existing buildings in the Heritage Register. For starters, the proposal intends to retain the entire façade of the 2-storey building at 360 Dufferin Street and the west frontage at 358 Dufferin Street to make up stretches of the podium, while new build sections would be constructed on either side. 

Ground Level Plan for the Radiator site, image courtesy of Hullmark

In the courtyard, the proposal repurposes the heritage building abutting the western edge of the site, referred to as the core oven building, by turning it into "Flex/Studio" artists galleries and maker spaces (in light blue, above). In partnership with Toronto-based arts organization Akin Collective, Hullmark will provide spaces tailored for such work as painting, pottery-making, sewing, woodwork, metalwork, glasswork, and 3D printing. An extension is also planned that will connect the core oven building to a steel and glass public garden just to the south.

View of the design for the restored core oven building in the courtyard looking northwest. Image from submission to City of Toronto

Where new construction is taking place, thought has been given to the materials selected, and how they will interact with the existing context. 4 shades of brick, for example, have been identified as heritage characteristics of the site and of the Parkdale neighbourhood, and will be incorporated into the design of the new build volumes. Hullmark has expressed their desire to work with the Parkdale community on the long-term vision for the site and collecting ideas to bring forward a proposal that contributes to the established community. 

Construction of the development will be carried out in a phased approach which will see everything on the north side of the 21-storey tower completed in the first phase, and everything to the south of it completed in the second phase. The project is currently targeting to meet Tier 1 of Toronto Green Standard Version 4 and as the design evolves, additional sustainability features, such as geothermal systems, may be integrated into the final project.

UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more about it from our Database file, linked below. If you'd like, 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:  BentallGreenOak, Bousfields, EQ Building Performance Inc., Gradient Wind Engineers & Scientists, Grounded Engineering Inc., HGC Engineering Inc, Land Art Design Landscape Architects Inc, Sweeny &Co Architects Inc.