Toronto Life

Junction House

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Where: The Junction Developer: Slate Asset Management Designer: Dialogue 38 Number of units: 150

In 2018, developers Brandon Donnelly and Rick Sole met at

Neo Coffee Bar in St. Lawrence to discuss an upcoming project: Junction House, a mid-rise building near Dundas and Annette. They were looking to hire an interior designer. Both agreed that the space should feel similar to the coffee shop—airy, with a mix of raw and refined finishes.

They ultimately commission­ed Neo’s designer, Bennett C. Lo, founder of the local firm Dialogue 38, to work on Junction House. Inspired by the thinking of French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier, Lo conceives of condo buildings as miniature cities, with lobbies as the public squares. “In a traditiona­l condo, the lobby is the place where you wait for your Uber,” says Lo. “It’s just filler.

That was never going to work for me.”

At Junction House, there’s a social area located a few steps up from the main entrancewa­y. It’s bathed in natural light and just far enough above street level that it feels a bit like a front porch. The finishes—wood detailing over rough concrete—inject the room with warmth and texture. The space is also practical: it has table and lounge seating, a bar with a fridge and a coffee machine, and double-height bookshelve­s. Lo likes to think of the shelves as a condo version of the Little Free Libraries found around the city, where residents can share books from their homes. “This is a workspace but also a café and living room,” he says.

The building opened its doors in late 2023. In January, at a party to welcome residents, there were pastries from Mabel’s—a beloved local bakery— beer from Junction Craft Brewery and, of course, coffee from Neo. People congregate­d in the pale wood-panelled parlour, chatting and mingling into the evening.

 ?? ?? 1 Instead of the oppressive overhead lighting often associated with condos, Lo opted for a varied approach: built-in reading lamps, tube pendant lights and strip lighting along the bookshelve­s.
2 The curved wall, made of slatted wood, guides people from the front desk to the shared space.
3 This oil painting by Thrush Holmes was envisioned as a tie-in to the building’s rooftop sign, which spells “Junction House” in LED-lit typography.
1 Instead of the oppressive overhead lighting often associated with condos, Lo opted for a varied approach: built-in reading lamps, tube pendant lights and strip lighting along the bookshelve­s. 2 The curved wall, made of slatted wood, guides people from the front desk to the shared space. 3 This oil painting by Thrush Holmes was envisioned as a tie-in to the building’s rooftop sign, which spells “Junction House” in LED-lit typography.
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