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Virtual Gallery

Getting To Small

Saturday, March 13 – Thursday, September 30, 2021

How small a site can you build a condo on?

Architect Dermot Sweeny’s current challenge is a long and very narrow strip of wasted land at 86 John Street next to the laneway north of King. Great location, awkward site. Undaunted, Sweeny has proposed a skinny 10-storey condominium building, two condos per floor over three floors of restaurants.

Toronto is on the edge of new ways of life and work. Not by choice but by decree. As a result, thinking small is the order of the day.

Rx: More urban density with less urban misery.

 More residential density in Toronto means more crowding, right?  Or could more places for more people to live downtown exist without creating hell on earth, both indoors and outdoors?

Getting To Small suggests six approaches: Squeeze, Tuck, Convert, Sprout, Invent, Blend.

Downtowns have emptied out before. They could do so again.

John Lorinc, May 24, 2020


Max Allen was a CBC radio producer for 45 years, is the founding curator of the Textile Museum of Canada, is the president of the Grangetown condominiums, and is vice president of the Grange Community Association, a downtown residents’ group. He spends too much time at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, the final appeal body regarding Toronto’s residential and commercial buildings.  His black standard poodle Alex knows a lot about real estate development.

Exhibition design by Martin Gould.