If you have walked or driven along Yonge Street between Bloor and Wellesley lately, you have witnessed one of the city’s most interesting condominium neighbourhoods now under construction. The brainchild of developers Graywood Developments Ltd. and MOD Developments Inc., FIVE — Condos at 5 St. Joseph is a phenomenal heritage restoration project that is rejuvenating this historic urban neighbourhood. Dating back to the 1880s, this block has been home to numerous warehouses. When it is complete, FIVE will be a 45-storey tower and four-storey podium that encompass several former addresses on St. Joseph and St. Nicholas Streets. FIVE will contain all new ground floor retail with luxurious residences rising from there.

ERA Architects is working with Hariri Pontarini Architects to restore the existing buildings’ turn-of-the-century details and iconic Toronto brickwork. Their approach is fascinating, with the demolition taking place in three stages. First, the Yonge Street historical buildings were separated from the rest of the site by a temporary wall, and the remainder was taken down. This is the largest retention of a building facade so far undertaken in Toronto, and it has been incredible to watch the extensive facade support trusses, structural steel and soil anchors being installed so that the buildings can withstand the elements. The five-story historical façade was literally sliced and separated from the portion to be demolished.

Next, crews demolished the rest of the six-storey buildings fronting onto Nicholas. The third phase, the demolition of 5 St. Joseph, is currently underway. Once demolition is completed, they can finish preparations for excavating for the underground parking.

Just as interesting, The Yonge Collection, a limited collection of just 14 condominium suites will offer a very lofty feeling, and each will have a unique layout. The designs range from studios to two-storeys and incorporate some of the original building features such as windows on the historic Yonge Street façade. Prices start in the mid-$200,000s. You can take a closer look at this landmark project at www.fivecondos.com.Five