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Development News

Former Global Village Backpackers gets heritage facelift

460 King Street West being restored.

Over the past few weeks, passersby at King and Spadina have been watching a slow reveal as the ramshackled building at the northwest corner is restored to a version of its former glory.
The Global Village Backpackers hostel closed more than a year ago and now the former meeting place of the young and the restless is being turned into something much more professional and stylish. The 20,000-square-foot listed heritage property, acquired last summer by Allied Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, is being repurposed to host a marketing suite for The Well development, a café, a restaurant and offices for key tenant Konrad Group.
“It will be a spectacular space,” says Hugh Clark, vice president of development for Allied Properties.
Until now, the property’s been devoted to hospitality. Built as the Richardson House Hotel in 1875, it became the Falconer Hotel in 1906 and the Spadina Hotel in the 1920s, before eventually becoming Global Village Backpackers in 1997. The interior renovations will open up the small hotel rooms to become a grander commercial and office space, while the exterior renovations will restore a heritage look to both the southern and northern wings.
“The southern building in particular has many layers that have been added over the years, the most recent being the blue wood siding,” says Clark. “What you’ll see is when we’ve done the full restoration of the façade, the southern building will have more of a Tudor style. On the northern building we’ve already peeled off many layers of paint to expose the red-orange brick.”
Jedd Jones Architects did some of the design, while Gensler used historic photos to come up with the restoration plan for the wooden southern building.
The Well Joint Venture, a partnership between Allied, Diamond Corp. and RioCan, is expected to move into 3,000 square feet of the southern building in in June. Other tenants are expected to occupy the building this fall. Allied also plans to redevelop the surface parking lot immediately to the north of the building.
Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Hugh Clark
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