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YWCA Toronto’s Elm Centre as seen from the northwest corner of the site, showing the terrace for the ground floor restaurant spanning the restored 1848 heritage building and the new adjacent 17 storey tower.
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YWCA Toronto’s Elm Centre as seen from the northwest, showing the central courtyard between the north 17 storey tower, the east 10 storey block, and the south 5 storey block. The massing of the project achieves optimum daylight penetration into the courtyard outdoor amenity space.
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YWCA Toronto’s Elm Centre uses colour to create a more playful and interesting contribution to the city streetscape, also incorporating YWCA Toronto’s blue branding colours.
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The project overlaps two program elements at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Edward Street, with 50 units for aboriginal families in a five storey block fronting on Edward Street, and a ten storey block for 250 women-led families fronting on Elizabeth Street.
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The building offers a private courtyard for the residents and is accessible from the auditorium.
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Goldsmith Borgal Company Architects served as our heritage consultants, working to preserve the remnants of the 1848 House of Industry that remained on the site. The heritage entry became the main entry to YWCA Toronto’s new head offices, which face onto Elm Street, and occupy the heritage building and adjacent new space.
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The building has a 200 seat auditorium and a large breakout space that can function in tandem with the building’s ground floor restaurant.
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The restaurant has a large west facing terrace that is entered to the south of the heritage building.
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The YWCA Toronto head office is located on the second & third floors of the building, partially within the heritage building and partially around a new skylit atrium that spans between the heritage building and the new 17 storey tower.
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In addition to extensive green roofs, the building offers roof terraces for residents on the 5th and 10th floors. On the 10th floor, the tenant laundry room overlooks the roof terrace.
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There is also extensive indoor amenity throughout the building for use by tenants, along with adjacent support services.
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The floors of the building above the first are heated & cooled by a radiant slab fed by geo-exchange well field below the building.