Adaptive Reuse: How Dalton Builds Projects that Preserve & Modernize

Updated: Sep 13, 2019

Cities are growing faster than ever and finding spaces suitable for people to live and work is becoming more and more challenging. City planners, developers, architects and building professionals are continuously searching for creative ways for urban areas to grow while trying to retain the unique qualities of buildings and their surrounding spaces.


Adaptive reuse has emerged as one creative solution to achieve this. It’s the process of turning an aging building or property into something new and inspiring that wasn’t originally intended. The idea is that you preserve the interesting, historic features of a building while enhancing other aspects.

One of the world’s most famous examples of adaptive reuse is the Louvre and its famous glass pyramid in Paris, France.



The Louvre and its magnificent glass pyramid is a famous example of an adaptive, reuse project. Photo by Benh LIEU SONG.

In our role as construction manager, Dalton has converted a former bread factory into a film/TV post-production facility, turned a historic distillery into a retail/office space and transformed an abandoned streetcar facility into a hub for community arts and non-profit organizations.


Here’s a brief look at these three adaptive reuse projects:


Stereo D



Stereo D is a production services company that specializes in converting feature films, television productions and commercials into 3D format. In 2016, Dalton successfully realized Stereo D’s vision to transform a heritage property into its new headquarters in Liberty Village, Toronto, ON.


Dalton served as construction manager for the interior renovation of the former Canada Bread building into a modern, creative workspace that included 250 workspaces, a 40-seat theatre, soundproof editing rooms, an IT area, two kitchens and two lounges.


Artscape Wychwood Barns



Artscape Wychwood Barns is a mixed-use centre for artists and environmental organizations, realized through the conversion of an early 20th century street­car repair and maintenance facility in a dense residential neighbourhood in downtown Toronto.


The 60,000 square-foot facility consists of 26 live/work housing units, 15 work studios for local artists, a series of community spaces for arts and environmental groups, and a greenhouse and sheltered garden. The LEED certified building earned four separate awards for its innovation in design and green building techniques.


Stone Distillery



The Stone Distillery project featured the redevelopment and restoration of a five-story, century-old limestone and brick building located in the landmark Distillery District of Toronto. The $4.9M project was completed within 14 months.


The historically designated facade was restored, including a complete overhaul of the original window and door systems.

The existing timber structure, internal grain bins and conveyors were reconfigured to accommodate multiple tenant occupancy. Throughout the project, Dalton ensured historic equipment and artifacts were salvaged for reuse or display.


Here's a snapshot of three more adaptive reuse projects that Dalton has completed:


Little Trinity Church


Artscape Youngplace


Young Centre for the Performing Arts