5051 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario


First Capital’s goal was to redevelop the former DeBoer’s Furniture store into a multi-tenanted, mixed-use commercial development.

To accomplish the goal, we had to overcome the challenge of the chaotic and irrational spaces arising from the building’s many previous uses, from the original single-storey bowling alley to a retail furniture store expanded with multi-floor additions over the years. Floor levels varied throughout; interior spaces were divided by many former exterior walls and there were several interior stairs.

Our solution was to “make lemonade” by capitalizing on the unique aspects of the building. Peeling away the many layers of additions and construction, we studied the complexity of the building and developed a plan to use existing floor levels and partitions to create singular spaces for multiple tenants. Even the roof was used to an advantage as an inviting outdoor dining patio for a restaurant tenant.

The key to the project’s success was the combination of our ability to envision such unusual and attractive spaces and our skill at organizing and phasing construction so that the building didn’t have to be emptied of tenants for the construction period. Successfully handling the municipal issues, from pre-consultation meetings to SPA approval to building permit issuance, we were able to deliver the project within 12 months and on budget.


Client: First Capital Realty Inc.