Opting for character over new construction, a medical treatment facility reshapes one of the city’s oldest commercial properties
Photo: Dr. Arjang Yazdani and Alex Yazdani
TURNING A 130-YEAR-OLD building into a modern medical treatment facility is no easy task—just ask Dr. Arjang Yazdani and his wife, Alex, who have recently moved their businesses, Yazdani Plastic Surgery and NorthWest Medica, into the former Gammage Flowers building at the corner of Waterloo and Oxford streets.
After buying the property in 2018, it took a year to have it rezoned for medical use and to do the renovation work, says Alex Yazdani, pointing out some of the more visual changes. “We gutted the main floor back to the original double brick walls, moved the stairs and dug the basement out so it is now three feet deeper.”
The couple also installed structural steel to support the entire building, put separate air conditioning units in each laser treatment room to prevent overheating and installed stainless steel counters, which are more sterile than granite or marble. “We are a medical facility, not a spa,” says Yazdani.
The complementary businesses, which opened in the new location in early July, take up two former retail spaces and a previous upper-level apartment—2,900 square feet in all.
“People don’t need to go anywhere else—there are world-class treatments offered here in London” —Dr. Arjang Yazdani
The main floor houses NorthWest Medica and its four treatment rooms, where three nurses and an esthetician provide non-surgical cosmetic and therapeutic esthetic services, from injectables and laser treatments to medical-grade facials and skincare treatments. The basement is dedicated to storage, a sterilization room and a staff room.
The upper level now has consultations rooms for Dr. Yazdani’s esthetic plastic surgery practice, with an open kitchen/living room space left intact to serve as a waiting room and to host future educational seminars, industry training, customer appreciation and other events. A former loft bedroom that overlooks the living room is now the administrative office.
While the Yazdanis favour a modern look and feel, reflected in design features and fixtures throughout the refurbished space, they did maintain some of the traditional elements of the century home in the upper level, including the fireplace in the waiting room and an exposed wooden beam inscribed with the date 1889 (the building, originally built in the 1880s, once housed a tavern frequented by the Donnelly family).
Dr. Yazdani, who performs reconstructive plastic surgery at London Health Sciences Centre and cosmetic plastic surgery in his private practice, says he is constantly striving to keep up as the industry changes and new products and services are introduced.
“We want to be able to offer a number of different options, but we are constantly cutting through information to ensure that we only offer products and services that are proven and have a real benefit,” he says. “My reputation depends on it.”
There are several excellent plastic surgeons and medi-spas in the city, he continues. “People don’t need to go anywhere else—there are world-class treatments offered here in London.”
Regarding trends, the Yazdanis say anti-aging treatments are commonly requested by the 60-plus demographic, mainly women but also increasingly men. In addition, more and more young people come in as lip injections and other small adjustments have become the new norm. “I think there is reduced stigma around having plastic surgery and other treatments,” says Alex Yazdani.
The couple has also noticed a trend to smaller, preventative procedures and treatments—ongoing maintenance, so to speak—with people opting for small enhancements that may not be obvious instead of large transformative treatments. Kym Wolfe