All posts in Regeneration

Open wall garage examples, a solution? to small yard and car cover issue in the Junction, a parking idea post

The Junction, wonderfully tight lots that allow close connect with your neighbours, and an  intimate living experience in the small footage homes.   Yet parking is a common concern, coming home from shopping, picking up the children or work, the issue of finding a parking space comes to mind.

Many people choose to park the care on the street, while some abet less chose part of the back yard. the back yard choice has lots of good benefits and some not so good. The main good benefit is that there is always a parking space, yet this also takes away an good park of the backyards livable ground space.

Building a garage also protects the vehicle and provides a great storage area for items for gardening and such. yet a walled garage cannot really eat into the open space of the yard, and cause sun blockage.

Open air garage solves many of the problems and removes  a lot of the problems.


side view from next door, highlighting the open top wall to allowlight into the yard


front doors



looking up at the ceiling of the building



side view


close side view


ceiling of building




side view from next door

Parkdale Pre-Application Meeting for 57 Brock Avenue – The Beer Store location.



All text the group, 


Pre-Application Meeting for 57 Brock Avenue – The Beer Store location.
The developer of 57 Brock Avenue, Block Developments, will be holding a pre-application meeting to discuss their proposed plans for this site.
The developer is proposing a 7 storey residential condominium. Details will be available at the community meeting. Councillor Perks and City Planning staff will be in attendance. If you are unable to attend the meeting and are interested in providing comment and/or receiving more detailed information, please email Councillor Perks office at

Date: Thursday, April 21st

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Place: 1303 Queen St W. – Parkdale Library (basement auditorium)


The Symes Rd train Wall

“When the wall was built originally it suppose to serve as a sound wall. Now that there is no track behind it something should be done to reduce its height. 100 Symes now has 15+ businesses including a brewery (Rainhart) + Sports gym (Monkey Vault). People are getting lost driving around trying to figure out how to get across. A simple rail will do to prevent traffic.”

As a sound barrier wall from the train noise, the wall had a a very short life. The land that was the rain tracks was then sold to St Helens Meat packers which uses it as a parking lot for their employees. The wall most probably belongs to the City of Toronto, or the development if the houses built on the sound side of the wall at are some type of condo development.

The best solution to increased traffic on the south side of the wall now that is looking for 100 Symes Rd. would be directional signage.

However the wall does present a rather special iconic reuse that retains the memory of the tracks that once fed the Canada Packers site.



The 6 Lloyd company – the developer Stanton Renaissance


As the 6 Lloyd site will probably be just as big or than the Heintzman Place development – which has turned out to be a great boon to the Junction community, the blog though it would interesting to post some of the information about the developer of the site. Stanton Renaissance  highlights on its web site the leadership of Louie Santaguida, it is a major thrust of the text on the firms website is the characteristic management of the company by this seemingly driven individual. The  Heintzman Place development was also developed by a driven leader .  Brownfield developments often need driven and idealistic developers to be built,  before Options for Homes Michel Labbé stepped in the Heintzman Place was a empty and disused old Canadian Tire retail store building.

Photo credit - Youtude screen cap from Luigi Santaguida 2010 Ryerson  Alumni Achievement Award Recipient

Photo credit – Youtude screen cap from Luigi Santaguida 2010 Ryerson Alumni Achievement Award Recipient

 Mr Santaguida certainly knowns the 6 Lloyd Ave site as one of the former companies –  the Terrasan Group  cleaned up the old paint factory site.

The 6 Lloyd Avenue nee Benjamin Moore site

The 6 Lloyd Avenue nee Benjamin Moore site


If the city decides to change the zoning of the site to allow the construction of condos, hopefully with the condition of a light industrial component, this developer may just get the lot back as part of the community.

The blog really wants to stress how  important for this site and the community the dual use of residential and real light industrial/commercial use is. Mixing these two types of use will be creating a balanced community and probably lead to greater revitalization of the Mulock Ave/ old Weston Rd area with lighter industry and more residential/commercial  uses.

All text in italics from the Stanton Renaissance website.

