Canada’s calm cottage county meets urban update

Georgina Johnston
07 Jan 2020

Kilometres from Canada's densest city lies the alternative approach to an urban lifestyle within the pastoral context of Peterborough

A contemporary response to an established residential neighbourhood of single-family homes is a story to be offered by East City. The 9-storey, 91-suite urban-inspired condominium offers a present-day interpretation of the local hospital's legacy of masonry architecture while contributing much-needed housing density to a small town's skyline. East City Condos is one of several housing projects being developed by TVM Group on a former hospital site in Peterborough designed by architecture and urban design firm BNKC.

Set for completion in Fall 2022, East City's design takes into consideration a number of components of the existing community fabric, including a recognition of the material fabric of existing buildings on the site. Built in the 1890s (circa), buildings were mostly constructed using double wythe masonry constructions with a regular grid of punched windows. The regularity of the window facades reinforced the nature of the patient rooms or offices hidden behind the walls.

The extreme topography within the site created scenarios in which one side of a building was as much as 1 story lower than the other side. This provided the opportunity for views, both within the campus and outward to the downtown area and the Otonobee River and Trent Canal. 

The moves to shift and offset the building masses created the opportunity to provide multiple views and vantages from the building toward the downtown and across to the Canal for occupants; responding to the existing fabric and hinting at the program behind the masonry façades, but in a new and modern fashion.

There lies a generous landscaped courtyard entrance, front yard townhouse gardens, rooftop terraces, balconies, and juliettes that serve to bring the outdoors indoors. East City Condos is a place of life well lived within a community, providing a unique, quality environment and lifestyle for the residents of Peterborough.

Centered around a single large volume clad in charcoal clay brick, contrasted by smaller massing blocks of light masonry brick and metallic-white aluminum panels that serve to break down the overall scale, shifting and disparate window schemes animate the facades with divergent shadow-play throughout the day. The opposing centre mass incorporates thin extruded window frame profiles, providing depth and texture to the elevation. 


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