Housing Now, 158 Borough Drive
Diamond Schmitt’s 158 Borough Drive is designed to meet three objectives. First, it provides 300 affordable housing units within a high density 600 apartment vertical village. Second, the design strengthens the modernist heritage precinct of the Scarborough Civic Centre and, in particular, enhances public access to the civic space: Albert Campbell Square. Thirdly, with the integration of a new green court and landscaped boulevard, the design engages the adjacent forest resource, a mature forested woodlot.
158 Borough Drive is one of 17 sites in Toronto, part of the Housing Now initiative of the City of Toronto and CreateTO to accelerate the development of affordable housing. Housing Now maximizes City-owned land to provide mixed-income, mixed-use developments supporting transit-oriented and complete communities.
The design supports the vision for Scarborough Town Centre as a vibrant, sustainable, transit-oriented community. The design optimizes the site with 600 affordable and rental units, ranging from 1 bedroom to three bedroom units distributed between two towers. A podium connects the buildings with a 63-child daycare facility, resident amenity area, and community lobbies. The two towers are positioned for views of sky, landscape, the entrance court gardens, and to minimize shadow on Albert Campbell Square.
The site design creates a new public realm including a woonerf —a curbless, shared pedestrian street — bisecting the residential precinct, a pedestrian and cycling promenade along the south side, and a ramped public promenade on the west side of the site to provide new access to Albert Campbell Square. The landscape strategy unifies the site and significantly enhances the landscape in the community to create a strong pedestrian realm on all four sides of the project.