292 dundas street west toronto

People absolutely hate this new Toronto condo tower

A new condo development rising above the corner of Dundas and McCaul is being described as "one of the worst recent transformations in the city."

Construction for Tribute Communities and Greybrook Realty Partners' new Artistry Condos project began in 2021 with the demolition of a block of buildings at 292 Dundas West, which included the Carafated Bean cafe and other businesses.

Even from its early stages, the project faced resistance from locals and heritage advocates, and with the tower now nearing its final height of 29 storeys, people are now angry about its appearance.

A post on Reddit criticizing the building's design is quickly gaining traction on Tuesday, and almost 140 commenters have shared their thoughts about the new condo tower.

One of the worst recent transformations in the city by Vaughan-based architecture firm Graziani and Corazza.
byu/banksied intoronto

"I think we are using the materials and tastes of our time," writes one user, describing the palette of glass and cement as part of a "sleek modern design" trend "which makes [developing land] safe and cheap" for the owners.

The commenter goes on to explain, "We live in a city that is wildly expensive and not particularly brave. Car companies mass produce a few simple colours and buying a black car ensures you can resell it."

"I wish we had more spirit but I don't think this is a Canadian issue. It's like that story of how all coffee shops are starting to look exactly the same around the world — people gravitate to easy, obvious things."

"Back when that [demolished] building was made we had a ton of locally-sourced bricks and influences from a rich history of brick design. Sadly, it's not the style of our day."

Others more or less agreed, but some had harsher takes.

"Totally. It's awful," writes one commenter. "Whatever the cause is, it's practically a professional pathology. It's godawful. It's the non-colour that's a perfect representation of Toronto's cautious, dour underpinnings," they wrote.

"Like a Toronto rock show audience where no one will stand up or dance, the same fear of standing out or showing any verve or individuality had gripped architects and developers here. It's like some weird fearful collective compulsion. I've never seen a city condemn itself to harsh mediocrity, building after building after building like this."

292 dundas street west toronto

Artistry Condos. Photo by Becky Robertson.

And while you might think that some people are jumping the gun on judgement before the building achieves its final look, the architecture firm in question has a pretty consistent history of overpromising and underdelivering.

Graziani + Corazza's crowning achievement is the Aura at College Park condo tower soaring 78 storeys above Yonge and Gerrard — a building best known for its cheap finishes and busted lighting feature.

The firm's approach to designing buildings was best exemplified in a brutal 2017 interview with principal Barry Graziani by the Globe and Mail's architecture critic, Alex Bozikovic.

When challenged on the finished product of the Aura tower compared to renderings, Graziani literally laughed off the question, telling Bozikovic, "That's the rendering… and in Toronto you build to a budget."

Anyone who fell for this scheme again in the case of Artistry Condos would be forgiven, as the building's preconstruction renderings presented little evidence of the cheap, bland grey windows now rising above Dundas Street West.

292 dundas street west toronto

Artistry Condos. Graziani + Corazza Architects.

The building's name and its position on one of Canada's most important blocks for art only add insult to injury — a reminder that the "artistry" sold to condo buyers was little more than a co-opting of the area's cultural importance without actually contributing to it.

Lead photo by

Becky Robertson

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