Originally built to house the printing presses of Rolph Clark Stone, a Toronto based lithographic and fine printing company; 201 Carlaw Avenue has been a Leslieville landmark since its completion in 1913 when this community was at the heart of industry in Toronto. The client's objectives for the site were twofold: first, to design housing that would appeal to the sophisticated Toronto market and second, to reinvigorate and repurpose a local landmark and significant piece of the city's heritage. The repurposing of this abandoned industrial building, completed in 2009, has introduced 254 new housing units into this evolving neighbourhood in response to the growing demand for housing in the city.
The Printing Factory Lofts preserve a portion of the three-storey factory building, a U shaped configuration bordering the north, west and south lot lines. A new eight-storey glass tower addition is inserted in the centre of the site creating two garden courts while new stacked townhouses are placed along Boston Avenue, the residential street bordering the east edge of the site. The preserved portion of the factory has been fully converted into residential loft suites integrating the original form of the ‘saw-tooth' industrial skylights. The Carlaw Avenue façade has been restored and the classical main entrance portico opens to a grand wooden staircase below a coffered ceiling.
The garden courts, private yards and street frontages were designed to integrate the industrial podium into the surrounding neighbourhood while accommodating two levels of parking underground. Along Boston Avenue, an unused rail spur has been reclaimed, creating a wide expanse of green in front of the townhouses.
The project contributes to the diversity and dynamism of the surrounding Leslieville area by offering one, two and three bedroom units in the tower, live/work studio units in the original building and family-sized townhouses along Boston Avenue. It also provides appropriately scaled frontages on Carlaw Avenue and Boston Avenue while at the same time creating light filled and eminently useable garden courts within the complex.
This project was completed as a joint venture between Montgomery Sisam Architects and Chandler Graham Architects.