Block 14 (Dundas-Sackville), Toronto

Project: Block 14 (Dundas-Sackville), Toronto

Client: TCHC

Architect: architectsAlliance

Status: Built

Phases:

  • Competition / 1st place
  • 221 Residential Units
  • Above grade – 22 storeys
  • Below grade – 3 levels

Part of a 15 year multi-phased development of the the original Regent Park, the Dundas-Sackville apartments is the result of an architectural competition which would showcase a new and urbane approach to housing through current principles of land intensification and sustainability. By combining a diverse set of housing typologies, including townhouse, mid-rise, and high-rise, along with an elevated courtyard, the project meets LEED Gold criteria with its Garden Court and roof gardens, stormwater retention systems, high performance envelope, integrated power co-generation plant.

This rent-geared-to-income housing project addresses the needs of two important groups within the Regent Park community: families with children, and the elderly. The eight-storey mid-rise building houses 75 family units, including two-storey townhouse units at grade, while the adjacent 22- storey tower contains 150 units for senior individuals and couples. The buildings are linked by a two-storey podium programmed with retail space, indoor amenity space for families and rooftop outdoor amenity space for the elderly. Indoor amenities for seniors are situated on the eighth floor.

As the template for the redevelopment of the Regent Park community, the Sackville-Dundas Apartments fulfill the following objectives of the Regent Park redevelopment, and the City of Toronto Official Plan: accommodate diverse housing types; articulate a convincing and urbane response to density; enrich the public realm; and integrate a broad range of sustainable design strategies, including a heating and cooling co-generation plant that, once fully built-out, will serve the entire 70 acre Regent Park redevelopment area.

The Sackville-Dundas Apartments have introduced a new building type to Regent Park which erases the distinction between affordable and market housing. Two conventional, as-of-right building types – a point tower and mid-rise apartment – are combined with a raised garden court. Street and building frontages are lined with community facilities and grade-related townhouses. Elevator lobbies are visible and accessible from adjacent public streets, ensuring “eyes on the street”.

Extensive glazing creates a sense of openness and transparency for all entrances and common facilities at street level. The clear expression of the garden court and ground-related units on Cole Street create a finely-scaled domesticity, underscored by the masonry cladding that ties the buildings together from grade to the sixth floor. Above, the mandated setback on the family building is expressed as a simple glass and spandrel top which folds down into the garden court. The seniors’ building is separated from the base by its inset terrace level, and rises as an elegant glass tower, allowing its residents to live quietly and independently. Seniors amenity space is raised above the street while families have direct access to outdoor play areas, creating a very social environment and at the same time, allowing privacy between the two resident groups.