New Frontiers Aboriginal Residential Corporation Coxwell Housing

Woodbine Corridor, Toronto

LGA designed the addition as two connected A-frame volumes that are slightly offset to maximize natural light access. Subtle but thoughtful differences between the design of the south-facing and north-facing units also take light exposure into consideration.

New Frontiers Aboriginal Residential Corporation (NFARC) operates two adjacent affordable rental housing buildings on Coxwell Avenue. Our three-storey freestanding addition, connected to the 31-unit building by a new link, adds 12 one-bedroom units at the rear of the site, in place of formerly underutilized at-grade parking.

On the south side, the depth of the large upper-floor balconies and ground-floor patios provides protection from heat gain in the summer, while the light-permeable wood-slatted balconies and trellis-like screens over the bedroom windows allow low-angled winter sunlight to penetrate deep into the units.

The north-side units have smaller balconies but slightly larger interior areas—54.4 versus the 51.8 area of the south-facing units—with large windows facing onto a landscaped parkette. North-facing balconies are positioned for optimal access to direct late afternoon light in the summer.

Our addition has been energy modelled to achieve a 28% reduction in energy consumption and a 33% reduction in greenhouse gas/carbon emissions in comparison to National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2015 benchmarks. Key sustainability strategies include a super-insulated airtight envelope and efficient mechanical systems, such as the building’s hydronic heating system. To meet the efforts of the Rapid Housing Initiative, this project also incorporates panelized construction to shorten the construction time.