Keeping up with the changes taking place in Toronto’s budding West Don Lands can be a dizzying feat even on a slow day where several developments are filling in gaps in the city around the Distillery District. Two of the interesting projects in the mix here are the Indigenous Hub and Canary House, both currently under construction on Block 10 of the West Don Lands, at the southeast corner of Cherry Street and Front Street East. 

Looking east to how the Indigenous Hub and Canary House are expected to look when complete, image from submission to City of Toronto

The mixed-use site, being developed by the team of Dream Unlimited, Kilmer Group, Anishnawbe Health Toronto, and Tricon Residential, comprises two residential mid-rises of 13 and 11 storeys connected by a continuous 8-storey base, a 4-storey health centre, and a 5-storey child care and commercial building. BDP Quadrangle and Stantec are the architects presiding over the design of the various buildings, with Indigenous-owned firm Two Row Architect involved as consultants. 

Construction of the Indigenous Hub began in the Summer of 2021, beginning with the excavation for the project’s first targeted deliverable, the health centre. In the year and a half since that time, the rest of the block has been excavated as well, and each of the subsequent buildings has advanced into forming, reaching varying levels above grade.

Northeast facing aerial view of the site, with health centre topped off in the foreground, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor C-C-C

The focal point of the above image, captured last week, is the health centre in the foreground. The four-storey building frame has now topped off, and is seeing the final stages of concrete work take place on the roof; on the floors below, the building’s defining curved corners can be seen clearly. On the ground floor interior volumes can be seen without their finishes. On the second level, steel framing is beginning to create the base structure for the exterior walls that will seal the building. On floors three and four, shoring poles obscure the spaces as the concrete continues to cure.

To the northeast of the health centre, the development’s condo component, dubbed Canary House, is climbing through the forming process, on its way to taking the title as the tallest structure on the block. With four floors completed and the forming of the fifth already underway, the building’s frame is on its way to a final height of 13 storeys, growing behind a 4-storey heritage building fronting Cherry Street. 

Looking south from Front Street alongside the concrete frame of the Canary House, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Flonicky

The heritage building has been wrapped with a protective covering while its in-situ restoration —  being overseen by heritage specialists ERA Architects — takes place. Work is underway to redevelop the grade level unit, which formerly housed the Canary Restaurant, creating a new retail unit for the future community. 

Looking southeast at the wrapped 4-storey heritage building with Canary House rising behind, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor DavidCapizzano

When complete, the development will deliver nearly 500 new units offering both condo and rental suites. Additionally, the development will deliver centralized health and wellness services, cultural engagement, and employment services specifically designed for Toronto’s indigenous community, with a built form that strives to incorporate the community's traditions visually. 

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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UrbanToronto has a research service, UrbanToronto Pro, that provides comprehensive data on construction projects in the Greater Toronto Area—from proposal through to completion. We also offer Instant Reports, downloadable snapshots based on location, and a daily subscription newsletter, New Development Insider, that tracks projects from initial application.

Related Companies:  Baker Real Estate Incorporated, BDP Quadrangle, Dream Unlimited, Egis, EllisDon, Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, NAK Design Strategies, RWDI Climate and Performance Engineering, Snaile Inc., Tricon Residential