Woodcliffe Landmark Properties
Woodcliffe Landmark Properties is a boutique development firm renowned for their meticulous and socially-conscious restoration of heritage buildings, many of which are repurposed for commercial and retail use in the upscale midtown area of Toronto.
This organization occupies a unique niche in the Canadian development industry, which can be traced back to its roots, beginning in 1996 under the skilled hands of Paul Oberman. Oberman had a vision of restoring and preserving iconic heritage properties throughout the city, aspiring to turn them into landmarks that simultaneously showcased their rich history while offering functional space for contemporary office and retail use.
Nowhere is this more evident than in Woodcliffe’s projects around Rosedale and Summer Hill stations in Toronto’s midtown area. The firm’s painstaking restoration of the historic North Toronto railway station – a former Canadian Pacific Railway stop – culminated in not only a stunning architectural landmark, but a functional space for its anchor tenant – LCBO – and a selection of pedestrian-friendly retail underneath the historic railway bridge.
The project was the recipient of numerous awards from Heritage Toronto and the Ontario Association of Architects, to name a few.
Fittingly, this was followed by The Shops of Summerhill, a collection of historic buildings overlooking North Toronto Station and Scrivner Square. Now housing a selection of boutique shops, the complex features its glorious, original brick façade with a touch of contemporary glass and limestone.
Along the way, Oberman hired Eve Lewis, owner of Urbanation and Market Vision Real Estate, to help him manage the company. The two eventually married, settling into an opulent Rosedale estate to raise their large blended family while continuing to develop and manage properties. Around 2010, they delved into the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, purchasing four buildings on the west side of Market Street, just across from the market itself. One of these buildings was the former Armory Hotel, built in 1858, which had sat vacant for decades. Though the site had been zoned for an 11-storey condominium, they chose instead to restore the historic structure.
Part way through the project, tragedy struck. Oberman was killed in a plane crash while flying from Halifax to Toronto. This left his wife, Lewis, devastated, with a major real estate development in the works. To cope with her grief, she became determined to complete the vision her partner had so passionately worked toward.Today, Market Street is one of the neighbourhood’s most vibrant stretches; paved in brick and home to cheerful patio bars and a Balzac’s Coffee that occupy the refurbished heritage structures.
Lewis, a capable and visionary developer in her own right, now helms the company. While paying homage to their original passion for transforming iconic properties, she is breaking new ground for Woodcliffe, with the organization’s inaugural foray into the residential market. Partnering with MOD Developments, they’ve secured land on Richmond Street West, the location of a former industrial building, and are planning to turn it into stylish urban condos, a bountiful food hall and a brand-new YMCA. The project will blend historic industrial architecture with functional modernism, something they’ve proven to excel at.
We’re so excited to see how this Toronto developer uses their unique knowledge and vast experience to create distinctive residential and mixed-use buildings. We’re sure their next project will be a showstopper.
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