With Louie Santaguida at its helm, Stanton Renaissance has carved a unique position within the new development community in Toronto, the GTA and southern Ontario. No ordinary developer, this is a company with deep roots in the revitalization of land; with vast experience in the transformation of spoiled land into viable, green and ultimately buildable land. The company specializes in the transformation of dysfunctional areas – particularly communities with unrealized social, environmental and economic potential.  These are the communities that turn on Mr. Santaguida’s juice – the more challenging, the better! His vision is extraordinary; where most see urban rot and ugliness, Louie Santaguida sees vibrancy, growth, potential and success!

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This is the face of Stanton Renaissance. The company is run by Louie Santaguida and it is his vision that has created perhaps the most unique development company in Canada. Stanton Renaissance embodies Louie’s philosophy and unrelenting drive.

With his background in chemical engineering, Louie’s career has included stints in environmental clean- up, construction, development and even a foray into creating the perfect snack chip! What’s Cooking Louie had perfected beet, sweet potato and Yukon Gold chips long before they became staples in Canadian supermarkets.

Louie has worked on some of Toronto’s most well-known properties including Sky Dome, Air Canada Centre and The World Trade Centre to name just a few.

Louie Santaguida is a visionary. He has an uncanny ability to transform properties from dysfunctional, derelict areas into beautiful, viable, exciting residential communities that redefine neighbourhoods and provide residents with exceptional value and lifestyle options. Always located around public transportation hubs, the people who live in a Stanton Renaissance community often do so without the need of a car. Buildings are built with the ultimate in green technology and are always environmentally responsible.

Presently, Stanton Renaissance is developing numerous sites throughout Toronto and the GTA as well as southern Ontario.

With Louie Santaguida in charge, there is no question that the communities he takes on will be transformed into fabulous places to live, work and play.

Here is some information on another of the firms projects,

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On The Go Mimico features contemporary design with unobstructed views of the lake and city, the latest finishing features, large stylish balconies, Italian designed and manufactured gourmet kitchens with Caesar Stone countertops, gorgeous backsplashes, stylish stainless steel appliances and one of the most exciting new technologies that will save residents significant money on heating and cooling costs. On The Go Mimico will incorporate Toronto’s first high rise integrated GeoExchange and Cogeneration technology that works with nature to borrow the energy from the earth in the winter and put it back in the summer, redirecting and recycling to where it is needed. In fact residents at On The Go Mimico will save around 30% on utility costs and on monthly condo fees because of this progressive and innovative technology.

Of course, On The Go Mimico has other important features too – an accessible green roof with BBQs, an eco-carwash, a pet grooming station, a high tech gym with yoga and Pilates studios and a very hip Party Room. There will also be a gourmet fine food store, espresso and coffee bar, meeting rooms and guest suites to accommodate overnight visitors. Surrounded by the warm and friendly community of Mimico, (identified as Toronto’s top emerging community and one of the ten best places to live in the GTA) residents will enjoy an eclectic variety of shops, bakeries, cafes and restaurants as well as lush parks and lakefront trails.

But the big story here is the opportunity to live literally “on the GO” for tens of thousands of dollars less than living in the downtown core.

To create a fitting Presentation Centre for On The Go Mimico, Stanton Renaissance refurbished Mimico’s circa 1916 CN rail station, located in Coronation Park on Royal York Road. When the Presentation Centre is no longer needed, the company will return the rail station’s interior to its original design and give it back to the community as a historical rail museum.

The condominium features 242 suites from 537 sq. ft. to 2,700 sq. ft. including two levels of 11-foot high ceiling penthouses. Prices start in the mid $200’s.

108 Vine Ave at the height of operations of the Dr. Jackson Foods Ltd


Click on Image for full size view


GovanBrown Construction Managers Canada is revitalizing the iconic Junction industrial buildingsat at 108 Vine Ave. Most recently the long term home of Canadian Rogers Eastern Limited, the building was build by and for the Dr. Jackson Foods Ltd.

Above is an image of the building at the height of the Dr. Jackson Foods Ltd use of the building.


