2989 Dundas St W – rooftop warehouse addition

The renovation of facades of contributing buildings should

respect the original architectural style


The addition placed on top of 2989 Dundas St west; in the opinion of this author, whole fully disfigures the  Dundas St West and Pacific Ave street intersection.

Standing on any corner other than the south west corner provides the viewer with a massive warehouse type box sitting on top of historic building.

The larger question, however, surfaces again with this type of development renovation: Is this type of building change better or worse for the neighborhood than stronger rules at the municipal level to protect the historical core street scape of the Junction.

The City of Toronto has rules about renovations of new and renovated buildings stating they shall be designed  sympathetic to the district heritage attributes, through massing, rhythm of solids and voids, significant design features, and high quality materials [1. http://www.toronto.ca/heritagepreservation/pdf/hcd_queenwest_draft_guidelines.pdf]

Further the city guidelines state…

The renovation of facades of contributing buildings should respect the original architectural style.

Also the city states is values “street walls”

A “street wall” is a condition where buildings consistently line or front to the edge of a street.

This building renovation simply does not meet the guidelines, nor considers the character of the Junction


Maybe if you had a bit more to do with your time, that is rather then whining about building additions, this wouldn't bother you so much?

I was out yesterday to The Sweet Potato, didn't even notice it. Guess i'm just architecturally oblivious.

Theirry i disagree with pretty much everything you write. I'm surprised you troll around here so much on a blog that focuses on the character of a neighbourhood, when character is something you are admittedly oblivious to. Why don't you move to a neighbourhood with more Tim Hortons?

Theirry, all you do is complain (not even constructive criticisms) about this blog author's posting topics and opinions, in case you are selectively blind, here is this blog's description:
The Junctioneer is a site about West Toronto industry, culture, real estate, development and renovation, and all the varied topics that impact life and living in West Toronto. Particularly, it seeks to create knowledge of and assist to continue the special mix of industrial, commercial and residential uses, which has made for a diverse and storied community.

Please, stop whining already or create YOUR OWN BLOG!

Our neighbourhood would greatly benefit from more blogs on various topics, I believe there should be one about community gardening 🙂

I hadn't noticed the addition from this angle. I tend not to look up when I'm walking, I guess. Yes, it's pretty ugly, but then so is the 60s-style building on the corner. However, the back view from No Frills is very attractive, with an obvious attempt to maintain the building's historical integrity by incorporating an original brick wall into the siding surround.

Irina, I agree that a community gardening blog would be a welcome addition.

I could understand this entry if it was about this happening in Paris and I would probably get upset as no one wants to spoil the beauty of Paria as much possible.

But the Junction is hardly Paris is it?

Agreed the Junction is not Paris, but it does have it's own character which is just as fine. Also does this fact mean the community architectural and built environment standards should be deliberately set low?

Also in the post I did point out the city has guidelines which of course the planning department enforce, sadly though they only protect the facade and not the rest of the building.

The majority of guidelines seem to be about the facade. In this case, the blog is talking about an addition to the back of a property, which isn't the same thing.

yes most of the guidelines refer – sadly – only too the the front of a building, however this addition does not adhere to other parts – which again sadly are only guidelines.

" through massing, rhythm of solids and voids, significant design features, and high quality materials"

It looks like the same material used in the crystal addition to the ROM only a little less pointy.

I think the aluminium blends in well and mimics the sky, most people wouldn’t notice it. Reclaimed brick might have been a better (and more expensive) choice but I like facade so far so I’ll give it a pass in my books.

I haven’t seen the rear facade in a while, any pictures?

well that was another author on that post

“The final product is going to be interesting and original, you can get a good view from the No Frills parking lot.”

in the longer term picture, the cladding seems very sensible. In this picture, the south-west corner building would be replaced with something more urban and more sympathetic in character to that which is on the corner right now, thereby making a positive addition to the streetscape AND hiding the cladding which is currently so offensive. Why would the owner of 2989 spend $ on nicer materials for this facade which wont be seen forever, it doesn't make sense. I am much more appreciative of their investment in saving the front facade.

On a technical note, the 'guidelines' referenced in the post are for the Queen Street West Heritage Conservation District, so sadly they don't apply to development here in the junction.

Kev, Irina… i'm SO sorry to offend your delicate sensabilities with my various opinions. I guess i'll just fall in line with the rest of the Junction lemmings… would that make you happier?

Boo freaking hoo, someone disagrees with you. You'll get over it.

you ain't got no aliby
cause you ugly
clap clap clap
you ugly
clap clap clap.

The view from No-Frills is hectic! I'm surprised you lot like that. If anything maybe if the whole building was sheet metal or all brick but to see it from the back it looks like a modern building fell ontop of an old one.

By "investment in saving the front facade" you mean their cost-savings from doing nothing to it? 😉

I'm not against constructive debate, but telling someone that they have too much time on their hands is anything but.

And i'm not offended by your opinions, i just disagree with (most of) them.

well, hmmm….no, I don't! Retaining the front bit likely increased costs. If they wanted real cost-savings they could have demolished the whole building & started from scratch.
entire demolition of this property would likely have been possible given that it's NOT on the City's heritage inventory (http://www.toronto.ca/heritage-preservation/heritage_properties_inventory.htm).

So retaining the facade, and keeping a generous setback to retain character & contextI do really think that by retaining the facade, which sure does add to the character of the street, especially with the generous setback, was a great investment.

I thought the view from the No Frills was was a welcome change from what you normally see back there. At least it's unique and original. But you know what they say about opinions.

I feel like Midas… every post I touch turns to gold (you know it Junctioneer). When else do you get 20 comments on a photo? Thats right, when Theirry's in the mix.

Actually, I think he last time I really looked at it it must have been unfinished. I took a look last night and the right side (looking for the No Frills parking lot) seems to be different, with a floor to ceiling window. I like it now.

I'm not in the demolition or renovation biz, but I simply do NOT believe that it costs less to tear down a building and build a new one than it does to put a fairly small addition on the upper floor. Sorry. Perhaps you know something more about this than I do – feel free to share…

Oh Theirry you crack me up… or shall we call you Midas?

I have to say that upon leaving No Frills this evening, I liked the building from the back. The aluminum cladding blends in nicely with the sky and there are long windows that add interest. Now only if the remainder of the lane way could be fixed up, it would look even better.

This renovation just goes to show that the City has few planning powers and little control over development. This property is seriously diminished, IMHO, from every angle except straight on from Dundas. The view from No-Frills is interesting but still not appropriate for character of the area.
Then again, the owner drives a Hummer so are we really surprised 🙂

That's great but can't you do something about the addition? They have some precast brick cladding systems that could mitigate the eyesore factor by allowing it to blend in with the other buildings.

I would change it if i didn't like it. The fact is I get people coming up to me and shaking my hand and offering congratulations on the renovation of this building. I agree it may not be for everyone but i believe it has a progressive style incorporating the old with the new.

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