The Victory Soya Mills Silos operated in the Toronto harbour area from 1940-1991. Built in the 1940’s, the 35-metres tall silo is the only remaining structure on the site testifying to the area’s industrial past. In recognising its historical significance, the building was added to Toronto’s City’s Heritage Registre in 2004. The development plan for the Victory Silo neighbourhood is centred around the reactivation of the silo; rather than leaving it as a passive, non-engaging historical monument, the impressive structure will reclaim its space and serve as the centrepiece – a landmark that links the past with the present and roots the neighbourhood in a historical context.
By using adaptive transformation, the original cylindrical concrete tube structure remains intact, while the addition of a modern, publicly accessible timber construction atop will revive it as an active place that welcomes the city and the residents to both explore and enjoy this new part of town. It is the lightness of the timber as a material that offers the opportunity to add new uses to the silo while leaving the original structure untouched.
While the silo holds a significant role in the development of Victory Silo, its true impact lies in its integration within a constellation of buildings, forming an appealing and harmonious neighbourhood along the waterfront. Complementing the silo, three buildings of different heights will provide a combination of residential and retail spaces, interconnected by public areas that link the neighbourhood from north to south, connecting the city of Toronto to the recreative spaces by the waterfront. By blending various functions such as residential, office, retail, and publicly accessible courtyards, the Victory Silo neighbourhood will create a dynamic urban environment that embraces and caters to the diversity of the city and its people.
The good city is homogeneous in the diversity of its neighbourhoods. The good city is an entity larger than the sum of its parts, more than the individual buildings. It continues around the next corner, it makes you feel safe, yet excited and intrigued in it’s presence.
The role of the city today is different than a few decades ago. Where the city used to be the transit space between the workplace and home, more and more activities are moving into the urban realm. The city today is an extension to daily life. The modern city is expected to offer a wide range of experiences and possibilities enriching the daily life of its inhabitants.
A strong dense urban space in connection to the open Silo park at the other side. From this space the building gradually steps back to create a fluid transition from podium to tower.
From the near human scale – to the icon visible from afar.
The structure naturally stands as heart and centrepiece of the entire site. It does not only give name to the development – it also adds an obvious character.
The history of this place continues with the next chapter in the narrative of the ever changing city. Not by erasing – but by enhancing. (The inverted plinth of Rachel Whiteread's Monument in Trafalgar Square)
An architecture that is bold and iconic, yet subtle and contextual. A place that wants to commit to a dialogue with its surroundings, rather than trying to create a monologue.
A well-organized and context sensible distribution of functions and massing of the building volumes is a fundamental design objective laying the basis for a liveable, relatable and enjoyable neighbourhood.
Enhancing urban porosity is a key aim in the design process.
Distribution of the building's peak optimizes views to water
Space for parking placed as an acoustic buffer.
Setbacks sculpt the slender high-rise into to cityscape
Imagining new programs for the silo spaces with cultural offerrings as a pivot for a new urban neighbourhood.
The Victory Silo site mixed-use development is comprised by commercial, public realm, and residential units centred around an iconic post-industrial silo structure.
Based on the diversity of the city, the proposal for the Victory Silo site naturally seeks to weave the area into the existing patchwork of diverse neighbourhoods that characterises the 8m metropolis. Throughout the past 20 years, Toronto has welcomed more than 100.000 immigrants yearly. This not only makes it the fastest growing city in North America, but also on of the world’s most multicultural cities. Deeply embedded in Toronto’s DNA, the motto: “Diversity, Our Strength” reflects its multicultural mindset that has acted as a starting point the development of the site.
Tapping into the rejuvenation of the entire harbour area, Victory Silo will connect to surrounding waterfront sites that offer walkable, compact communities consisting of open spaces, green parks, and other mixed-use developments all open and accessible for the public to enjoy.
The Victory Soya Mills Silos operated in the area from 1940-1991. The silos were used for storage of soybeans, brought in by ships and processed on site. Built in the 1940’s, the current 35-metres tall silo is the only remaining structure.
In 2004, it was listed by Toronto’s City’s Heritage Registre, and thus testifies to the area’s industrial past. In the development of the Victory Silo neighbourhood, the silo will act as a centrepiece, adding a strong sense of history and identity to the site.
The Victory Silo site mixed-use development is comprised by commercial, public realm, and residential use centred around an iconic post-industrial silo structure. The development of the site is part of the ongoing revitalisation of the defunct Toronto Harbour to make it an integrated part of the City of Toronto.
The 2.14 hectare Victory Silo site consist of three parcels: North, Central and South Block.
The North Block with a residential 42-storey building, consisting of a 9-storey podium and a 33-storey tower. Spaces at street level will be reserved for retail and other public functions to ensure life around the clock. The North Block will act as a gate connecting the central part of Toronto to the Victory Silo neighbourhood and the waterfront.
The Central Block will feature a partly residential, partly public 49-storey high-rise. The 49-storeys are divided into a 7-storey podium and 42-storey tower. In an attempt to cushion wind conditions as well as create a visual connection to the silo across from the tower, the corners of the high-rise are rounded, and numerous stepbacks introduce a terraced design. Facing the tower, the silo will become the beating heart of area.
From North to South the three parcels are connected by public spaces and pathways leading down to the waterfront, where the South Block sits.
The South Block consists of two mid-rise L-shaped buildings divided by a path winding its way through an open space that allows the public free access to a promenade park along the quayside. Furthermore, the disposition of the L-shaped buildings shields the courtyard against windy weather conditions and makes it a generous destination for the Victory Silo residents and the inhabitants of Toronto in general to use all year around.
Section through the Central Block
Rather than leaving the silo as a passive, non-engaging historical monument, SHL propose to make use of its unexploited potential and re-activate it by using adaptive transformation. The original 36 cylindrical concrete tube structure will remain intact, while the addition of a modern, publicly accessible timber construction atop will revive it, link the past to the present, and root the neighbourhood in a historical context.