SvN’s The Destructor featured in The Globe and Mail

SvN’s The Destructor featured in The Globe and Mail

A new milestone reached in the evolution of this project from post-industrial building to community hub.

The Globe and Mail’s Alex Bozikovic writes about the “Wellington Destructor” and SvN’s leadership on creating a design vision for a post-industrial heritage landmark created by the City of Toronto in 1925. At roughly 40,000 square feet, it is a vast structure designed as a garbage incinerator on the west side of downtown Toronto. After 20 years standing dark, it is poised to become a gathering place for the neighbourhood. In mid-October 2021, SvN client TAS won the right to a long-term lease on the building, near King and Bathurst, and its two-acre site. The design team includes SvN, heritage architects ERA and landscape architects PUBLIC WORK.

Bozikovic describes the structure as a tall box, dressed up in red brick and a few Romanesque arches. A brick-paved ramp begins at nearby Wellington Street and leads up to the third level, what was the “tipping floor.” Here, horses pulled carts of trash, and workers emptied these into pits where the waste burned up. Workers on the two levels below would feed great furnaces – still there today, their steel doors chapped and mottled – and haul out the ash.

“The building is basically a giant fireplace,” said the SvN partner Sam Dufaux. “And if you put the wrong sort of activity in there” – a museum, say, which would require extensive climate control and insulation – “then you completely ruin the building.”

Click here for more information on the article in The Globe and Mail.

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