After an extended period of vacancy for the lot at 2760 Dundas Street West in Toronto, an intriguing proposal has come forward to redevelop. The proposal on The Junction’s high-street comes from developer Sierra Communities, who have recruited the design work of Gabriel Fain Architects Inc, aiming to deliver a strong plan that is fitting for the unique site and surrounding area. 

Based on the earliest renderings of the project, neighbours looking for contextual height and massing are likely to be satisfied with the proposal, which contemplates the construction of a sophisticated six-storey residential building offering 28 new dwelling units and grade level retail. 

North-east facing view of proposed design for 2760 Dundas West, image from submission to City of Toronto

The site is relatively small in comparison to most other mid-rise developments being proposed in similar neighbourhoods across the city. With a total area of 482m², the site offers a slender frontage of just under 16m along the north side of Dundas Street West. For over a century, the site was occupied by a three-storey brick building, The Peacock Hotel, constructed in 1890. Unfortunately, the building was the victim of two fires in less than a year, and was demolished after experiencing significant structural damage in the 2019 event. 

Map view of the site and the surrounding area, image from submission to City of Toronto

Sierra’s proposal was submitted to the City in an application for Zoning Bylaw Amendment and Site Plan Approval at the start of February, and offers a promising vision for the future of the historic site. While not making direct reference to the Peacock Hotel formally, the building’s extensive brick detailing is a reverential design choice that celebrates the character of the Junction’s iconic built form. 

Looking north at the now demolished Peacock Hotel, image from Architectural Conservancy Ontario

The building features three different configurations of brick on the primary elevation that express a sensitivity to the surrounding built heritage. At the grade level, five columns of corbelled brick in a muted red colour articulate the building’s retail unit and entrance while adding an angular condition to the storefront. The columns then transition to traditional brick and travel up the rest of the primary elevation. Finally, a brighter red brick is used to articulate the space below each window of the residential floors, with a hit-and-miss configuration that creates visual interest as well as dynamic shadow and light effects. 

3 distinct brickwork configurations define the building's primary elevation, image from submission to City of Toronto

Another standout design feature of the building is seen at the sixth floor. The uppermost level incorporates a dormer for the windows, allowing the building’s street-wall to slope back and blend more into the roof of the building while still delivering a complete top floor. This tactic has become common among the taller low-to-mid-rise buildings in the area as a method for minimizing the impact of a building’s verticality. The exterior wall cuts in at a 45 degree angle from the street-wall, while the window section slopes back at a much gentler angle, providing a functional enclosed balcony space for the top floor units; the same design is featured on the rear of the building.

3D models of proposal show the role of the dormers on the 6th floor, image from submission to City of Toronto

The proposal offers vehicle parking within an automated stacking system that provides 16 total spaces split between a single underground level and the grade level, while another 32 bicycle spaces would also be available below grade. Meanwhile, grade level would include 126m² of street-fronting retail, plus indoor and outdoor amenity areas that occupying the building’s northwest corner. 

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:  Counterpoint Engineering, MEP Design Inc., Sierra Communities, WND Associates Ltd