111-113 Yorkville

111-113 Yorkville 

Based on the desire to maintain and celebrate the unique character of Victorian houses in Yorkville, the design integrates a rebuilt and re-proportioned historic facade and functions as the redevelopment’s main frontage of this four-storey commercial space. The concept at the 111-113 Yorkville Avenue is rooted in the duality between old and new.
Toronto, ON
Commercial, Mixed Use, Architecture
Awards and distinctions
Word Architecture Festival: Future Projects - Commercial Mixed-use, 2019 (finalist)
In the late 1980s, the existing Victorian house structure underwent several functional and design alterations, distorting it from its original character - thereby eliminating heritage and cultural value within the Yorkville Village neighbourhood. Removing public functions from the courtyard, the rear was converted to Back-of-House functions and cut from the Public Realm network.

Taking cues from a sister building located a few steps away on Hazelton Avenue, our team proposed a contemporary interpretation of the building that allowed retail functions to be accommodated behind a Victorian-inspired façade that opens up and revives the once significant courtyard. Replacing the existing, out of context red bricks, historical-size yellow bricks pay homage to the brick modules from the historic Yorkville Brickworks once located in the nearby Ketchum Park. 

Complimenting and standing behind the historic building is an angled geometric volume that houses the nearly 20,000 sf of commercial and restaurant programming. The Back-of-House, formerly a parking lot and garbage disposal area, becomes a southern courtyard, reconnecting to an adjacent laneway and Old York Lane, thereby transforming a derelict space into a warm and welcoming experience. The reflective glass on the front facade of the angled volume reflects the historic house roofline, and the added terrace reveals the dimension of movement and activation with pedestrians on the sidewalk below.

The thoughtful approach to massing and materiality of a historically prominent Victorian house demonstrates a newfound connectivity to the urban retail neighbourhood’s latent network of courtyards and pedestrian passageways.

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