Christopher Hyndman, co-host of the CBC-TV afternoon lifestyles show Steven and Chris, was found dead in Toronto's east end Monday night, police confirm.

"It is with profound sadness that we share the news Christopher Hyndman died," said the public broadcaster in a memo distributed to staff Tuesday afternoon.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to Steven [Sabados], family, friends and colleagues; our thoughts are with them all."

Toronto police told CBC News on Tuesday that Hyndman, 49, was found without vital signs in a laneway near the intersection of Queen Street and Broadview Avenue shortly after 11 p.m. ET Monday. 

CBC arts reporter Eli Glasner said the location was near the apartment where Hyndman lived with Sabados, his off-screen partner and television co-host.

Christopher Hyndman and Steven Sabados

Steven Sabados and Christopher Hyndman on a recent vacation to the Barbados. (CBC/Instagram)

Toronto police Const. Caroline de Kloet said Tuesday afternoon that "out of privacy the Toronto police will not discuss any matter unless there's a criminal element pertaining to a specific person."

Det. Terry Wray said earlier the investigation remains "completely open." He added that police would not comment further until completing interviews. 

The Newfoundland-raised Hyndman joined the Sabados Group design company in 1992. He and Sabados went on to notable success with several programs before appearing on CBC-TV, including the HGTV shows Chic with Steven and Chris, Design Rivals and Designer Guys.

Steven and Chris was launched on CBC-TV in 2008.

Hyndman memorial

The public can sign a book of condolences for Chris Hyndman at CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto on Wednesday. (Sunnie Huang/CBC)

The two were known for their chemistry and cheeky banter. 

Hyndman often played the joker, while the more straitlaced Sabados played up his calm and pragmatic demeanour.

Jennifer Dettman, CBC's executive director, studio and unscripted programming, said those who contributed to the show are reeling from the news of Hyndman's death.

"I think about the loss for Steven, that his partner for 25 years is gone and that our friend is gone. And certainly for the CBC, he will leave a hole. He really touched so many Canadians across this country. We saw the emails day in and day out of what he meant to them."

According to the pair's website, their various television programs have aired in more than 80 countries worldwide and their design work has been featured by Oprah Winfrey. 

CBC's Jennifer Dettman remembers Chris Hyndman2:30

CBC is assessing how to proceed with its daytime programming.

"With today's news of the passing of Chris Hyndman, CBC has decided to adjust the afternoon scheduled programming of Steven and Chris and will determine next steps in the coming days," a network spokesperson said.

A memorial has been set up in the atrium of the CBC's Toronto broadcasting centre for anyone wishing to leave messages, mementos, or flowers to pay tribute to Chris Hyndman. In addition, CBC plans a celebration of his life at a later date.

With files from The Canadian Press