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Toronto’s west end is in full boom right now with the construction of commercial and residential units. In Liberty Village, we’re seeing a lot of development occurring in both categories. As the neighborhood has re-developed industrial buildings while erecting new sustainable quarters, it’s brought a lot of positive attention and opportunity to the developing neighbourhood.

80 Atlantic Avenue is a perfect example of such a development. It is a five-storey office development overseen by Hullmark. After having begun work in 2017, shoring and excavation have now been completed alongside the forming of the first floor and elevator core. The remainder of the work on 80 Atlantic Avenue is to continue in wood. This is a rather eventful construction, as there are only one of two projects in all of Toronto like it. Let us explain a little bit about what we mean.

The bones of what’s happening at 80 Atlantic Avenue can be traced back to 2015 when the Ontario provincial government made an amendment to the Ontario Building Code allowing wood-frame structures to a maximum of six storeys. According to this new Code, it permitted the use of CLT, otherwise known as cross-laminated timber. These are posts and beams created from lumber, an act that significantly cuts down on the carbon footprint of a building. Tremendously strong and fire resistant, CLT is being used in the development of 80 Atlantic Avenue.

When using CLT, not only will the building be exquisitely well-built once completed but it is also going to be a cornerstone development for the growing neighbourhood. Currently, construction is set to wrap up by 2018’s end. When completed, it will be the first brick-and-beam construction in Toronto in almost 100 years. Post-and-beam construction was all the rage in Ontario back in the 1920s and it eventually became illegal after fire regulations updated. Today’s beams are not the same wooden basics used in the past. They’re more efficient, fire-resistant, and much stronger.

The design of Liberty Village’s 80 Atlantic Avenue building has already been described by the Toronto Star as a “handsome midrise commercial property anticipating the needs of tomorrow by looking deep into the past.”

Unlike the glass and steel condo towers that populate Toronto, 80 Atlantic Avenue is not that. As a matter of fact, Liberty Village has done a lot to differentiate itself from those sorts of builds. Decades from now as glass and steel needs to be torn down or renovated, an edifice like 80 Atlantic Avenue should still be able to hold its own. That’s because it’s brick-and beam. Add in the warmth presence of wood and one can understand how valuable a construction like this will be.

As a commercial hub, 80 Atlantic Avenue might not be for everyone. After all, it’s not downtown King-Bay level corporate. That said, Liberty Village isn’t for everyone. Liberty Village is filled with art, creativity, and ingenuity. The neighbourhood is not about how much money you make from the bottom line but it’s about how innovative, effective, efficient, and creative product can be. The main tenant at 80 Atlantic Avenue will be Universal Music, which is moving away from Victoria Park Avenue elsewhere in Toronto. Needless to say, it’s going to add a lot to the neighborhood once completed.

As Liberty Village continues to bring in new commercial stakeholders, it’s only going to grow the community. We look forward to seeing the finished product at 80 Atlantic Avenue hopefully later this year or in early 2019!

Want to see what’s happening with residential development in the area? {RelatedNew Liberty Village Area Development Projects To Keep An Eye On in 2018}

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Jason LeBlanc

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