In Toronto’s near suburbs, the sensitive redevelopment of low-density post WWII sprawl is a win-win opportunity whose time has come. Our residential condominium project is at the vanguard of this emerging phenomenon.

Rethinking The Future Awards 2022
Third Award | Housing (over 5 floors) (Concept)

Project Name: 180 Steeles
Studio Name: CORE Architects Inc.
Design Team: Babak Eslahjou B.ARCH., OAA, MRAIC, AIA – Principal
Area: 161,391m2 (1,738,000 sq.ft.)
Year: TBD
Location: 180 Steeles Avenue West, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Consultants: Entuitive (Structural) The Hidi Group (Mechanical), Trace Engineering LTD (Electrical), The MBTW Group (Landscape)
Photography Credits: CORE Architects Inc.
Other Credits: Mizrahi Developments (Developer)

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©CORE Architects Inc.

The 2.5-hectare site ticks all the boxes- located along an underutilized arterial road in a forward-looking suburban municipality that has developed new planning guidelines for urbanization. Proposed at 6.46FSI, the density of our project is a model for development that addresses the housing shortage while at the same time establishing an environmentally responsible benchmark for preserving open space.

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©CORE Architects Inc.

The context for this project is Steeles Avenue West, a rapidly transforming transportation corridor in Vaughan, Ontario where mixed use housing developments are replacing car oriented retail plazas. Our design will have six towers and their associated five and 9-storey podiums. The massing and spatial configuration introduces the legibility of streets-and-blocks urbanism, establishing a repeatable pattern that forms the nucleus for an entire urban district.

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©CORE Architects Inc.

The heart of the project is a tree-lined boulevard consisting of a 20-meter-wide right-of-way, with a 9-meter carriageway running down the middle sharing space, 3-meter landscaped flanking strips, 2-meter-wide sidewalks and a .5-meter buffer strip. The two flanking buildings closest to the main road have retail uses at the base, and so there is an additional 1.5-meter setback with attractive pavement enhancements.

Above the retail base, the condominium towers are 35 and 45 storeys. The back towers furthest from the main street are 16 storeys with grade-related townhouses providing a transition to the adjacent residential neighbourhood.

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©CORE Architects Inc.

The total development is 161,391 square meters, adding 2,080 residential units to this area of Steeles Avenue West. Approximately 50% of the units are one bedroom and 25% are units with two bedrooms + den. The remaining 25% of the project is a mix of studios, three bedroom units and townhouses.

The towers typically have 1,200 square meter floor plates with 12 units, which makes slender masses that minimize overshadowing of open spaces. These towers are wrapped with architecturally distinctive strips of balcony. These curvilinear balcony-ribbons soften the profile of the towers, creating an organic sculptural presence in place of the typical boxiness of towers. The design intention is to introduce a level of architectural sophistication that enhances the status of this emerging neighbourhood.

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©CORE Architects Inc.

Our proposal introduces contextually sensitive massing onto a nascent pattern of streets-and blocks, establishing typologies that can be replicated on other sites along Steeles Avenue to create a coherent urban precinct. At the same time, the forms and materials of the project give an exciting identity to this development, setting a high bar for Steeles Avenue West to evolve into a highly desirable mixed-use neighbourhood.

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