Like many avenues around the city, St. Clair Avenue West is the theatre of extensive redevelopment as new condominium projects add density as well as a stronger urban character to the east-west thouroughfare. Camrost-Felcorp Inc. is launching Blue Diamond at Imperial Plaza, its latest development located at 129 St. Clair Avenue West, a block from Avenue Road.
Blue Diamond Condos at Imperial Plaza looking south-east, image courtesy of Diamond + Schmitt Architects
Part of a project that also includes Imperial Plaza, a conversion of the 1957 Imperial Oil Building next door into a 400-unit condominium, Blue Diamond will consist of a 240-unit, 27-storey high tower with a glass and metal panel clad exterior, with six 3-storey townhouses facing Foxbar Road. Benefitting from a unique location on the crest of the St. Clair Hill, many of the building's units will feature incredible views over Downtown and Lake Ontario, but also over verdant Forest Hill to the north.
Blue Diamond Condos at Imperial Plaza looking south-east, picture by Nicolas Arnaud-Goddet
As heritage buildings have been the subject of much attention recently, let's have a closer look at what will happen to the 20th century gothic church building currently on site. Built in 1913 to serve the Deer Park United Church Congregation, the edifice was decommissioned in 2008, as it had become too expensive for the congregation to maintain. The original plans suggested the church be converted into apartment units, but after a trip to London, architect Donald Schmitt of Diamond Schmitt Architects had an idea. There saw an old church that was bombed during the Blitz and converted into a sculpture garden, and Schmitt decided to adapt this idea to his Toronto project.
Detail of the future courtyard created in the inside of the church, picture by Nicolas Arnaud-Goddet
The Deer Park United Church will thus be transformed in a way that locals will still have full access to the space. While the roof and the back of the monument will be removed, the facades will be carefully restored, as the adjacent parking lot and the interior of the church will be converted into a public garden designed by Janet Rosenberg + Studio. Park benches will be installed, ready to provide warm weather seating for those enjoying a coffee from a nearby shop. The south side of this courtyard will open onto a two-storey high library/lounge amenity space within Blue Diamond, creating a connection between the new and the old.
Detail of the future public garden and church, picture by Nicolas Arnaud-Goddet
Blue Diamond suites currently on the market start at $309,900 for a 1-bedroom, 485 sq ft unit, increasing to $845,900 for the largest 2-bedroom 1225 square feet unit. Information on the townhouses and the penthouses will be released at a later date, but we can easily imagine seven-figure prices for those residences.
Residents will enjoy numerous amenities such as a fitness centre, an indoor pool and spa, two squash courts, two sound-insulated music rooms/green rooms, yoga and Pilates studios, and more. All of this will be located next door at Imperial Plaza, reachable by an underground concourse linking the two buildings. A high-end food store be conveniently located at street level in the base of Imperial Plaza, and it is rumoured that a boutique LCBO location may also open there too.