The Well—as in “living well”—is an ambitious master plan in the heart of Downtown Toronto, shaping a synergistic space where residents, workers, and neighbours enrich the urban experience for one another. The 7.7-acre piece of land, previously the home of the Globe and Mail, will have a total of seven buildings and will inject a dynamic mix of uses into a key city-centre site. Bordering Spadina Avenue, Front, Draper, and Wellington Streets and situated just north of the railway, The Well takes dominion as the gateway to the City, greeting incoming GoTrain and ViaRail passengers and welcoming pedestrians to the destination. The Well revitalizes the public realm and pedestrian activity in the downtown core, with a significant linear park running along Wellington Street, connecting Victoria Memorial Park to the west and Clarence Square to the east. Close to half a million square feet of retail animates a mezzanine walkway, sheltered by an undulating glass canopy and over a million and a half square feet of residential units are available, including both rental and market condominiums. The pedestrian-centric plan restricts vehicles to a few underground garage access points and uses existing laneways and new promenades to link existing pocket parks to a retail-oriented thoroughfare that crosses the neighbourhood, bringing a mix of international chains, independent boutiques, green space, and restaurant patios. By extending the walking routes of King and Wellington streets and using brick characteristics on the retail facades, The Well also preserves the character of the surrounding King Spadina Heritage District, Financial District, and King West neighbourhood, and respectfully co-exists with the nearby historic cottages of Draper Street. Over a million square feet of commercial office space also complete the site, including the HPA-designed 36-storey office tower at the prominent entryway to the new neighbourhood at the intersection of Front and Spadina. The master plan also brings sustainable energy solutions to the area, partnering with Enwave to use their deep lake-water cooling system which uses cold water from Lake Ontario as a renewable cooling source. A large reservoir under the development will hold the lake water that will be pumped through the towers and surrounding buildings, offering one of the most expansive and innovative sustainable energy solutions of its kind in the City. Re-invigorating a significant site in Downtown Toronto, The Well will contribute to the City’s pedestrian-oriented, urban revitalization and will set a new precedent to master plans shaping the future of the City of Toronto.
Hariri Pontarini Architects (HPA) is a full-service Canadian firm devoted to producing work of lasting value. Siamak Hariri and David Pontarini founded the Toronto office in 1994 motivated by a shared commitment to design quality. Today the 140-person practice offers their clients in-depth Partner involvement through all stages of design and the technical expertise to oversee construction. Over the past 25+ years, HPA has garnered over 80 national and international awards, including the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s (RAIC) 2013 Architectural Firm Award, four Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence, three Governor General’s Medals in Architecture, and the RAIC 2019 International Prize. Every project in HPA’s diversely scaled portfolio reflects a mission to craft architectural and urban solutions that exceed expectations, without excess.