Block 8 opens the latest chapter in the redevelopment of Toronto’s 80-hectare West Don Lands. The project, a City of Toronto pilot, addresses a pressing need for purpose-built high-quality rental housing at all income levels. aA and its collaborator, Danish architects COBE, drew heavily on Block 8’s context of vibrant street life, wild ravines, vestiges of 19th century industry, and intimate Victorian side streets.
These typologies are collaged into a layered massing defined by a robust, low-slung podium, stacked with finely detailed mid-rise components, and topped with sculpted towers that identify the new neighbourhood on the skyline. By 2022, the site will be transformed into a diverse, welcoming new downtown community of 770 units of affordable and market rental housing within a fully accessible, LEED Gold community.