Eva Smith was an ordinary woman with an extraordinary legacy. An immigrant to Canada from Jamaica, her tireless work for homeless youth led to the creation of a series of shelters throughout Toronto. Among them, Eva’s Phoenix was launched after her death in 1993 to provide high school– and college-age girls and boys safe transitional housing and the skills they need to find long-term accommodations and employment.
When plans emerged to convert the building that housed Eva’s Phoenix into condominiums, the organization tapped Toronto-based LGA Architectural Partners (LGA) to design a new space within a 1932 waterworks warehouse and office building in the city’s rapidly gentrifying Fashion District. (A Shim-Sutcliffe designed Ace Hotel is under construction across the street.) Part of a larger commercial and residential development on the edge of St. Andrew’s Park, Eva’s received a portion of the Art Deco building from the city, and will share it with a giant food hall and a YMCA.