Oben Flats | Queen E

Toronto, Ontario

Completed in Fall 2016, this six-storey mixed-use development replaces a former post office in the heart of Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood, and features 48 residential rental units ranging from 465 to 1,200 square feet. Retail space at grade knits the building into the shops, restaurants and other small businesses that already line this bustling stretch of Queen Street East. Parking is accessed off a rear lane, and is serviced by a hydraulic stacking car-lift system.

The proposed building is sensitive to its context while achieving an economically feasible density. The structure’s four-storey datum is articulated in response to the neighbouring low- and mid-rise buildings along the street, and transitions to three storeys at its rear to reflect adjacent residential structures. Above these established levels, the building steps back, allowing for generous roof terraces, increased natural light and views toward Lake Ontario. To further respond to its street context, the building is clad in both black and plum iron-spot brick. In addition, large slender openings result in a pleasing ratio of wall to window that facilitates easy furniture placement for residents.

Amenities for residents include a full gymnasium in the basement, along with a rooftop terrace which provides privileged views to the street but also valuable outdoor space to accommodate larger groups. The public space of the lobby is a primary focus, and features a bar, walnut panelling and a warming fireplace to create an intimate and exclusive ambiance.

photo: Tom Arban