Artscape Wychwood Barns

A defining moment for adaptive reuse in Toronto

DTAH worked with Toronto Artscape and the City of Toronto to convert an early 20th century TTC streetcar repair and service facility into a mixed-use centre for artists and environmental organizations.

The Artscape Wychwood Barns consists of five historic streetcar maintenance barns, adaptively reused to house a series of community spaces, a commercial greenhouse and sheltered garden, 26 live/work housing units, 15 work studios for local artists, a children’s theatre and office spaces for local not-for-profits, all surrounded by a new municipal park. The oldest barn at the centre of the site, built in 1913, was converted into a covered street that provides access through the facility as well as a place for markets, exhibitions and large public gatherings.

DTAH has extensive experience adaptively reusing structures so that they capture the existing embodied energy and avoid waste, while also respecting the cultural and heritage significance of the site. The result is innovative, environmentally sustainable projects that enhance the surrounding neighbourhood. Other similar projects completed by DTAH include Evergreen Brick Works, Little Trinity Church and the Malthouse Lofts. The office has also worked extensively on urban agricultural projects with non-profit organizations such as Foodshare, Second Harvest and the YMCA.


Toronto, Ontario


Toronto Artscape and City of Toronto


  • Urban Land Institute, Award of Excellence: The Americas Competition Finalist, 2011
  • Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Award Finalist, 2011
  • Architectural Conservancy Ontario, Peter Stokes Restoration Award, 2009
  • City of Toronto, Award of Excellence in the Green Design Category, 2009
  • Congress for the New Urbanism, Charter Award, 2009
  • Ontario Association of Architects, Design Excellence Award, 2009
  • Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts, Award of Merit, 2009
  • Sustainable Architecture and Building Magazine, Canadian Green Building Award, 2009
  • Canadian Urban Institue, Excellence in Project Development: Neighbourhood Scale Award, 2008

A thriving example of urban agriculture, the green house, gardens, and sustainable kitchen help nourish and support the surrounding community.

One of the first LEED Gold certified heritage buildings in Canada

Sustainable design features include a large cistern to collect roof water for irrigation and use in washrooms, extensive daylighting and natural ventilation, as well as a ground source heat pump HVAC system

For the people who spend their Saturdays shopping here, it isn't an errand - it's an event, and the whole family's coming. ”


Much loved by the community, the project is a neighbourhood hub and a model of successful reintegration of historic structures into established neighbourhoods.