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5 New Projects in ‘The 6’

Aug. 26, 2022
Check out the view of several new openings in the Toronto area.

Canadian rapper Drake may have popularized “The 6” as Toronto’s official moniker with the release of his 2016 album, View from the 6, but it originally referred to the six municipalities that made up Metro Toronto before it was amalgamated in 1998. It could also refer to the city’s first area code, 416.

Regardless of what you call it, Toronto is home to several exciting, new projects—and we think you’ll like “the view.”

1. Paradise Theater | 1006 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario

Originally opened in 1937 in Toronto's Bloorcourt neighborhood, the heritage-designated Paradise building recently reopened following the highly anticipated renovation by Ware Malcomb. The project involved converting the existing theatre into a multi-functional venue including a theater, restaurant and bar. Working along with ERA architects the protected heritage aspect of the exterior facade/reconstruction of the main building facing Bloor Street, great care was taken to limit refinishing and maintain the appearance of the original facade and signage in compliance with heritage requirements. Architectural details included utilizing existing masonry, a curtain wall, aluminum composite panels, metal siding, and steel frames combined with infill glazing units.

2. Ace Hotel | 51 Camden St, Toronto, ON M5V 1V2, Canada

Ace Hotel Toronto—the brand’s inaugural home in Canada—is a ground-up project that was designed by Toronto firm Shim-Sutcliffe Architects. The 123-room hotel stands in the city’s historic Garment District and was designed to convey timelessness. The building’s red brick facade recalls the important role bricks pressed from Don Valley clay played in forming the city’s visual identity. Guests entering the lobby catch a glimpse of Horizon Line, a three-story art installation abstractly representing Lake Ontario’s glittering waters. A series of poured-in-place, concrete structural arches rise from the semi-subterranean restaurant to a level above. The lobby is suspended by slender steel rods from these massive supports and offers guests a variety of viewpoints and scales within the impressive space.

3. Canoe Landing Campus | 45 Fort York Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3Y2, Canada

The new Canoe Landing Campus by ZAS Architects in Toronto’s booming downtown core houses a $65 million community recreation center, public and Catholic elementary schools and a childcare center within one innovative campus. The layered site with multiple public zones and play areas includes schools that share indoor play spaces, a learning commons, gymnasium and educational areas. Bisected by a pedestrian corridor, the two-story community center connects with the three-story schools through an elevated bridge, forming an east-west gateway. Visible from the residences above, the dynamic roof is a vital element, both from a programming and sustainability perspective. Programming includes a running track, sheltered outdoor space for yoga and a full-sized basketball court.

4. OMERS | 1 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5J 2P1, Canada

The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) partnered with IA Interior Architects to expand its existing facility in a downtown Toronto heritage building. The new space is an innovation hub for the growing tech team that is developing the OMER pension plan online platform. Focused on employees and clients, the space is geared to attract and retain talent and appeal to multiple generations. The floor is completely open and flexible; a large multi-use space with a moveable wall system accommodates client seminars and product and service presentations, as well as training, internal activities and community outreach events. A variety of seating options enables different work modes, and meeting rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass walls provide transparency.

5. Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex | 288 Church St, Toronto, ON M5B 1Z5, Canada

Faced with a growing student body and confined urban site, Toronto Metropolitan University engaged global architecture and design firm Perkins&Will to create a new hub of academic excellence and student life. The 28-story, 300,000-square-foot Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex is located in Toronto’s dense downtown core, connecting students to the vibrancy of the city while unifying Toronto Metropolitan’s academic and residential functions. When designing the complex, Perkins&Will referenced its Precautionary List, an extensive database of hazardous and harmful materials, ensuring the project was created with materials known for being safe and having a low environmental impact. Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, it is expected to use 32% less energy and consume 35% less potable water than traditional construction.

About the Author

Robert Nieminen | Chief Content Director

Robert Nieminen is the Chief Content Director of Architectural Products, BUILDINGS and i+s, sister publications of Smart Buildings Technology. He is an award-winning writer with more than 20 years of experience reporting on the architecture and design industry.

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