Storeys is proud to present a new addition to our site — that will have architects and building designers on the edge of their structures. Renowned architecture critic and veteran journalist Christopher Hume is reviving his condo critiques, exclusively for This is the series' debut.

Dragon CondosAddress: 270 Spadina Ave.Developer: Ideal DevelopmentsArchitect: IBI GroupCompleted: 2017


dragon condo

The best one can say of the Dragon Condo is that it's invisible.

Located on the west side of Spadina, one block south of Dundas, this 10-storey building sits in the heart of Chinatown.

It takes a lot for a building to stand out in such a busy neighbourhood. And this one doesn't.

But then, there's no need for it to call attention to itself. It is a classic background building — one of those anonymous structures that form the fabric of the city. The architecture accepts this condition and, except for the trendy red bands that run across the two façades (south and east), stays out of the way.

To break down the bulk of the large boxy heap into something more appropriate for the low-rise context, it has been broken down into four or five sections. Clad in black precast concrete that resembles brick, white-panelling, steel and glass, the condo stands taller than most of its neighbours, but without looming over them.

Unfortunately, the street-level retail remains empty. The reason, perhaps, is that although the location is desirable, the spaces are on the large size. Most shops and restaurants here are deep but narrow. In this part of the city, it seems, less is more.

Hume With a View