Hilarious Renderings Show New Developments Keeping Their ‘Heritage’ Facades

heritage facades
Via Daniel Rotsztain, @theurbangeog/Twitter

Considering Toronto is currently home to the most number of active cranes in North America, it’s no surprise that our fine city is in the midst of a condo development boom.

And as Canada’s largest and most populous city, there’s always a demand for more housing options, which means some developments often have to wipe out older, existing buildings to make way for larger developments, and in turn, wipe away pieces of the city’s past.

Sure, many developers preserve the original building’s facade or incorporate elements of the structure into their developments, like at 1 Yorkville, a 58-storey condo tower from the developer Bazis, which features a strip of mid-19th century heritage buildings from 1 to 9a Yorkville Avenue that were preserved and incorporated into the design. But this isn’t always the case.

READ: Bringing Toronto’s heritage to life

However, a Toronto resident has found a clever new way to demonstrate just how some condo developments could look, if the developers were able to incorporate the heritage structure and its functions into the design.

Earlier this week, author, artist, and “urban geographer” Daniel Rotsztain took to social media to share a series of renderings of proposed developments throughout the city that incorporated pre-existing original and heritage facades. Rotsztain also happens to be the man behind the “Social Distance Machine,” which was made to show how inadequate Toronto’s sidewalks are for maintaining social distancing during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the buildings Rotsztain featured are well-known landmarks and restaurants in the city, such as Honest Ed’s, Tom’s Dairy Freeze, Sneaky Dee’s — which was recently proposed to be replaced with a 13-storey condo development with 169 residential units — and even the infamous Harvey’s fast-food joint on Jarvis (commonly referred to as ‘Hooker Harvey’s.’)

And while it’s unlikely that these potential developments could end up looking like what Rotsztain has envisioned, it’s nice to see what buildings that incorporate well-loved and existing elements could look like in the future.

Toronto Storeys reached out to Rotsztain for comment but had not heard back by the time of publication. 

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