PROGRAM OBJECTIVES INCLUDING COMPONENTS INITIATED BY THE ARCHITECT
DUCA Podium Phase 1 at 5290 Yonge Street, Toronto.
A 3-storey 27,703 sf. Building with DUCA Corporate Offices on the 2nd. and 3rd. Floors, DUCA Retail Branch, and 5,200 sf. of rentable space on the Ground Floor.
Phase 2 by Diversicare is a 17 storey – 165 rental unit Retirement Tower.
Both Phases will result in one building with the east side naming rights by sign on top of the tower by the DUCA “D”.
Date: March 19, 2014
Almost sizteen years ago, under the direction of then chairman of the board of DUCA Financial Services Credit Union undertook a project with the goal to maximize the value of their current property at 5270-5290 Yonge St, which the credit union purchased in 1980. The original building was the Provincial Courthouse, which after DUCA purchased at an auction, was converted to an office building housing the credit union’s main branch and corporate offices.
DUCA was started 60 years ago by a group of Dutch Canadian immigrants, seeking to provide an alternative to the banks for saving and borrowing. The basic philosophy of people helping people has not changed, as DUCA now serves over 35,000 people from all walks of life through its 12 branches in the GTA.
The architect who arrived in Canada graduating in The Netherlands with a Masters degree in Architecture, Housing, and Urban Design[j1] . Upon his arrival in Toronto, his dream as to someday design a prominent building on Yonge Street.
The firm has established a reputation as a team of multi-disciplined individuals whose efforts and co-ordination abilities focus on a project’s design parameters and the clients needs. The firm has concentrated on golf clubs, hotel resorts, casinos and condominiums, which integrate the built facilities with the natural environment to form a total experience.
“Meeting with the leadership of DUCA, I experienced an organization with strength, integrity, transparency, and fairness. I wanted to incorporate those values in the design of their new building.” Says the Architect.
The unveiling of the new ROM design, triggered in him a quest to design an iconic edifice for DUCA. DUCA was presented with an avant-garde design, expressing the DUCA corporate philosophy, and traits of Dutch Architecture, especially the imagery of the grandiose water work protection structures.
In 2004, when current President & CEO, took on the leadership of the credit union, the project started moving in earnest.
One challenge presented to the architect was how to construct a new building on the same site as the existing DUCA building, while the credit union continued operating, thus preventing two moves and an absence from the site for 2-4 years. The development would be completed in 2 phases. Phase 1 was the construction of the podium which houses the credit union offices. On completion of Phase 1, the land would be severed thus creating two parcels of land with the remaining land and density sold to DCMS Realty for construction of Phase 2, consisting of a 17-storey retirement residence on a 2-storey podium.