SvN Architects and Planners Inc. is a Canadian design-focused practice with a team of architects, planners, urban designers, and landscape architects. This premier integrated firm has private and public sector projects executed both locally and internationally. Their work is dedicated to developing new forms of affordable housing, uplifting neighbourhoods as well as rural and urban economic development

With a people-focused design approach, each project begins with talking to people and then connecting with their concerns. As SvN Architects and Planners Inc. realizes the world is getting more urban, they aspire to create communities that offer a range of housing, opportunities for employment, and mobility features which can be seen in their work. 

Here are 15 projects by SvN Architects and Planners Inc.:

1. Lawrence-Orton Community Centre and Childcare Facility | SvN Architects

Based in Toronto, the Lawrence-Orton Community Centre and Childcare Facility is an SvN community project that is part of the Toronto Community Housing’s ReSet program. This housing project consisted of the renovation of a low-rise and high-rise residential building that is connected by their central courtyard. In response to the needs of the community, SvN Architects and Planners Inc redesigned the façade of the building and the design of the courtyard to strengthen the community.  

The Lawrence-Orton Community Center and Childcare Facility have five day-care classrooms, administrative offices, and an outdoor space designed for young children to play and interact. Though having experienced several high technical substructure issues, the skilled team was able to create a place that provides Security, accessibility, and inclusion.  

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Lawrence-Orton Community Center and Childcare Facility_©

2. 162 Cumberland Avenue

Dating back to as far as the 1970s, Yorkville Lanes mixed-use building was in dire need of renovation. Buzzing with streets and alleyways filled with cafes, restaurants, and luxury boutiques, it is a large part of the Toronto social scene. However, the low ceilings in the main alleyway, lack of sufficient lighting, and dark entrances had a negative effect on the place.  

In attempts to liven up the place, SvN Architects and Planners redesigned the place to have more lighting and transparency, creating a warmer space. The seven-story building contains retail properties on the ground floor, offices at the second and third, and condominiums on the floors above. 

To give the place more appeal, the storefront façade was cleared out to open up the visual aspect of the interior spaces. Canopies were added along Cumberland Street, and more lightning was introduced in the walkways. Reflective mirror ceilings were added to make the interior walkway feel much larger, and new furniture and planters added more life to the space.  

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162 Cumberland Avenue_©

3. Lady Marmalade Restaurant

SvN, together with Omar Gandhi Architect, worked on the renovation of a Toronto-based restaurant Lady Marmalade. The purpose of the redesign was to brighten up and open the interior. To do this, the interior space was rearranged, and an extension was made to one side of the restaurant. 

By moving circulation to one side, a larger dining space, the new windows and skylights too were added to draw in more light in the space and open it up.  

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source Lady Marmalade Restaurant_©

4. The Sumach

The Sumach is an addition to Regent Park, which is a vibrant mixed-use community. The building was designed to accommodate active seniors aged 75 years old and above. The initiative was a way of addressing accommodation challenges of senior citizens that SvN believes will double in the years to come. The 12-story building comprises 322 suites. These are studios, one and two-bedroom townhouses. 

The Sumach also provides residents with a variety of amenities like retail spaces, entertainment like a reading room, theatre, exercise rooms, multipurpose rooms, and indoor and outdoor dining facilities. The dining areas are designed for residents, and a connecting and bistro also cater to the public.  

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The Sumach, Toronto, ON_©

5. Peace Naturals | SvN Architects

Peace Naturals Building is the corporate headquarters for horticultural and pharmacological research for The Cronos Group. In addition, it is also the largest purpose-built cannabis cultivation facility in North America. SvN created the design and is a highly technical and advanced cannabis facility. 

The whole facility is automated, and lighting, watering, and nutrient supply to the plants is done from a central system.  

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Peace Naturals_©

6. Evangel Hall

Evangel Hall by SvN Architects and Planners Inc. is a multipurpose hall run by an agency of the Presbyterian Church of Canada. The agency provides the marginalized communities with food, housing, and spiritual support. SvN designed the new Evangel Center that would provide more space and provide more help to locals. 

The newly designed centre has a medical clinic, job, and housing placement centre and housing units for clients in need. The architects at SvN had to meet the needs of the community that experienced social, medical, and emotional challenges. To provide a serene environment for locals to support one another, a rooftop garden and various open areas were designed.  

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Evangel Hall, Toronto, ON_©

7. Ywca Elm Centre 

Consisting of administrative offices and 300 housing units, YWCA Elm Centre is one of the largest housing projects in downtown Toronto. The project has two building blocks that connect through a central courtyard and provide the community with food services, retail and multipurpose rooms. The Jean Tweed Centre and Wigwamen are partners of this project, and the housing units accommodate the partner’s tenants. 

Green Building Strategies were implemented into the design of the centre. One of the main targets was energy efficiency and reduced life-cycle. A new and improved thermal building envelope, radiant heating and cooling, and a ground source heat pump system are also features of the YWCA Elm Centre.

