On The Map

20-acre site at Dupont and Duf­ferin turn­ing into Gal­le­ria on the Park

National Post (Latest Edition) - - POST HOMES - Iris Be­naroia

Ar chi te ctu rally, there’s never been any­thing re­mark­able about the Gal­le­ria Mall at Dupont and Duf­ferin streets.

The ’70s-era build­ing was a non­de­script slab with a park­ing lot, a Mcdonald’s and a small park tucked in the back where skate­board­ers would do their thing next to kids on swing sets. Both the mall and the park were gath­er­ing places. But, ac­cord­ing to Dror Du­chovny, vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing and asset man­age­ment for ELAD, the firm re­de­vel­op­ing the site — along with the Wal­lace com­mu­nity cen­tre, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the City of Toronto and Perkins + Will — the area has been lack­ing in the in­fra­struc­ture needed for a neigh­bour­hood that’s in­creas­ing in den­sity year over year.

“We love the neigh­bour­hood,” says Du­chovny, but “it’s un­der­de­vel­oped and needed change badly.”

The de­vel­oper is turn­ing the 20-acre site into Gal­le­ria on the Park. With its “pedes­trian-only path­ways, dou­blesided re­tail with beau­ti­ful green­ery and a European look and feel to the sit­ting ar­eas,” as Du­chovny de­scribes it, the mixed- use, master-planned com­mu­nity will in­ject en­ergy into the vicin­ity. He also calls it a “bi­cy­cle-cen­tric” project — there will be park­ing for 3,500 bikes.

Nearly 3,000 condo units, mean­while, will be spread out over three build­ings. The first two, by Core Ar­chi­tects, sold out last year. The third phase — a 31- storey flat­iron build­ing de­signed by Hariri Pon­tarini Ar­chi­tects — will serve as a gate­way to the de­vel­op­ment. Res­i­dences in the 427-unit flat­iron build­ing range from stu­dios to three bed­rooms. Suites range in size from 395 to 1,225 square feet, with prices start­ing in the high $400,000s.

“Dupont takes a bend towards the north around our site, and as it gets west of the site it comes back to its reg­u­lar po­si­tion,” says Michael Con­way, an as­so­ciate part­ner at Hariri Pon­tarini Ar­chi­tects, who says the shape makes it a nat­u­ral fit for a flat­iron.

More­over, its shape will en­hance the park that’s there, “which pre­vi­ously felt a lot more like a back­yard,” says Con­way. “There was a small en­trance to it off Duf­ferin and then it ex­tended down the site,” he says. “By creat­ing a di­ag­o­nal road through the site, it al­lowed us to add on a park to the ex­ist­ing, while open­ing up the ac­cess along the en­tire road and in­creas­ing the poros­ity with the neigh­bour­hood.”

The new park will be eight acres and, to­gether with a skat­ing rink, an at­trac­tive ad­di­tion to the project. There will also be a trail run­ning through the park, which will be di­vided into three dis­tinct zones.

The build­ing it­self will fea­ture “hard- work­ing ma­te­ri­als that speak to the for­mer industrial uses of the build­ing, as well as its prox­im­ity to the rail line,” says Con­way. Curved bal­conies will ap­pear on the bow, along with de­tailed rungs up top, in­spired by the ra­di­a­tor plant that once op­er­ated there, says Con­way.

“We’re also show­ing a strong ro­bust brick mixed with a me­tal de­tail on the first eight floors,” notes Con­way of the build­ing, which will have dou­ble- storey re­tail at its base. “A lot of that came out of the his­tory of the neigh­bour­hood.”

The area is in need of hous­ing, adds Du­chovny. “There’s not a lot of of­fer­ings. The de­mo­graph­ics are chang­ing. New fam­i­lies are com­ing in, as well as the ex­ist­ing pop­u­la­tion.” A kids’ area is go­ing in on the build­ing’s 11th floor.

Rolling out a mas­sive com­mu­nity has its ad­van­tages, he says. “We can of­fer a wide range of unit types.”

The De­signA­gency — the firm that brought at­ti­tude to The Broad­view Ho­tel and Mo­mo­fuku — are be­hind the unit de­sign. They’re bring­ing that same “el­e­vated ex­pe­ri­ence” here, says Du­chovny.

Res­i­dents can choose be­tween three pal­ettes: light and bright, high con­trast or tone on tone. Con­tem­po­rary kitchens fea­ture flat- panel cab­i­nets, while the bath­rooms are out­fit­ted with up­scale cus­tom wood- ve­neer van­i­ties.

Ameni­ties on the third floor will in­clude a fit­ness area, an ex­te­rior dog run and pet wash, a spot to do out­door yoga un­der trees and a co-work­ing space.

In ad­di­tion to the kids’ area, the 11th floor has a so­cial lounge with a hang­ing orb fire­place, bil­liards and a pri­vate din­ing room with chef ’s kitchen and wine cel­lars. Out­doors there will be a bar­be­cue area, games space and an el­e­vated pool with ca­banas.

Ev­ery unit will have a bal­cony.

Mean­while, for the lobby, the de­sign­ers cre­ated cosy seat­ing, brought in cus­tom art­work and recharge sta­tions, while curved walls and arches echo the sin­u­ous lines of the build­ing’s ex­te­rior.

While res­i­dents won’t be able to see the lobby’s art­work un­til the project is fin­ished in 2023, they can check out the 60- foot mall py­lon that’s out­side of the site — a neon in­stal­la­tion by Toronto artist Thrush Holmes. He “has a stu­dio nearby on Geary,” says Du­chovny. “We wanted to en­gage the com­mu­nity as much as we could.”

Across the street at the sales cen­tre, a large, splashy mu­ral was com­mis­sioned to artist Jacquie Com­rie, an­other marker of the area’s next chap­ter.

Prices for Phase III start in the high $ 400,000s. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit gal­le­riaon­thep­ark.com.

Pho­tos courtesy of Hariri Ponta rini Ar­chi­tects

A 31-storey flat­iron build­ing, Phase III of Gal­le­ria on the Park will in­clude 427 units.

De­sign­ers cre­ated cosy seat­ing in the lobby, brought in cus­tom art­work and recharge sta­tions, and curved walls and arches echo the sin­u­ous lines of the build­ing ex­te­rior.

Con­tem­po­rary kitchens fea­ture flat-panel cab­i­nets, while the bath­rooms are out­fit­ted with up­scale cus­tom wood-ve­neer van­i­ties.

In ad­di­tion to a kids’ area, the 11th floor has a so­cial lounge with a hang­ing orb fire­place, bil­liards and a pri­vate din­ing room with chef ’s kitchen and wine cel­lars.

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