Logo with white text on medium grey background reads as Nicholas Jay Architect, Building Design and Permit Drawings

Commercial Architecture

Nicholas Jay Architect logo with building permit stamps from Toronto and other GTA locations.

New Metal Building

Construction progress with exposed steel bent frame showing the horizontal girts of the end gable wall prior to cladding
New Metal Building
Stu Farms
7294 Sideroad 5 W, Mount Forest
Project: 19X

Stu Farms was just setting up as a new small business in Mount Forest. Needless to say, time and money were critical project considerations.

The client needed to develop a vacant lot for their indoor agricultural cultivation operations as soon as possible to begin generating revenue. The process would require Site Plan Approval prior to obtaining a Building Permit.

Nicholas Jay Architect lead the consultant team through an expedited design-build process with the client's preselected general contractor. The design-build strategy entailed three tactics. First, was to limit complexities of the Ontario Building Code by keeping the overall building size under 600 square-meters in order to qualify as a Small Building. Second, was to utilize a pre-engineered metal building which could commence fabrication off-site while municipal approvals were being obtained. Third, was to plan the four interior cultivation rooms in a manner that could allow construction to be phased in case of budgetary concerns.


Rooftop Pergola Addition

Aluminum pergola with medium bronze frame and white roof louvers enclosed with galvanized steel corrugated panels
Rooftop Pergola Addition
Triovest Realty Advisors
20 Dundas St W, Toronto
Project: 19NN

The Atrium Building stretches along the north side of Dundas Street from Yonge all the way to Bay Street. Looking up along this length atop of the atrium mall are two business office towers spaced apart a distance that is as wide as the towers themselves.

It is in that space between the towers, on the roof of the atrium mall, that Triovest Realty Advisors wanted to create a new outdoor roof terrace for use by the business office tenants as a building amenity.

Nicholas Jay Architect developed a solution for a pedestal paver roof terrace with planting beds, seating areas; and, a corrugated metal panel fence enclosure to serve as a guard at the roof edge as well screen views of rooftop mechanical equipment. But the main feature of the patio is an aluminum pergola that has operable louvers at the roof which can be closed during rain or opened to let the sun shine through.


Rooftop Solarium Addition

3D rendering viewing outward from the interior of a glass gabled roof and glass end wall with large accordion windows
Rooftop Solarium Addition
The National Club
303 Bay St, Toronto
Project: 19WWW

The National Club is a Heritage Building and is land-locked between a high-rise hotel and office towers of the big banks. So when they wanted to expand their restaurant seating capacity, the only available location in the building was on the rooftop.

Nicholas Jay Architect was engaged to develop a solarium addition on the rooftop to expand the existing cafe. The solarium was desired to accommodate maximum glass area, as well as having operable accordion windows for wide, airy views.

However, every project has its challenges, and due to the proximity of the solarium to the neighboring buildings, the two side walls were required by the Ontario Building Code to be protected with a fire-rating and to limit the area of unprotected openings. To balance this requirement, millwork water features are built along the side walls to add visual and acoustical interest to the space.


Modern Building Renovation

Modern building clad with wood grain and white aluminum panels in front of a dark grey split-faced masonry entry portal
Modern Building Renovation
Orbis Communications
151 John St S, Hamilton
Project: 18M

Prior to Orbis Communications acquiring this existing building in downtown Hamilton, the site was an apartment building with a solid masonry facade having little natural light. The scope of work originally entailed interior alterations to renovate the building from a residential use to a business office use.

However, it became apparent rather quickly during the design phase that the new office would need more natural light. While adding windows to the sides of the building is an obvious solution, it was problematic as the site dimensions were narrow; and, the Ontario Building Code limits the amount of unprotected glazed area relative to a ratio of the wall area and limiting distance to the property lines.

Meaning, to add more windows, those windows would need to be protected with fire-rated shutters (which are unsightly) or fire-rated ceramic glass (which is a premium cost over conventional glazing systems). Acknowledging these limiting factors, it was decided to add a few strategically located fire-rated ceramic glass windows to the sides of building; but to also explore the possibility of improving the appearance of the main building facade with a modern aesthetic. Nicholas Jay Architect developed a solution to re-clad the masonry facade with durable aluminum panels, and to create a large new window as a feature within the stair used by staff to travel between floors.

Learn and see more about the architectural services process behind this project.


All-Glass Entrance Renovation

Viewing the street from the interior lobby through a two storey high frameless all-glass facade with glass doors
All-Glass Entrance Renovation
GWL Realty Advisors
151 Yonge St, Toronto
Project: 18II

GWL Realty Advisors wanted a clear, modern renovation for the existing building lobby at the corner of Yonge & Richmond in downtown Toronto. The inspiration was to establish a comparable aesthetic to the new all-glass towers recently built around the block.

The existing building had a dated, forest-green aluminum storefront system that filled a double-height entry wall to the main lobby. The revolving doors were set into a concave (reverse) niche with storefront entrances to each side.

Nicholas Jay Architect straightened out the niche in the wall; and developed a frame-less, all-glass entrance system to enhance transparency of the lobby. As the system spans a double height space, structural glass backup fins with spider connections join the point-loaded large format glass panels. New stainless steel door portals were provided to conceal the required automatic door operator and accommodate the actuator devices and fire alarm stations.


Architectural Stair

Gunmetal steel stair with continuous bent plate treads and risers with expanded metal lath guards and hardwood handrail
Architectural Stair
121 Bloor St E, Toronto
Project: 18DD

When Arup planned to relocate their office, they found a prime space in a downtown Toronto high-rise building that was stacked over four storeys. The design team's open concept office plan centered around the ideas of employee engagement and dynamic spaces for collaboration.

A main objective in achieving those ideas was to create a new architectural stair between all four storeys to facilitate employee movement and collaboration between floor areas. The stair would be located adjacent to the reception area and other collaboration areas, such as open break areas and conference rooms. Given this prominent location, the stair was paired with a feature wall which served as a guard along one edge of the floor opening.

Nicholas Jay Architect developed the stair's architectural details to fit the open office's concept of an exposed ceiling structure and modern lines of steel and glass. The stair's thin edge profile took form from a continuous bent steel plate supported over a central stringer. The steel plate stair treads were finished with a hardwood runner. Expanded metal mesh guards aligned with the armature of the wood panels on the feature wall, which were perforated in a pixel-like pattern of an abstract photograph stretched through all four storeys.

View more photographs of this project and others on Architizer.


Change of Use & Renovation

Exterior corner of modern building with dark grey vertical channel metal cladding and white stucco at second storey
Change of Use & Renovation for Laboratory
Bio-Techne Canada
21 Canmotor Ave, Toronto
Project: 19CC

Bio-Techne acquired a recently renovated building intended for an open office use. However, as a laboratory, they needed to undertake a Change of Use to upgrade certain building features for compliance with Ontario Fire Code (OFC) and Ontario Building Code (OBC).

Nicholas Jay Architect assisted in three phases. First, a preliminary building assessment identified the main challenges in adapting the building for Bio-Techne's use. This allowed Bio-Techne to make an informed decision to proceed with the acquisition. Second, an assessment of the chemicals used in the laboratory to identify special hazard requirements of the OFC, which in turn relate to fire-separation requirements in the OBC. Third, implementation of the Building Permit and General Review for their Change of Use and overall Renovation of the building.


Request a Consultation

Not ready for a Free Consultation? Learn Why You Should.