Below is part of a Dr. Jackson Foods Ltd. advertisement.






What now for 150 Symes Rd now that it has been sold? (heritage incinerator building)

Build Toronto has stated it has sold the Symes Rd heritage incinerator building, this blog stuttered at the prospect of what could happen to the building and site.

It appears Build Toronto has brokered a deal and provided funding for the development by way of a vendor take back mortgage.

here is part of Build Toronto’s statement on the sale,

The investor’s vision to retain the entirety
of the building for adaptive re-use was articulated
to Heritage staff, who threw their enthusiastic
support behind this project. Where development
proposals for heritage buildings typically involved
maintaining only the façade of a building and
constructing new within, this was amongst
the only development proposals presented to
Heritage staff that intended to preserve the
architectural integrity of the building in its entirety.



Backing from all of these stakeholders as well as
Councillor Frances Nunziata ultimately helped
move this deal forward. BUILD TORONTO is also
offering flexible financing for this site through
a Vendor Take Back mortgage, taking on some
of its risk to demonstrate its firm belief in this
adaptive reuse development

Full case study from Build Toronto hosted here at the blog and here at Build Toronto.


Facade changes at 108 Vine Ave going to massive

108 Vine has had the entire facade of the stack blue and grey block building removed.

This east section of the complexes buildings – is being being viewed bunt his blog as being converted to two levels.

The image above taken on the night of May 30th 2013. Shows the front wall facade has been completely removed. We should expect windows.

108 Vine Ave. window installs

The old Rogers Eastern Plant is receiving new windows today is the historic building section.

The choice if style is a good balance of energy efficiency and visual congruency with the building facade.

Stockyards Mall using brick as part if south facing facade.

As the build if the stockyards mall turns to interiors and facades in areas the street-scape is really changing.

All along St Clair Ave. where the mall is being built was for decades a open field – where some of the Canada Packers plant stood until a fire destroyed the corner block at the north west corner of Keele St. And St Clair Ave.



Unbelievable small lot house – design ideas

all images courtesy of SNARK image © ippei shinzawa

re-blogged from designboom click for many more images

Hey – also vist the SNARK website to see other great works click here


db_keyaki_01 db_keyaki_02 db_keyaki_03 db_keyaki_18


the small town of honiyo-shi is about an hour and a half by car from downtown tokyo, a place that resembles many north american cities in that all of
its citizens rely on private automobiles due to the lack of public transit. set back within the narrow corner site, the ‘house in keyaki’ by japanese studios
SNARK and OUVI contains a parallel outdoor parking spot surrounded by a small garden that occupies the remaining plot.  three vertical strip windows
located on the east, west, and south facades guarantee natural illumination throughout the interior at all times of day. triangular voids on the second
storey floor plan, located right beneath the glazing, allows sunlight to penetrate into the ground level giving the residents a constant sense of the time of
day through the changing qualities of light. the gaps in the floor also create a stronger visual connection between both stories creating a unified inner space,
with a rooftop deck for a more private exterior setting.

from Design Boom

re-blogged from designboom click for many more images


The buildings of Beresford Ave and St Johns Rd

Close by the intersection of Beresford Ave and St Johns Rd sit two buildings of different times. One a new infill modernist house and the other a corner building from the period where there was a small variety and grocer every few blocks among the residential homes.

Images of the great infill house on the continue reading side.

Continue Reading →

Highlights from former mayor David Miller article in the July 26th UK Financial Times urban ingenuity section

Our former Mayor has written a great article for a financial times article.

