Collecdev Inc., Northrop Development Corporation and Bloor Street United Church share a unique vision to build communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. These ideals inform all the fundamental drivers of 300 Bloor Street West—from the early planning stages, through to community engagement and project design.
Bloor Street defines Toronto’s character on so many levels that it can be considered an icon from a historical, cultural and community perspective. The street passes through several neighbourhoods of historical and multicultural significance. And Bloor Street forms the southern edge of the Annex, one of the city’s most beloved and diverse neighbourhoods, which in and of itself, contains an awe-inspiring cross-section of Toronto’s identity.
The unique diversity and location of the Annex is defined by its world-class educational institutions, many cultural buildings, host of community services, and a stable mixed-use and residential fabric. From a residential perspective, a complete range of housing tenure can be found here, ranging from 19th century Victorian to high-density apartment and condominium living. Despite the popular image of the Annex housing inventory as a predominant mix of single-family residences, there remains a large number of high-rise residential buildings. Condominium developments along the nearby stretch of the Bloor Street corridor over the past decade has considerably raised the architectural threshold. When combined with the revitalization of this section of Bloor Street as a cultural destination, the real estate market has become both increasingly competitive, creating a demand for progressive and forward-thinking residential projects. The 259-unit condominium project at 300 Bloor Street West responds to this challenge.
Designed by the award-winning KPMB Architects, 300 Bloor Street West will provide the Bloor Street United Church with a membership and community base empowered by the ability to leverage its assets and modernize its facilities. Through the combined efforts of heritage consultant ERA Architects and KPMB Architects, a design solution has been developed to showcase the church’s original architectural merits with new contemporary features such as glazed promenade. This approach will not only permit more flexible community uses, but when combined with the addition of a residential tower clad in an energy-efficient wall assembly, ensures the economically viability of the overall project in the foreseeable future.
A number of engineering achievements were necessary to maintain a heritage preservation strategy while making the project feasible, including an innovative parking system, a series of transfer beams to enable the building to sit atop a site where the Bloor-Danforth subway line runs underneath, and strategically designed loading docks, laybys and egress points that mitigate the impact of vehicular traffic on Huron Street and the neighbourhood.
The Annex represents a mature and stable neighbourhood demanding a high level of care so that development proposals such as 300 Bloor Street will only add to its urban fabric and social mix. To maintain its stable demographic base, it is also important for the Annex to maintain a high-quality offering of residences for purchase in an increasingly expensive Toronto real estate market. Because of this market reality, the type of residences being offered for purchase at 300 Bloor Street West will contribute to the ongoing sustainability and livability of the neighbourhood through a relatively affordable price point to what is currently being offered. The current demographic profile of a typical purchaser for 300 Bloor Street West is for a family oriented suite design, in close proximity to shopping, restaurants and entertainment options currently found in the area. 300 Bloor Street West represent the aspiration of Collecdev and Northrop as a development that offers a thoughtful community-oriented project, through a progressive architecture that sustains an existing heritage building, supports community engagement, while delivering state-of-the-art architecture that is designed for contemporary living and environmental sustainability—an initiative that collectively sustains an engaged community for decades to come.