Diamond Schmitt Architects to Revamp Historic Toronto Site

The Art Deco-style structure will receive architectural upgrades as well as new public facilities. All images courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects.

Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects is transforming a historic industrial structure  into a bustling mixed-use hub for the city’s rapidly growing downtown community. Known as Waterworks, the design will emphasize its urban context within the constraints of the Art Deco–style building from 1932. The renovation will also highlight both bygone and contemporary aesthetics across a variety of spaces.

“A key design consideration for us was the full heritage restoration of the whole block and the integration of a diverse, urban mix of uses in a balanced way so the ensemble of programming and our architecture is greater than the sum of the parts,” says Diamond Schmitt Principal Donald Schmitt.



Images courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects.

Waterworks will accommodate food-centric retail, a fully equipped YMCA, and a 10-floor wing of spacious condominiums featuring large private terraces and balconies. The YMCA will be spread across the second and third floors and will house an 82-foot-long pool, a full gymnasium, strength and conditioning facilities, yoga and dance studios, as well as meeting areas. Residences will feature unique floor plans configured to the horseshoe-shaped building.


Image courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects.

Pivotal to the redesign is the block-long, 28,500-square-foot industrial garage, which will host a food hall beneath its 45-foot-tall ceiling. The site previously served as the city’s third largest market during the 1800s.

“We are retaining almost the entirety of the structural fabric and walls for the food hall that will open onto the park. The building structure, skylights and ceiling elements, and windows and door openings are all being refurbished and will retain much of their original materiality and detail and will define the retail public spaces and their character,” says Schmitt.