Southwest view of the Loblaw Groceteria Co. Ltd. building, Lake Shore Blvd W., 1940s. Courtesy of the City of Toronto Archives.
Loblaw Groceteria West Block, 2021 Heritage Toronto Award Build Heritage Nominee. Image: Ben Rahn.
Loblaws Groceterias West Block, 2021 Heritage Toronto Award Build Heritage Nominee. Image: Ben Rahn.
Restoration and Expansion
The restoration and expansion of the former Loblaws Groceteria building has preserved a remarkable example of Toronto’s waterfront industrial heritage, while introducing healthy food options, local retail and community services into a neighbourhood that is experiencing rapid residential growth. The project respects the warehouse’s history while making a confident statement about its readiness for another century of use.
The Loblaws Groceteria Company building was the first substantial building at 500 Lake Shore Boulevard West, originally the Queen’s Wharf before being reclaimed as part of the Toronto Harbour Commission’s waterfront development plan. The warehouse, perched on the south edge of a site bisected by the Gardiner Expressway, sat vacant for 10 years – unviable as a commercial property due to its small footprint, lack of services and general deterioration.
Today, the site has been reborn as a 11,530 sm centre for food, retail, local services and employment for the Fort York neighbourhood. A four-storey 14,852sm Class AAA commercial ‘pavilion’ sits lightly atop the 1928 structure, clad in glass and steel brises soleil and set back from existing exterior walls to allow a clear reading of historic and new-build elements. The renovated and expanded warehouse is fully accessible, and certified LEED Gold.
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Property Owner: 500 LS Limited
Heritage Architect: ERA Architects
Heritage Craftperson/Consultant: Historic Restoration Inc.