590-650 INDUSTRIAL AVENUE | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | Controlex Corporation; David S. McRobie Architects Inc.; Holzman Consultants Inc.
- The Panel thanks the proponent for their presentation and for the attention that has been paid to pedestrian connections and the walkability of the site in particular.
- The Panel does not have an issue with the larger floor plates proposed to reflect the change of tenants.
- Many of the efforts to break up the facades and provide transparency on buildings is successful. The Panel encourages the proponent to continue to include as much transparency on the buildings as possible, especially along Industrial Avenue.
- The Panel discourages the use of EIFS in the projects. Cementitious panels or cement board would be a preferable building material.
- Consider redesigning the awnings reflect the industrial train yard heritage of the area. Materials such as iron rather than canvas may help to achieve this.
Site Plan / Circulation
- Given that the west-most building will likely be broken up into several units, the unit closest to Industrial Avenue should be a use that will help to animate the central space. A coffee shop, restaurant or another social animator may help to bring life to the streetscape.
- Explore possibilities to continue to strengthen the emerging streetwall by integrating signage into buildings or filling in the central space with an element such as a patio or a gazebo. If the parking is to remain, consider additional screening, street furniture and avoiding locating hydro infrastructure at grade.
- The Panel fully supports the proponent’s efforts to promote the walkability and pedestrian network within the development. The sloped walkway from the south is an especially strong element.
- The Panel recommends that staff and the proponent investigate the possibility of adjusting the location of the sidewalk along Industrial Avenue, so that it is closer to the buildings and protected by a strip of landscaping between it and the road.
- Consider a more urban condition for the vehicular entry at the west of the site. A tighter turning radius and removal of the “pork chop” would be preferable.
- The Panel supports the location of the truck dock.
- An additional four trees in front of the central parking lot would help improve the scheme. The proponent is encouraged to increase the continuity of street trees along Industrial Avenue.
- The Panel applauds the proponent’s efforts to incorporate solar panels on the roofs of the development and recommends continuing to explore sustainability measures such as stormwater management, swales and white reflective roofing.
105 CHAMPAGNE AVENUE SOUTH | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | Ashcroft Homes; M. David Blakely Architect Inc.
- The Panel thanks the proponent for their presentation.
- The Panel recommends more strongly articulating a podium condition along Champagne Avenue. This will help to create a more pedestrian-friendly edge and also will contribute to wind mitigation. The location of the podium could be aligned with the black masonry and P.C. stone on the front facade.
- The building design of Phase 2 doesn’t necessarily need to replicate Phase 1 so closely. The matching of the aesthetics creates the image of a complex, rather than individual buildings and from a distance they will appear as a one single large building. Continue to study how Phase 2 might complement Phase 1 with a similar vocabulary, but identifiable differences such as large glazed areas rather than punched windows, a change in the coloration of glass.
- The Panel has significant concerns regarding the potential wind impacts that the buildings will generate on the streetscape and courtyard space. It is doubtful that the current mitigation strategy will be sufficient in creating a comfortable pedestrian realm. The Panel strongly recommends re-examining how these impacts will be mitigated.
Central Court / Public Realm
- As the zoning is fixed on this site, the Panel recommends focusing on strengthen the public realm and open spaces to ensure that they are comfortable, liveable and welcoming.
- The Panel supports the central pedestrian courtyard and encourages the proponent to continue to improve it as a comfortable pedestrian area. Consider further minimizing vehicular access (or limiting it to emergency vehicular access) and removing temporary parking spaces. A simplified design for the space, with less built form and clutter is also recommended.
- The Panel recommends reconsidering the use of poured concrete as a primary material in the courtyard, as it is a difficult material to achieve a good aesthetic with. Explore other materials in the courtyard including more wood, especially in the screening elements.
- The proposed prairie grass will have difficulty surviving in the courtyard, given the limited amount of sunlight that the space will be exposed to. Prairie grasses typically need almost full sunlight to survive.
- Rather than have raised concrete planters, consider integrating the planters into the ground or a more open landscaping treatment.
- The Panel recommends that the proponent and staff consider what future linkages between the site and the park may be desired and design the courtyard with sufficient flexibility to accommodate these possibilities.
- Consider relocating the street trees closer to the edge of the site along Champagne Avenue to make a stronger contribution to the pedestrian realm.