Stretching from Front Street to the south and College Street to the north, University Avenue is a prominent boulevard lined with some of Toronto’s most important institutions, including Osgoode Hall, the Four Seasons Centre and the Ontario Legislative Buildings. It’s also home to some of the city’s historic architectural gems, such as The United Bldg., situated on the northeast corner of University Avenue and Dundas Street. The former Maclean Publishing Company/Maclean-Hunter building is a classic example of a 20th Century interwar era structure and is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and listed on the City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties. It was announced today that the building will undergo a major restoration by Toronto-based developer Davpart Inc. in what will be the tallest architectural heritage retention project in North America.


Photo: James Bombales

“As many of you know, during the 20th century, Maclean-Hunter grew to become the largest Canadian publisher of trade journals and national publications, including Maclean’s and Chatelaine magazines and the Financial Post newspaper,” said David Hofstedter, President and CEO of Davpart Inc., at this morning’s media briefing. “We have great respect for the company’s important contribution to Canadian history and culture, and for the building that housed it for so many years.”


When complete, The United Bldg. will be a 55-storey, mixed-use office, retail and condominium tower with 224,245 square feet of commercial office space, 39,320 square feet of retail space, and 759 residences starting on the 10th floor. To help bring the ambitious project to life, Davpart enlisted the renowned B + H Architects (who are tenants of the existing building) and ERA Architects, known for its extensive experience with building conservation and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings. Tomas Pearce Interior Design Consulting Inc. will design the interiors, while Baker Real Estate will manage sales.


Photo: James Bombales

ERA will focus on the heritage portion of the project where two large and historically-significant buildings will be retained, restored and enhanced. “The first is a noteworthy 1930s collegiate gothic building by Toronto architect Murry Brown, designed with New York’s Schultze & Weaver,” said Graeme Stewart, Principal at ERA Architects. “The second, designed by Marani & Morris architects, is a mid-century example of modern stone office towers that contribute to the distinctive character of University Avenue.”


Rising above the heritage building will be a new contemporary residential high-rise with a wide selection of suites ranging in size from 300 to 1,400 square feet. These include studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom designs. Two-storey plans will also be available, along with some layouts with dens, flex spaces or media rooms.


Photo: James Bombales

“The design of this building draws from the energy of its location at the intersection of the city’s primary cultural, institutional and retail anchors, as well as its preserved architectural cultural heritage,” said Mark Berest, Principal at B+H Architects. “It is a tribute to Toronto’s cosmopolitan character and considers a new convergence of live, work and play.”


Residents will have access to a wealth of luxurious, resort-like amenities. Indoor amenities include a sleek residential lobby with a 24-hour concierge, party room with a kitchenette, idea space, fitness centre, sports lounge with billiards tables, golf simulator, library and a theatre. Outdoors, you’ll find a four-season reflection pool, bocce court, yoga deck, barbecues, dining areas, a lounge with a fireplace, hot tubs, zen garden and a dog run with an indoor pet spa.


To learn more about The United Bldg., be sure to register online today.

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