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There’s no place like this place… Any place!

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One of the most important city-building initiatives in Toronto’s history is here

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The Mirvish village Story

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The site of Mirvish Village was previously home to the Honest Ed’s Department Store for over 50 years. Honest Ed’s was important because it was a place where the community came together. This was partly because of the site’s rich history as an artist colony, catalyzed by Anne Mirvish’s gallery partly because it was on a streetcar line and a subway line, and next to one of the most important universities in North America. Most importantly, because it was home to thousands of stories from the many immigrants who have come to Toronto that helped it become the multicultural global city it is today. Everything about the project is seen through this lens.

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A new community of 100% purpose-built rental, Mirvish Village will build on a rich history that Ed Mirvish began in 1948.

A Jewish-American immigrant, entrepreneur, business leader and community builder, Ed Mirvish and his family created a beacon for diverse communities and a gathering place for recent immigrants to Toronto. To this day, the site holds meaning for so many people. Our goal when we were invited by David Mirvish to redevelop the site was not only to honour this legacy, but to build on the idea that Mirvish Village will represent this community and support its evolution.

Designed as a new, vibrant community hub and gathering place, Mirvish Village will integrate a new park and The Kitchen, food hall and music venue, an extensive public realm, micro-retail, 24 restored heritage buildings, unique restaurants and shops as well as numerous indoor and outdoor performance and gathering spaces all interwoven with public art installations including a mural by artist Frank Stella. The project is powered by a neighbourhood energy system by Creative Energy that will help it achieve a 30% reduction in energy use.


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Designed by our frequent collaborators, Henriquez Partners Architects, Mirvish Village was envisioned to honour the spirit of Toronto’s beloved Honest Ed’s within a new 100% purpose-built rental community.

Westbank and Henriquez Partners Architects have a long history of successful projects together, including the following:

Woodward’s, Vancouver

The project maintains the eclectic, vibrant aesthetic of the historic site through diverse architectural forms and a mix of uses. Rather than a single monolithic building, the project stiches back together the historical fine-grained streetscapes of Bathurst and Bloor with narrow shopfronts at street level that form the character of the new buildings with varying façade typologies, including low and mid-rise buildings and a series of micro-towers. In total, 24 heritage buildings will be preserved across the site. Markham Street will be restored and re-landscaped as a pedestrian-first, tree-lined thoroughfare with restaurants, boutiques, patios, and public seating, adjacent to a new public park. At street level, there will be new pedestrian laneways and public spaces, and, at the heart of Mirvish Village, The Kitchen, a food and music venue featuring the best of Toronto’s culinary entrepreneurs, artisans and live music will bring all the ingredients together.

To extend the entrepreneurial legacy of the site, Honest Ed’s Alley will feature a dedicated micro-retail incubator, developed in partnership with the Centre for Social Innovation. Mirvish Village will also be one of the most sustainable new developments in the City of Toronto, targeting reductions in energy use of over 30% more than typical buildings, to achieve TGS Tier II standards. The project will be home to a block-scale neighbourhood energy system that will provide reliable and renewable heating, cooling, and power to the surrounding area, to demonstrate leadership in sustainability and set a new precedent for city-building in Toronto.

Each of these ingredients provide the building blocks for a project that not only celebrates the legacy of Ed Mirvish but allows for its evolution as we look towards Toronto’s future.

Azure Magazine’s AZ Awards 2022
Urban Design Visions
Architizer A+ Awards 2019
Canadian Institute of Planners 2019
Award of Excellence in Urban Design
The Architecture MasterPrize
Honorable Mention in Architectural Design / Mixed Use Architecture