An application has been submitted to the city for major office conversion to the historic Jarvis house in midtown Toronto. The site at 1067 Yonge St. in the South Rosedale Heritage Conservation district was purchased for $12.5 million in December 2018 at an auction sale. The new owner is Aubrey Dan, a Tony Award-winning producer (Memphis) and philanthropist. Dan is also the principal of the Dancap Family Investment Office and founder and president of Dancap Private Equity Inc.
According to the application, submitted by Dewson Architects on Dan’s behalf on May 15, 2020, Dan’s intent is to create a world-class office space.
“We had outgrown our existing office on Sheppard Avenue West and we wanted to find an office building that could be designed to be intergenerational for the Dancap Family Investment Office and the Aubrey and Marla Dan Foundation,” said Dan. “What I loved about the building was that it was a heritage home in the front, yet flexibility to expand on the back to really develop it to its full potential.”
The property currently has a three-storey house built in 1914 with a three-storey commercial rear addition added on in 1950. The 1914 structure is an example of the Georgian Revival style and was listed on the heritage register on March 27, 1974.
The house was constructed for Jennie Elizabeth Jarvis, widow of Lieutenant-Colonel Salter Mountain Jarvis. It remained in the Jarvis family until 1928, after which it was repurposed into a funeral home.
The rear addition was built later by the Goethe Institute, which owned the property at the time. According to the application, the house portion will undergo a full heritage restoration that will bring the building back to its original lustre, while the commercial rear addition will be demolished and replaced with a four-storey mass timber structure.
Paved surface-level parking on the west, north, and south sides of the property will be relocated below grade as the rear addition replacement will be constructed over a two-storey underground parking structure.
Dan said the heritage portion of the property is in disrepair and needs a lot of love and attention, and the goal is to both bring it back to its original glory but also be very conscious of environmental impact. He said the building is designed to be energy net neutral by using geothermal for heating and cooling as well as having solar panels on the roof.
“I am a huge fan of the history of Toronto and I want to contribute to our beauty while being fully functional and cost-effective,” said Dan. He also credits architect William Dewson for designing the windows to look like spotlights on a theatrical stage, giving a nod to his work with theatre production company Dancap Productions from 2007 to 2012.
The application comes after a pre-application consultation meeting held with city staff in November of last year and discussions with councillor Mike Layton earlier this year. Dan said the approval process has been slowed by COVID-19 but hopes to obtain a permit, which requires city council approval, as soon as possible.