Project Profile

Leon’s Roundhouse

40,000 square foot interior rejuvenation of a downtown Toronto heritage building in order to create the first LEED® certified retail furniture and appliance store in Canada.

Leon’s Furniture Ltd., one of Canada’s largest retailers.

Green Reason’s Role
LEED® Consultants for Project Team. The team included the client, heritage architects, mechanical and electrical engineering consultants, interior designers and the John Street Roundhouse Development Corporation.

What Was Done
As LEED Consultant, Green Reason’s goal for the project was to ensure that the rejuvenation was completed to LEED standards for building sustainability, without altering or compromising its heritage features. The goal of the Project Team was to create Leon’s first urban furniture and appliance store, completed using sustainable design and construction practices while showcasing the Roundhouse, its view of Toronto’s skyline and the store’s products.

The project itself was part of a total $25 million rejuvenation of the Roundhouse area in downtown Toronto. Originally built in the 1920s to house trains for the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Roundhouse structure is semi-circular in design and included heritage features such as original wooden beams, windows and retired train tracks.

Every effort was made to preserve the Roundhouse building, provide what was required for a retail store, and deliver an environmentally friendly structure.

The following was accomplished:

  • Preserved the 32 foot ceiling, wooden beams, floor to ceiling windows and brick walls, which account for over 60% of the finished area of the store. This maintained the integrity of the historic building while reducing the need for new materials
  • Protected the wooden framing by clamping all fixtures into place allowing for removal in the future without any permanent damage to the heritage elements
  • Created a unique low-VOC polished concrete floor that can be removed and recycled without harm to the train tracks
  • Provide bike storage and showers for staff
  • Reduced water consumption by over 20%
  • Reduced lighting power requirements by over 45% below standard retail standards
  • Installed daylight sensors at all windows and under the main clerestory space to dim or turn lights off when enough natural light is available
  • Installed meters for hydro, gas, chilled water and steam from district deep lake heating/cooling system to allow payment of actual usage, and be able to monitor and take steps to further reduce energy consumption
  • Diverted over 80% of construction waste from landfill sites
  • Purchased over 85% pre-owned furniture for staff offices
  • Used materials with over 20% recycled content and 30% of which were regionally manufactured
  • Over 99% of all wood used is from Forestry Stewardship Council certified responsibly managed forests
  • Only low-VOC paints, adhesives and flooring materials used during construction
  • All composite wood products and adhesives are free from added urea-formaldehyde
  • Over 75% of the store has access to natural light

Results Speak for Themselves
The new Leon’s Roundhouse store opened in July 2009 as one of Canada’s most unique furniture stores, housed in a restored heritage building. The store preserves the best of the heritage setting with original curves and support beams clearly evident while demonstrating how to integrate sustainable strategies into a historic retail setting. The project was awarded LEED® Canada-CI Gold Certification from the Canada Green Building Council. It is the first large retail furniture and appliance store in Canada to be LEED® certified.

The project is the winner of ARIDO 2010 Awards of Merit for Restoration and Adaptive Reuse and Sustainable Design and was a finalist for the Toronto Green Award for Green Design.

What they are saying

“…the most extraordinary, adaptive reuse of a heritage building, probably in Canada.”
– former Toronto Mayor David Miller