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An application has been submitted to redevelop the site of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 322 East 15th Avenue into a new stacked townhouse community. The application was submitted by Marianne Amodio + Harley Grusko Architects Inc. and would bring a colourful collection of new construction, stacked towns to the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.

According to the design rationale, “the project is geared towards the creation of a gently densified and diverse community within the context of the lively Mount Pleasant neighbourhood” and results in “a unique architectural form that is well-suited to the spirit of the vibrant community.”

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Initial renderings and site plan images show four blocks of townhouses, positioned on an angle, fronting 15th Avenue, Sophia Street and a laneway on the south end of the property. The angled building placement creates a lively and dynamic streetscape while avoiding the long, horizontal massing that’s often seen in townhouse developments. Plus, residents will benefit from larger, more open spaces, landscaping and corner windows for increased natural light and fresh air ventilation.

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The U-shaped massing centres around a shared courtyard with lush landscaping that serves as an extension of Tea Swamp Park, located across the street. “Drawing on the unique character of the site, the landscape design forms a series of figurative vignettes referencing a design narrative of the Tea Swamp lake heritage with nods to the contemporary neighbourhood,” reads the rationale.

The townhouses will also add a lot of colour to the neighbourhood with their geometric, white brick exteriors, joined by a playful mural placed on acrylic stucco cladding on the opposite facade of each module. The design is intended to be seen as one large mural when looking at each angled block in parallel.

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The applicants propose a total of 51 units consisting of garden studios, loft studios, and one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. The diverse mix of housing types aims to promote a complete community and cater to people of various demographics, income levels and household sizes.

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