At Urbaneer, we’ve long been fans of the pedestrian lifestyle, human-scale streetscapes and Toronto’s well-earned reputation as the ‘city of neighbourhoods’. For us, the success of Toronto is its engaging urban fabric, where one can stroll through a diverse and frequently multi-cultural collection of places and spaces that satiate our wishes, wants and needs. One of our favourite destinations over the years has been Mirvish Village, with its shabby-chic collection of Victorian dwellings – home to cafes, galleries and bookstores – anchored by, of course, the landmark Honest Eds, where countless hours could be spent wandering for items you had no idea you needed! It’s where we came to learn everyone loves a bargain!
Today, instead of the iconic discount department store, the site is now braced by shoring rigs as excavation proceeds for the construction of a new Mirvish Village. Developed by Westbank Corporation of Vancouver, the proposal was refined over the course of about two years as City planners and local residents weighed in on the plans. The end result should be a village-setting which is thoroughly twenty-first century, yet intelligent, thoughtful, and equally as engaging as its predecessor. With enormous attention being paid to varying streetscapes and building massing, the finished development – despite its increase in density and height – should be devoid of the sterility, placelessness and monolithic anonymity of conventional modern city-building practices.
Here are a few artist renderings of what the new development will look like, courtesy of blogTO:
While it’ll be surrounded by as many as 5 new towers (the majority rental accommodations), much of the historical character of Mirvish Village will remain. We love the attention being given to green initiatives: Developer Westbank is hoping to achieve platinum ratings in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design from the Green Building Certification Institute. To do this, it is promoting cycling in the area by having bike rentals, co-ops, valets and storage. There will also be electric car-charging stations and green roofs. Fantastic!
When completed, the new Mirvish Village will be home to an eclectic mix of buildings, varying in size, height, and architectural expression. Designed by Henriquez Partners Architects with ERA Architects handing heritage aspects, the development will include shops, restaurants, a market, park space, and over 800 units of rental housing in buildings ranging as high as 26 storeys.
We’re excited about the future of the neighbourhood as the redevelopment process begins in earnest. Recent updates to the development application filed with the city reveal a wider scope of heritage preservation, additional green space, and slightly lower density as well as a reduction in the height of the planned towers. In fact, 27 historic buildings are slated for preservation, a number which has grown through each stage of the development process.
Just this week, it was announced that world renowned artist Frank Stella has been commissioned to design a number of public art pieces for the new neighbourhood, with inspiration drawn from his previous work entitled “Damascus Gate”, a 50 foot painting that was displayed in David Mirvish Books. Mirvish Village will have a number of Stella-designed sculptures which employ abstract geometric shapes and bright flourescent shapes to offer a modern spin on Stella’s original concept, offering a parallel to how the reimagined Mirvish Village will modernize its historic place in our city. Here’s a snap of the original Damascus Gate painting, courtesy blogTO and artbasel.com.
At Urbaneer, we’re thrilled to be witnessing all the changes currently underway in the new Mirvish Village. And we can’t wait to see how one of our favourite neighbourhoods becomes elevated – serving as a ‘Bright Lights Big City’ beacon for city living.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have the new Mirvish Village – and all its imminent lifestyle amenities – just up the street from your Home? Our listing, Heart-Grabbing Edwardian Manse On Markham Street, offered for $1,689,000 and now SOLD, is a sublime example of the comfort and status that vintage Edwardian merchant-class domesticity provides. Stately, well-proportioned, and retaining its architectural pedigree, this 5bed+office, 3.5bath semi-detached residence nestled on a generous private lot with 2car garage and as-of-right laneway housing opportunity was a rare offering indeed!
Thanks for reading!
~ Steve & The Urbaneer Team
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000
– we’re here to earn your trust, then your business –
*Like what you’ve read? Did you know we were recently listed as one of The Top 25 Toronto Real Estate Agents To Follow On Twitter, The Top 50 Blogs On Toronto and the Top 100 Real Estate Blogs In Canada!!? Consider signing up in the box below to receive our FREE monthly e-newsletter on housing, culture and design including our love for unique urban homes and other Toronto real estate!
*Love Canadian Housing? Check out Steve’s Student Mentorship site called Houseporn.ca which focuses on architecture, landscape, design, product and real estate in Canada!