When you picture Toronto in the distant future, surely there will be familiar buildings and landmarks that you recognize. But few will define the ever-changing skyline quite like the United Building.
Set to rise 52 storeys above 481 University Avenue, along Toronto's only ceremonial boulevard, the United Building connects past, present, and future while honouring the site’s historical roots.
Once the offices of Canadian media icon Maclean Hunter, and the first commercial building on University Avenue, parts of the building date back to 1910. However, as the Maclean publishing empire expanded, the footprint of the building grew, too. At its peak, the building was home to both the publisher's offices and printing presses.
"The building’s heritage status and prestigious location on University Avenue presented an opportunity to create something extraordinary," said David Hofstedter, president of full-service real estate investment and management company and the project's developer, Davpart Inc.
"The United Building is unique. Marrying its existing Modern Classical design with a contemporary tower, its presence will be majestic, to say the least. With the help of the finest creative and construction minds, we have been successful in realizing our dream -- to build a one-of-a-kind development on University Avenue."
Indeed, the building will be one-of-a-kind, but it will also be so much more. The new architectural design will preserve elements from the original 1928 building and its 1961 expansion, including its Beaux-Arts and Modern Classical structure, which will seamlessly incorporate a statement-making contemporary tower.
It's this unprecedented exchange of old and new that has earned the development a special place in the historical conservation universe, with the United Building being recognized as North America’s largest heritage retrofit.
To highlight the building's heritage features, the tower mass will be set back and broken into two elegant slim forms, to separate the residential component. At street level, the development will feature a striking colonnade that will create an engaging pedestrian realm, and house retail and restaurants.
Further setting the building apart from Toronto's sea of cookie-cutter condo buildings is its unique address. With limited residential opportunities along University Avenue, the United Building presents a rare opportunity to reside in an enviable location.
Not only is the building close to the Financial District, world-class hospitals and research facilities, the University of Toronto, Queen's Park, City Hall, and cultural centres, but everything Toronto is known for is all within distance. And with direct access to the St. Patrick subway station, the building provides access to all corners of the city and beyond.
Separating itself from other condo buildings in the city, the United Building will enhance the lives of its residents by featuring three floors of life-enriching amenities.
From the stunning pool and the wellness-focused fitness centre, sauna, and rain room, the building doesn't hold back. For those who love sports, there will be a dedicated sports lounge with billiards, a video gaming lounge, a bocce court, and even a golf simulator.
Given that the building is rising in the heart of a high-energy city, the all-season reflection pool and zen garden will offer residents much-needed respite from the hustle of their days. However, if you’re the kind who likes to liven things up and entertain, United will feature a well-appointed party room, fireplace lounge, and BBQ terrace as well.
As for the residences themself, the suites have been thoughtfully designed and offer a luxurious palette of timeless finishes of deco interwoven with contemporary details.
With suites featuring open layouts, soaring windows, and spacious balconies, residents will have ample space to enjoy life. And with chef-inspired kitchens and soothing, spa-like bathrooms, the suites are the perfect place to spend time in.
With a future that looks even brighter than its already-storied past, the United Building will offer residents the chance to be a part of something extraordinary.
This article was produced in partnership with STOREYS Custom Studio.