from Architect This City.
Last month, Curated Properties submitted a rezoning and site plan application for a 6-storey, 25-unit building at 45 Dovercourt Road in Toronto. The project is known to the market as Cabin and you can register for it now.
The project immediately caught my attention (because of its design, because of its branding, and because I like the work of Curated), so I decided to dig in further and get a copy of their architectural drawings. Development applications and their supporting documents are all public. Anyone can request a copy. But the city isn’t great at making this known.
Since I’m excited to see more of these small scale urban infill projects in the city, today I thought I would highlight some of its key features and some of the things that are being proposed in order to make a project like this work.
First of all, 100% of the suites are 2-storey. 76% of the suites are also 2 bedroom or larger.
The result is that the project is essentially a series of townhomes stacked on top of each other. I suspect that this will appeal to more end-users as opposed to investors. Hopefully, it will also attract more families to the area.
Here’s the third floor plan:
You probably can’t see it, but all of the suites are marked as “Level 1”, obviously indicating that there’s more than one level.
Also worth mentioning is the notch or cut out on the north side of the building. This is what makes the 2 suites in the middle of the floor plate possible. In order for them to have windows, they need to be setback from the (north) property line. It also means those suites get terraces.
Turning to the ground floor plan, it’s interesting to see that they are proposing 8 triple car stackers that will be accessible off the rear laneway (right side on the plan below). That equates to 24 parking spaces in the building (8 bays x 3 cars per stacker).
On small urban sites like this one, it can be very difficult to accommodate parking. So it’s inevitable that we will see more parking stackers in the city and a continual reduction in parking minimums.
Finally, I have been told that this project is expected to be framed in wood, as opposed to reinforced concrete, which is more typical of condominiums in Toronto.
As of the beginning of this year (2015), the Ontario Building Code was modified to allow wood-frame buildings up to 6 storeys. Before this change, the highest you could go was 4 storeys.
This change was done with the intent of reducing construction costs so that it becomes more feasible to develop smaller infill sites such as this one. So expect to see more of this.
I know that a lot of people would like to remain in the city even when they start having children. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find affordable low-rise homes. And not everyone wants to live in a high-rise tower.
That’s why I think we will see more, not less, low-rise and mid-rise infill projects like Cabin. If you’re interested in this topic, also check out a post I wrote called 3 stages of intensification.