Seamlessly integrated into a dynamic stretch of College Street, 491 patches into the urban fabric of one of Toronto’s most characteristic communities: Palmerston-Little Italy. Adaptive re-use in its purest sense, the former Latvian House, designed by Edwards and Saunders Architects in 1911 is now respectfully restored, integrating history and contemporary design into the daily life of a community. The final mixed-use building houses retail at grade, with an LCBO and 2-levels of dedicated office space, managed by Allied Properties REIT and RioCan.
Well aware of the sensitivities of working in an established setting, the façade of the Classical Revival building that occupied the site was carefully preserved and framed by a contemporary annex, adding visual variety to the richly textured streetscape. The modern addition is respectful of the architectural details of the adjacent buildings and surrounding architectural language, giving modern interpretation to built-form, human scale character of the site. It’s noteworthy that the new building is located on a former parking lot, giving use to what was previously a gap on a lively pedestrian avenue.