11 Nov A brainstorm to raise the roof

Blue Diamond condo will see Deer Park United church transformed into open-air public courtyard

Donald Schmitt wasn’t sure what to do with the old church.

The esteemed architect and his team were brainstorming ideas: How to incorporate the decommissioned Deer Park United Church into plans for a new, 28-storey glass condo tower, , Blue Diamond.

“We were scratching our heads for a while,” says Schmitt, a principal with Diamond Schmitt Architects, about the lovely granite church that’s stood at the corner of St. Clair Ave. W and Foxbar Rd., a block west of Avenue Rd., for nearly 100 years but has been vacant for the past few.

Blue Diamond is the second phase of Camrost-Felcorp’s Imperial Plaza development. Phase one involved the redevelopment of the adjacent 21-storey Imperial Oil Building — built in 1957 — into a 400-unit condo. This is the third project in the area for Camrost-Felcorp, which several years ago completed The Avenue, a 73-unit condo on the southwest side of St. Clair and Avenue Rd.