Transit-oriented revitalization of Toronto neighborhood features a green restoration and expansion of this historic building

On February 17, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Dream Unlimited and Kilmer Group announced that they had teamed up with local designers Elastic Interiors and BDP Quadrangle to create Canary House: a unique expansion and reinvention of a landmark historic building.

It’s the latest addition to the Canary District, an 35-acre master-planned redevelopment designed to revitalize Toronto’s Downtown East’s neighborhood.

At 13 stories, Canary House will form a new gateway into the community from its western edge and marks the fifth mixed-use residential building at Canary District.

Honoring and celebrating the building fondly remembered as the Canary Restaurant, Dream and Kilmer will be restoring and transforming the iconic landmark to once again become a commercial destination anchoring Canary House.

The historic building, which dates back over a century and a half, has served as a base for a school, hotel and restaurant. Additional retail commercial space at grade will also be introduced, bolstering the robust amenity offering at Canary House to 25,000 sq. ft.

The Canary District, which evolved from the Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletes’ Village in 2015, offers a world-class, sustainable, LEED Gold-certified urban village, where active lifestyles are complemented by a host of health-focused retail options and restaurants, Corktown Common park’s 18-acre greenspace, and the Cooper-Koo YMCA.

This is a true transit-oriented community with the TTC LRT just steps from Canary House. In addition, Metrolinx will be building a new transit hub at East Bayfront which will allow residents a quick and easy link to the entire region.

The Canary District and The Distillery have been the drivers for growth in the Downtown East, and we believe that this area, just a 15 minute walk from the downtown core, represents one of the best opportunities for living in a complete neighbourhood in Toronto,” says Ken Tanenbaum, Vice-Chair of Kilmer Group.

The introduction of Canary House is a continuation of this vision, ensuring a diversity of housing and amenities that will serve this growing community for generations to come,” he added.

Canary District’s booming growth solidifies itself as the heart of the future Downtown East. This urban complete community is part of a wave of mixed-use developments that promise the arrival of new city life, retail, restaurants, office space and the creation of 50,000 jobs.

As a first for the Canary District, a new 17,000 sq. ft. Marcheleo’s Gourmet Marketplace will mark the neighborhood’s first grocery store, becoming the anchor tenant of Canary Commons, currently under construction. Reflecting the demand in this growing community, Marcheleo’s will provide fresh produce, gourmet groceries and ready-made meals, becoming the new go-to in the Downtown East.

London-based design firm Elastic Interiors was brought in by Dream and Kilmer for its expertise in weaving together textures, patterns and materials to craft refined atmospheres. Internationally renowned for its work in luxury hospitality design, Elastic Interiors has created some of the world’s most distinguished spaces, including the Aman Resorts, Nammos at the Four Seasons Dubai and Mitsis Rinela Beach Resort in Greece.

Elastic Interiors has built an international reputation for its mastery in designing beautiful, serene spaces that enrich the guest experience. We’ve long believed in world-class design at Canary District, and we’re so proud to introduce Elastic Interior’s unparalleled expertise to the Canadian market and to condominium residences for the first time,” says Krystal Koo, Head of Sales & Marketing at Dream Unlimited.

Interior spaces create an authentic feeling of being surrounded by nature, offering a reprieve from bustling downtown city life. The lobby sets the tone for this intimate atmosphere with handcrafted, artisanal materials refined with natural textures and finishes, such as natural woods and locally sourced stone. Throughout the lobby, distinct spaces are designed to exude different energies, which invite occupants to relax with a warm beverage or get to know their neighbors.

Our goal was to create a sense of warmth and comfort the moment residents and guests enter the lobby,” says Elastic Interiors Partner Enrique Mangalindan. “We worked tirelessly to create a sense of ‘home’ by crafting a special atmosphere and energy through every detail of the building.”

Each Canary House suite ushers in serenity through simple and natural finishes, contrasting color palettes, and gentle interplay between high and low natural lighting.

A fitness studio with a panoramic city view, a theatre and entertainment room, cozy library, open-concept communal kitchen, and a multipurpose studio allows residents to entertain large groups, work from home, or enjoy a quiet, relaxing day. On the ninth floor, a private dining room opens out to an expansive rooftop oasis complete with gardens, a sun lounge, a fireplace and outdoor dining spaces, providing beautiful views of downtown Toronto’s skyline.

The cultural history of this location inspired our team to envision a community-oriented space that acknowledges and celebrates the land it sits on,” said BDP Quadrangle Principal and Co-Founder Les Klein. “We took great care to ensure each detail was authentic and respectful. As soon as you step foot onto the Canary House site, you will feel that you are in a special and inclusive place.

Local award-winning architecture and design studio BDP Quadrangle honored the site’s history, thoughtfully integrating Indigenous culture and values. Working in consultation with Indigenous-owned architecture firm Two Row Architect, the result is a sensitive yet contemporary design that features an earth-based podium, curved building corners representing clouds, and pebble walkways emulating river stones from the adjacent Don Valley River.

See Canary District website.

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