The transformation of the former Kromer Radio site into a contemporary neighborhood hub had to be respectful and responsive to overwhelming community interest. Defined by its narrow profile and length, the project is more than 100 meters long, with a North-South orientation. Fusing old and new, the site was designed with elements inspired by local architecture such as brick, that mimic the existing materiality of the area.
With its expansive length, breaking the building’s mass and materiality into recomposed elements that reference the scale and spirt of neighbourhood conditions was essential to minimizing the impact on the community’s sense of place. Avoiding a monolithic intervention on the streetscape, terracing the east and west form creates a less imposing mass and reduced the shadow of the building, limiting its impact on area residents.
Further integrating the project, the west façade contains more than 40% greenery, achieving more inviting back-lane and views from existing homes. It’s noteworthy that this is the largest living-wall in Toronto. Its west orientation puts the wall in the shade, creating a unique environment that impacted the species of plants that had to be chosen to also resist the harsh winter conditions of Toronto.
Owned by RioCan, the building holds high-profile tenants including Sobeys, Scotiabank, office space for a famous tech-company and clinics for the University Health Network. This diverse collage of uses will offer a variety of commercial and retail opportunities, enhancing the neighbourhood experience.