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60 Atlantic Avenue

New life for an industrial building

The renovation of 60 Atlantic Avenue in Toronto’s Liberty Village is part of the ongoing transformation of this historic industrial zone in Toronto’s west end into a mixed-use neighbourhood.

By Quadrangle

The three-storey brick structure had undergone multiple alterations since its construction in 1898. Originally built as a warehouse for St. David’s Wine Grower’s Co, it was taken over by the T. Eaton Company in 1922, and then in the 1990s it was converted into artists’ studios by Artscape, a not-for-profit urban development organization.

Twenty years later, the exterior of the building was in rough shape and the interior was congested and convoluted. Outwardly, the aggregated effect of the many additions and alterations seemed to have compromised the integrity of the building, but more thorough investigations revealed that it still had great potential.

Design Objectives
A comprehensive rehabilitation was proposed by the design team led by Quadrangle that would embrace the building’s history and physical character, while infusing it with a contemporary spirit. The vision was to create a lively commercial hub for the neighbourhood, with a particular focus on creative enterprises.

The design strategy was to strip away superfluous finishes, reveal and reinforce the brick and timber structure, then pressure wash and sandblast it back to its original condition. To improve access to and through the building, a new stair and elevator core was added. The addition unifies the building by visually connecting all three levels.

The site was excavated to expose the basement, simultaneously introducing natural light and connecting this retail level to a new exterior courtyard. The new main entrance and courtyard are accessible from grade and reinforce the connection to the street. The upper levels, intended for office and studio use, are characterized by exposed brick and timber surfaces, high ceilings, open floor plans and generous windows. The heritage character is complemented by contemporary heating, cooling and air quality systems.

Project Credits
Client Hullmark Developments Ltd.
Architecture and Interior Design Quadrangle
Mechanical and Electrical Engineer Integral Group
Structural Engineers Read Jones Christoffersen
Construction Management First Gulf
Landscape Architect Vertechs Design Inc.
Heritage Consultant Philip Goldsmith Architect
Photos Ben Rahn/AFrame, Bob Gundu

See a short video on the architect’s concept for 60 Atlantic, produced by Popstream Digital.