The United Building in Toronto Undergoing Major Transformation

The United Building in Toronto Undergoing Major Renovations

An historic transformation is underway at University and Dundas in downtown Toronto. The heritage 1928-built Maclean Publishing Company and the 1961-built Maclean Hunter buildings that have been on the northeast corner for decades are currently undergoing the process of being the restored limestone-clad base of what will be Davpart's The United BLDG.

An article in Urban Toronto reports that a unique aspect of the United BLDG project is that it includes North America's tallest heritage retention. The building will include new retail and office space behind the restored facades and will have a B+H Architects-designed condo tower rising 52 storeys behind them. 

The site used to hold four office buildings - although only the grander two are being retained as part of the new project. The buildings that formerly sat at the northeast corner of the site on Edward Street and Centre Avenue have been fully demolished and the space where they once stood is now home to a delivery area, a portable crane and a scaffold deck. 

This first phase of the heritage restoration is another big feat currently being tackled by crews at the site. 

Four conjoined buildings previously stood on the northeast block at University and Dundas; 481 University Avenue, 210 Dundas Street West, 70 Centre Avenue and 137 Edward Street. While 481 University and 210 Dundas were required to be retained and restored, 70 Centre, which was on the heritage register, and 137 Edward, which was not, are now gone.

70 Centre Avenue was not ultimately required to be retained by HPS and council and as such, no parts of its facade or stones had to be salvaged or restored according to Mark Hamidi, Davpart Director of Development.


"We prepared a detailed pre-demolition documentation of the building for City of Toronto heritage archives. While pre-demolition documentation of 70 Centre Avenue was not among the approval conditions for this development, it was something we elected and committed to do, which we included in the approved Heritage Impact Assessment prepared by ERA Architects."

Davpart Director of Development | Mark Hamidi


Buildings at 481 University and 210 Dundas will eventually have offices in them again, and 70 Centre and 137 Edward will become the entrance and lobby of the condo that will eventually rise above, plus more office space. 481 University and 210 Dundas will have their limestone facades restored, in modern contrast, the structure at Centre and Edward will be sheathed in glass panels, offering a substantial mount of natural light into the shared space. 

All the roof parapet stones were salvaged during construction and will be restored and reinstalled at later stages at their original location on the roof parapet.




Stone will be a major part of the highly anticipated arcade along Dundas Street when the project is complete. The redevelopment of the site includes gutting one bay of the first two storeys and first basement level facing Dundas, all to create a sheltered arcade out of what was once interior space. Once it is all done, this widened piece of public realm will be lined with shops and restaurants.

The United BLDG will eventually include a 52 storey condo tower and feature:


 - 10 storey base of office and retail

 - Rooftop will become the amenity floor of the condo and include an outdoor lounge and pool and landscaping with view of the busy street below

 - 759 condo units

 - Lobby with 24/7 concierge service

 - Parcel storage and mail room

 - Dog run

 - Fitness centre

 - Party room

 - Theatre

 - Sports lounge

 - Billiards tables, video gaming lounge and golf simulator

 - Work and study focused space

 - Library


Davpart has decided to make a physical reminder of the architectural history as part of the new building. Hamidi stated that there will be plaques and heritage interpretation signs installed on the inside and outside of the building to identify the history of the heritage buildings and what previously stood at this site.


DataBid is currently reporting on this project - The United Building Mixed Use - Toronto  (0029121218)


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Posted by Judy Lamelza

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