The mark of a great architect is not the ability to reproduce, but to reinvent. At 250 Lawrence, Quadrangle Architects have hit that mark. The elegant nine-storey building sits beautifully within the surrounding neighbourhood, creating a notable street presence on Lawrence Avenue, while maintaining the charm and intimacy of Bedford Park. Designed with neighbouring homes, businesses, and residents in mind, the mid-rise structure blends perfectly with the streetscape, giving the impression that it’s been part of the community for years. The architecture is clean and crisp, anchored by a ground level porte cochère that invites residents and guests to step away from the bustle of midtown and enter a space where function and beauty coexist. Strong horizontal lines, oversized wood doors, and a striking colour palette of bronze and gunmetal grey offer the perfect counternote to emphasize natural light. Throughout the lobby, the amenities, and through each and every one of the suites, there is a sense of ease, inspired by tradition, but designed for modern life.
“A reinvention of design, a balance,
functionality and feasibility.”
Inspiration Realized Q&A With Quadrangle Architects
The work of Quadrangle Architects is imbued with considered design, in pursuit of a balance between beauty, functionality and feasibility. We spoke to the architects responsible for the energetic vision for 250 Lawrence, Principal, Les Klein, and Senior Associate, Dev Mehta. Here, they share their inspiration behind the building and their affinity for mid-century modern design.
Q How did you approach the design of 250 Lawrence? What was your inspiration?
LK When we looked at the surrounding context of the area we were immediately reminded of a Madmen aesthetic, that late ‘50s, early ‘60s style known as ‘mid-20th-century modern’ design. These are buildings that, at first glance, might be dismissed as mundane, yet when you take a closer look, they actually have an enormously beautiful level of detail and a strong aesthetic.
At 250 Lawrence we’ve used this aesthetic through subdued horizontal lines and a palette of imperial colours like bronze metal accents and gunmetal grey.
Q How did you consider the context of the surrounding neighbourhood in the design?
DM Another prominent feature of mid-century modern architecture is that it is often juxtaposed against a natural landscape, and we felt the site’s location, adjacent to the Douglas Greenbelt, was the perfect opportunity to play up that pairing. At 250 Lawrence we’ve designed a building form with strong, simple horizontal lines that sit in contrast to the lush, organic backdrop of the Greenbelt.
Q What sets 250 Lawrence apart?
LK One of the things people often associate with mid-rise architecture is the idea of a heavy slab and we very much wanted to avoid that. We worked hard to blur the distinction between floors, so that they are expressed in a unique way – for example every second floor at 250 Lawrence is accented with a heavier horizontal line so the architecture becomes graphic but not repetitive. We also set back the top floors and carved out the edge of the southeast corner, creating a feature element on the first four storeys above the canopy, creating a unique design. The most successful mid-rise buildings that we’ve done have all incorporated those particular elements: the blurring of the lines between floors, the stepping back at higher elevations.
Q What do you think 250 Lawrence brings to the neighbourhood?
LK We hope that 250 Lawrence sets the stage for a new kind of neighbourhood architecture in Bedford Park – design that offers height, scale, and quality befitting the location. Our hope is that we will see many more buildings like this begin to define the Avenue and Lawrence neighbourhood.
DM One thing we never lost focus on was connectivity. As the city plans for future growth in the area, connectivity and improvements to infrastructure – two elements of our design – will be key.
A Perfect Transition
There is something to be said for the ease of arriving home during a rainstorm, pulling under an elegant bronze-coloured canopy and exiting the car, straight through the front door, without a single drop falling on your favourite trench. At 250 Lawrence, neither rain, nor snow, nor any other climate-related inconvenience will hinder residents on their path to living well. And that’s just one feature of the building’s thoughtful design. Passing through the porte cochère, residents will find themselves in the elegant double-height lobby, a warm and welcoming entry point that eases the transition from the public to the private realm. Bathed in neutral tones and natural finishes, the refined space highlights an array of exquisite materials and textures, offering a taste of what’s to come upstairs. A curated art collection reflects the personality of the building and of the residents themselves – refined, with an unexpected twist.
A Different Perspective
Surrounded by low-rise residential neighbourhoods, backing onto the Toronto ravine network, and facing the verdant field of Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute and the forested grounds at Havergal College, 250 Lawrence offers a plethora of truly spectacular views.
The expansive scenes create an unexpected sense of space and luxury that many people don’t anticipate from a condominium lifestyle. But that’s only because they haven’t seen 250 Lawrence.
Here, residents will look out the window and feel a sense of lightness as their eyes travel across treetops and graze the rooftops to the city beyond. This is a different perspective on life, a new way of seeing things, and a new way to live in midtown.