toronto heritage redevelopment

Someone reimagined what every new condo development in Toronto could look like

Just imagine: The Hooker Harvey's lofts, a 52-storey residential tower in the heart of Toronto's Garden District with retained heritage elements including an iconic hamburger restaurant at the base.

The fast food joint and one-time notorious sex worker hangout at Jarvis and Gerrard has been spared in redevelopment proposals for the block so far, but given how things are going in this city it likely won't live forever.

Like Honest Ed's, The Silver Dollar, the McDonald's at King and Dufferin and so many of the other historic haunts that make Toronto, well, Toronto, the legendary Hooker Harveys could one day be targeted as the site of a condo development.

People got mad the last time a new building was even proposed near the Harvey's at 278 Jarvis St., but rest assured, the following image is merely a humorous mock-up:toronto heritage redevelopment

A Toronto artist produced this mock-up of a rendering for a condo buiding atop Hooker Harvey's. No development is actually slated for the site at this time. Image via YourFriendDan.

Created by Toronto Reddit user YourFriendDan, this rendering is just one in series of mock-ups called "The proposed development will incorporate the heritage structure and its functions."

It was produced shortly after plans for a new development at Bathurst and College surfaced, prompting Toronto to collectively (and prematurely) mourn Sneaky Dee's.

The firm redeveloping the site of Sneak's has promised to incorporate "one live music venue on the ground floor along College Street" into its plans, "potentially maintaining a cultural space on the subject site."

This is similar to what's being done down the street, at College and Spadina, where the old Silver Dollar Room is set to reopen under the brand new Waverly residential complex sometime early in 2021.

Retaining heritage elements at the base of new buildings is far from a new practice, but the inclusion of decidedly grungier spaces like Sneak's and The Silver Dollar in recent plans inspired YourFriendDan to reimagine what some other local landmarks might look like if incorporated into residential towers.

toronto heritage redevelopment

This mock rendering for a tower above Sneaky Dee's is much taller than the actual 13-storey building set to replace the historic bar and venue. Image via YourFriendDan.

Here are his modified versions of several beloved Toronto establishments; some still open, some now closed and at least one already demolished to dust.

Lahore Tikka House in Little India

toronto heritage redevelopment

Johnny's Hamburgers in Scarborough 

toronto heritage redevelopment

The Beaver Cafe in West Queen West (now closed)

toronto heritage redevelopment

Tom's Dairy Freeze on The Queensway

toronto heritage redevelopment

The Wexford in Scarborough (now closed)

toronto heritage redevelopment

Rol San in Chinatown (slated for redevelopment)

toronto heritage redevelopment

RAP'S restaurant in Little Jamaica

toronto heritage redevelopment

Honest Ed's in Mirvish Village (demolished in 2017)

toronto heritage redevelopment

Photos by


Latest Videos

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Real Estate

This $11 million Toronto mansion comes with its own waterfall

Someone renting bed in shared Toronto room with 2 other people for $570 a month

This $5 million Toronto modern dream home has a walk-in wine cellar and an elevator

Pusateri's location to be demolished for huge Toronto condo development

These GTA homes all sold way below their listing price

Wild Toronto rental lists shared studio basement apartment for $4,000 a month

Neighbourhood is trying to stop the redevelopment of a Toronto mall

This $4 million Victorian home in Toronto is on the market for the first time in 50 years