Although architecturally unique (as usual) High Park Lofts is one of the least well-known Stinson projects, probably because it is the only totally new construction building, although it didn’t start that way. Originally it was intended to be a renovation of 2 vacant church buildings, but even Stinson acknowledges that church conversions are usually a design and construction nightmare.
In this case an additional challenge was the traffic and ‘fragrance’ of an adjacent Kentucky Fried Chicken. The KFC site was purchased, and all 3 buildings demolished. The new design featured a distinctive clock tower, and a dramatic central atrium garden. Split level lofts have double-height living rooms facing outside and bedrooms facing the quiet atrium. High Park Lofts was also the first major condo to offer a geothermal heating and cooling system, although the building department insisted on adding a traditional HVAC system, as they were unfamiliar with ‘green technology’.
By the time High Park Lofts was finished, it had a similar impact on the Roncesvalles Village area, and the (new) Mayor David Miller showed up to ceremonially turn on the geothermal system. His speech and the local Member of Parliament were upstaged by Stinson’s 4 -year old daughter asking when he was going to cut the cake, and why was it green. David promptly obliged.