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YWCA Elm Centre, Toronto, ON_©

8. Lake Havelock Cottage | SvN Architects

The Lake Havelock Cottage is located by a lake near the Algonquin Provincial Park. It was designed to suit its environment without breaking the visual impact of the forest. From the entrance at the road access of the cottage, the interior space opens a view of the lake. At the centre of the home is the communal space. 

The south-facing façade has a double-height that brings the views of the lake and the forest. The sleeping areas have access to the morning sunlight through a north-lit gallery. Sunset can be viewed from the living/ dining area of the cottage.

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Lake Havelock Cottage_©

9. Fichman Penthouse

The design and construction of this interior design project by SvN Architects and Planners ran through the course of five years. During this time, close attention was paid to the architectural details of the penthouse. The main features of the project entail a meandering promenade lined with matte-finished walnut. The flowing corridor redirects guests to the interior and exterior parts of the penthouse.  

Asian art and several religious sculptures can be seen in enclosed cases along the corridor. Another surprising element to the penthouse is the shifting and multipurpose furniture. For instance, the desk shifts into a wine-sorting shelf, a millwork grille turns into a fold-down ironing table, and the sleeping futons are tucked away to place tatami mats used for entertaining the day.  

Fichman Penthouse Interior Design_©

10. Philips House Redevelopment | SvN Architects

The Phillips House Redevelopment Program (PHRP) would allow leading community-academic health provider North York General (NYG) to offer its services to children, adolescents, and young women. SvN’s proposal aimed to increase the visibility of the facility within its environment. A wood-clad directs visitors to the entrance of the new and existing buildings. This connection was aimed to minimize the impact of the existing building. 

From the entrance garden, the space opens up to a serene space, and parking is on the east side of the building. An accessible entrance point opens to the central reception that can be accessed from both entrances.  

Philips House Redevelopment, Toronto, ON_©

11. Orillia Waterfront Redevelopment 

Also known as the Sunshine City, Orillia is a small town with a fantastic waterfront

Philips House Redevelopment, Toronto, ON_©

along Lake Couchiching. The area attracts several tourists and an initiative to strengthen the connection between downtown and the waterfront was developed. SvN was selected to redevelop the 8.6-acre site in 2020. Their design approach was to create a modern promenade along several public spaces connecting the mixed-use program to the city. Another way of strengthening the bond between locals and guests was by creating community gardens and year-round greenhouses.  

To design a more economically, socially, and environmentally friendly community, SvN Architects and Planners Inc proposed the use of timber in the design and construction. The Orillia Waterfront Redevelopment project comprises townhouses, residential and retail areas, and outdoor space. Adding a plaza and hotel with gardens and a central square were also proposed by SvN. They also plan to incorporate Orillia wood history into the waterfront redevelopment through the building’s design.

Image 11: Sunshine City’s Orillia Waterfront Redevelopment_©

12. Grand Central Mimico

Situated in Etobicoke, The Grand Central Mimico is a new addition close to the transit-oriented community. SvN designed the integration of the new Mimico GO Station’s design with a 39-story tower at Buckingham and a 4-story base building. Two towers, one showcasing the transition from Royal York Road and another from the Greenway, are planned to create an accessible public space. 

The entire development will comprise residential and retail spaces and create a vibrant social scene.

Grand Central Mimico Toronto, Ontario_©

13. Shoppers World

Like its name suggests, Shoppers World will be designed to be a vibrant and lively scene in Brampton. It is a redevelopment project of a shopping centre that they plan to turn into a mixed-use community with medium and high-rise buildings and social amenities. It will also have a range of open spaces and retail areas. 

To begin the development, a central open area will be designed with new streets and a connection to Etobicoke Creek.  

Shoppers World in Brampton, Ontario_©

14. Pan Am Games Athletes’ Village

Located in Toronto, the athletes previously housed 8500 athletes and team officials. The area was designed to create a lively mixed-use space. SvN’s work includes creating the original blocks of multipurpose buildings with a variety of residential types. The Front Street has taller buildings and views to the Don River Park define the west-east streets. 

The open park and festival spaces will make the place a more vibrant destination during games and unite locals.

Pan Am Games Athletes’ Village, Toronto_©

15. The Coptic District | SvN Architects

This project involves the renovation of the Canadian Coptic Centre and the Church of the Virgin Mary & St Athanasius. To begin the redevelopment, SvN first decided to begin with interior renovations to the property. A new diocese building and outdoor space would then be designed. 

The project will also incorporate an event centre, residence space, and church support functions. The next chapter of the design would then be an art recreation centre and school.

The Coptic District, Mississauga, Ontario_©



Zyabo M'hango is an art enthusiast with a huge case of wanderlust. She believes that all forms of art intertwine as one and hence her pursuit of bringing Architecture and writing as one. When she's not working on her design projects, she's planning her next travel destination.