UrbanToronto | January 11, 2024
While so many eyes are fixed on The One‘s vertical ascent as it redefines the southwest corner at Yonge and Bloor streets, currently it’s the heritage restoration work happening at street level that has caught our attention. as late last week the wraps came off much of the 19th-century heritage facade at 774 and 776 Yonge Street. Carried out by heritage masonry experts Clifford Restoration Limited, a portion of their work is now looking as fresh and warm as it ever did.
Once all of the scaffold around the lower-level work is removed, the Yonge Street frontage of the 91-storey development should look similar to as is rendered below. While the image indicates a fashion retailer is coming, Sam Mizrahi, President of Mizrahi Developments tell us that in fact a high-end grab-and-go Italian cafe/bar will be occupying the space behind these restored brick walls.
Completed in 1885, 774 and 776 Yonge Street were designed in an Italianate style. The brickwork is predominantly a warm orangey-red with detailed patterning, featuring a row of corbelled brick just below the cornice line, which adds depth and shadow to the facade. The cornice itself is an ornate pressed metal, painted in a contrasting cream colour, with decorative brackets supporting it. Below the cornice, arched windows draw the eye, each capped with a contrasting yellow stone arch that frames the window. The windows are double-hung with 2-over-2 panes, faithful to the heritage character. Intricate brickwork creates a pattern around the windows, and stone sills provide a sturdy base. Between the windows, pilasters rise, topped with capitals, emphasizing the facade’s verticality.
Stepping back for a wider view places the restored walls in the context of the tower going up beside it, and the podium rising behind it, all of it still somewhat obscured behind hoarding and protective film during the construction process.
In the meantime, construction on the Foster + Partners and Core Architects-designed structure above continues to reach new heights, with the recent pouring of concrete for the 48th floor. The angle of the image below tis too acute to make out the details up top, but we can also report that the installation of new a new set of hangers are underway for the six-storey section at the 44th floor. The hangers are expressed on the exterior by the champagne-toned sheathing that runs diagonally from the megacolumns in a repeating pattern as the tower rises.
The promise of a high-end Italian cafe bar at The One, and a full reveal of the ground realm treatments add some anticipation for vibrancy at street level once The One has been completed in a couple years’ time.Yonge Street Heritage Walls Unveiled at The One
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