In 2012, Kearns Mancini began working on a design for a seven-storey mid-rise residential building located in the growing community of Leaside. Currently undergoing site-plan approval, the project is expected to begin construction in 2015.
The Town of Leaside was designed in 1912 to become a “model town” with the intention of becoming the “new Rosedale” with plans for residential, commercial and town centre areas. The Upper House is located in the area originally intended for the town centre, on a prominent street corner, allowing the building to become a gateway into the neighbourhood. The building is designed to accomodate the shift from single-family dwelling to multi-unit housing, tailoring most specifically to dwellers who are downsizing their space and want to be part of an active community.
The design of the Upper House makes virtue of municipal planning requirements that state that mid-rise housing blocks must step back in order to transition and blend into existing neighbourhoods. Simultaneously, this allows each unit to have access to outdoor space. Ground-level units will have landscaped patios; mid-building suites will have balconies; and where the building steps back at the top, large terraces are created.
A seven-storey mid-rise building, the Upper House will have 74 suites, ranging from one-bedroom units to three-bedroom-plus-den units. There are also seven townhome units, which front a quieter residential street and respond to the context of the neighbouring single-family dwellings. The multi-unit typology establishes a building that fosters many demographics and age groups within the existing community.
Gross Project Area
80,444 sq. ft.
Knightstone Capital Management
Peter Ng, Keith Button, Olivia Keung, Tomas Mashidlauskas
As a result of the unconventional shape of the building, determined by the pie-shaped site, the units in the building have a unique layout that strays away from the conventional standards of ‘shoe-box’ condominiums. Its orientation towards the sun path ensures that various qualities of light enter each unit at different times of the day.
The cladding of the building in stone and brick allows the project to respond to the existing architectural context of the area, becoming an adaptive addition to the community. Its recession in form as well as its articulated materiality help frame the streetscape and subsequently establish a new character for the developing community. The project meets and exceeds Toronto’s Green Standard for Mid-Rise buildings, which includes strategies to provide adequate bicycle parking, in anticipation of future commuting habits, as the area increases in density.