Here it is (1)

Cities are where the people and the problems are – and where the solutions can, will and must be found

Yet another global summit has come and gone – the United Nations Rio+20 conference – and the world seems little closer to tackling the huge challenges of climate change and economic prosperity. Sadly, there has not been much progress. Some countries, such as Canada, have governments that openly deny the science, and have pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Others fret that doing the right thing for the environment will cost too much. People see this inaction of national governments and lose hope. But cities hold solutions and activist city govern-ments, led by strong mayors and supported by private sector innovation, are not waiting. Today, more people live in urban areas than do not. This trend will continue as flows of climate migrants in the develop-ing world cause those cities to grow. China seems to build new cities weekly. Even in the

Technology can save money, create jobs and add capital value to buildings

Toronto’s Tower Renewal programme will reduce green-house gases by 6 per cent – the first Kyoto target – and will create 30,000 full-time jobs. Shrewd investments in tech-nology can save money, create jobs and add capital value to buildings. New technologies, such as Canada’s International Wastewater Heat Exchange Systems, are capable of rapid adoption and can dramatically reduce the need for fossil fuels to heat and cool buildings. Many cities have recognised that traffic planning for the automobile does not meet their transportation, development or environmental goals. They have built walkable cities, with rapid transit networks that encourage cycling. Copenhagen is the best example of this. On energy, smart-grid-enabled cities of the future will look to conservation and demand management first, and energy generated on a distrib-uted model from renewable sources second. The energy grid is moving away from energy generation based on extraction toward one based on technology. German cities do this today. The state of Victoria in Australia has passed regulations that help to overcome financing hurdles in energy retrofits, which will lead to significant private investment. This model should be copied globally, as issues of security and time for payback hinder private financing. Most of all, we need people to know that the answers are there. Only then can the desire of millions to do the right thing be translated by their governments into a clean environment and good, sustainable jobs.

David Miller is a World Bank special adviser on urban issues and former mayor of Torontodeveloped world, studies show that younger people prefer dense urban environments to suburbs. Pollution and jobs are found in the cities too. One study commissioned for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group found that while 75 per cent of economic activity takes place in cities, up to 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions can be allocated to city-based consumption. The good news? Measures that reduce greenhouse gases create jobs. The even better news is that three sectors – energy generation, heating and cooling of buildings, and transportation – are responsible for most of the emissions. Get those sectors, and waste management, right and the world’s dual goals are achievable. The best news is that cities are acting. Consider buildings, typically the greatest source of emissions. Many cities are adopting building standards that require “green” construction of buildings. The private sector has responded, and has discovered that green buildings can be more profit-able (because they are more in demand by tenants) and have lower operating costs. Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, has directed commercial buildings over a certain square footage to post energy consumption statistics. Meanwhile, Melbourne and Toronto have focused heavily on energy retrofits. In fact,

Action is eloquence

End of article.

(1) the blog looked for a online version to link for the blog post but could not find one, so after a few days deliberating about posting the entire article, it decided to do so as the importance of people reading a article from our former mayor is important.

…and how many people get the printed editions of Financial Times specials sent to them here would be very few.

Pls remember to uses to visit this blog.


Shaky shaky with excitement, International Cheese trucks have appeared in one of the Truck bays of the old Canada Bread Factory

Is international Cheese expanding ?

The blog has sent them an email asking if so.

Hopefully it is, medium size artisan businesses such this one contribute a lot to the community – activity, access to good products at factory stores, employment, industrial continuation. Above all they contribute to a mixed community use of residential and light commercial so needed in areas made of railways, large shopping areas, and sporadic large I dust rial uses. (which are just now to bear on this area fully as a new large retail area joins the original stockyards development)

Expanding into a building with off street parking is also a boon to the residential community as it moves trucks off the streets, trucks on the local streets has long been a issue for local residents.

Hopefully the company will let us know what’s up.

Strange steel :-) going up at the Cango station

The steel going up a the Cango station is a unusual colour, and may even be the super structure of a canopy that is being repurposed for this site from another.

Have just not seen this unusual poly lineal sight line in a beam or hollow structural steel build up before, and the blog spends lots of time crawling around steel parts.

It would be great if it would be a recycled unit.

Location:Priscilla Ave,Toronto,Canada

Old Canada Bread factory photo grouping of opening up of formerly bricked up back windows.

1st much thanks to reader Jimi Fir alerting the blog to this.

The factory now being converted into artist studios has a wonderful transformation at its rear.

The windowed bricked up
For so long are being shod of their bricks.

Inside the northern most space.

Inside looking towards the CPR tracks at doors that once held the opening for the waste doors for the bakery.

Track side view