Architects and building designers beware, renowned architecture critic and veteran journalist Christopher Hume is reviving his condo critiques, exclusively for storeys.com.
Architect: Giovanni Tassone Architects
Address: 899 Queen St. E.
Logan Residences might not be the most eye-catching building on Queen Street East, but that doesn’t mean the city couldn’t use more condos like it.
Standing six storeys tall and fitting seamlessly into the mixed Leslieville context, this new project marks a welcome departure from the standard residential tower that has changed the face of Toronto and overpowered neighbourhoods everywhere.
Queen Street, a largely late 19th- and early 20th-century thoroughfare, remains low-rise. At the same time, Toronto is under intense pressure to add density to cope with growing demand to live in the city. Logan Residences is a positive response to the situation. It allows Toronto to enter into the modern age without destroying it in the process.
And let’s be honest, from construction problems to social issues, high-rise enclaves create as many problems as they solve. That’s why so many predict that tower neighbourhoods such as CityPlace will be the slums, or at least the St. James Towns, of the future.
That’s also why the city’s tower renewal project, though it seems to have little momentum, is an important part of the effort to humanize the hundreds of suburban towers built roughly between the 1950s and ‘80s.
With its horizontal rows of windows, Logan Residences effectively disappears into the urban fabric. It helps that the top two floors are set back to make the structure appear shorter than it is. And with retail at grade, it’s hard to tell where this building ends and the next begins.
In other words, this is a condo that demonstrates a deep awareness of the city. More importantly, it also shows respect.