An 1850s-era school-turned-hotel-turned-restaurant will come to life again as the Canary District springs up around it.
Designed by architect and former Toronto mayor Joseph Sheard, the heritage building last welcomed patrons as the Canary Restaurant—the namesake for Canary District—back in 2007.
Now, Dream Unlimited and Kilmer Group have teamed up with designers Elastic Interiors and BDP Quadrangle, to restore and transform the landmark into Canary House. At 13-storeys of mixed-use residential space, the building will form a gateway into the community from its western edge. It will include 206 condo suites, beginning in the high $500,000s. Additional retail commercial space at grade will be introduced to boost the amenity offering to 25,000 square feet.
The 35-acre Canary District has been taking shape ever since the Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletes’ Village evolved from its brief 2015 Games-related uses. Future prospects include a new transit hub that Metrolinx is planning at East Bayfront, and the neighbourhood’s first grocery store (Marcheleo’s Gourmet Marketplace), which will become a 17,000-square-foot “anchor tenant” of up-and-coming Canary Commons.
“The Canary District and The Distillery have been the drivers for growth in the Downtown East, and we believe that this area, just a 15-minute walk from the downtown core, represents one of the best opportunities for living in a complete neighbourhood in Toronto,” said Ken Tanenbaum, vice-chair of Kilmer Group. “The introduction of Canary House is a continuation of this vision, ensuring a diversity of housing and amenities that will serve this growing community for generations to come.”
London-based design firm Elastic Interiors, known for its work in luxury hospitality design, was brought in by Dream and Kilmer for its expertise in weaving together textures, patterns and materials to craft refined atmospheres.
“Elastic Interiors has built an international reputation for its mastery in designing beautiful, serene spaces that enrich the guest experience,” said Krystal Koo, Head of Sales & Marketing at Dream Unlimited. “ We’ve long believed in world-class design at Canary District, and we’re so proud to introduce Elastic Interior’s unparalleled expertise to the Canadian market and to condominium residences for the first time.”
Interior spaces create an authentic feeling of being surrounded by nature, offering a reprieve from bustling downtown city life. Simple and natural finishes define each suite, with contrasting colour palettes and gentle interplay between high and low natural lighting.
A fitness studio with a panoramic city view, a theatre and entertainment room, cozy library, open-concept communal kitchen, and a multi-purpose studio allow residents to entertain large groups, work from home, or enjoy a quiet, relaxing day.
On the ninth floor, a private dining room opens out to an expansive rooftop oasis complete with gardens, a sun lounge, a fireplace and outdoor dining spaces, providing beautiful views of downtown Toronto’s skyline.
The lobby features handcrafted, artisanal materials refined with natural textures and finishes, such as natural woods and locally sourced stone. Throughout the lobby, distinct spaces are designed to exude different energies, which invite occupants to relax with a warm beverage or get to know their neighbours.
“Our goal was to create a sense of warmth and comfort the moment residents and guests enter the lobby,” said Elastic Interiors Partner Enrique Mangalindan. “We worked tirelessly to create a sense of ‘home’ by crafting a special atmosphere and energy through every detail of the building.”