Tridel has big plans for a high-profile but atypical piece of land in Toronto's new southern core area. Located at 120 Harbour Street at 10 York, the triangular property currently sits between the elevated Gardiner Expressway and an eastbound Gardiner off-ramp to Yonge, Bay, and York Streets. Now a parking lot, and formerly the place you'd find your car if you had parked it in a tow-away zone, it's a spot that only a couple of years ago most anyone would have been amazed to hear was going to be developed. With Toronto's hot property market however, and with many surrounding construction sites and plans promising to make the area attractive, 120 Harbour is going to see development, and it's going to be quite a significant one at that.
Tridel has hired a local rising star, Wallman Architects, to create Ten York Street, a tower that will soar to 75 storeys over a wedge-shaped podium. Rudy Wallman designed the recently completed Rêve condominiums for Tridel, a building marked by its striking white-balconies-on-black-windowwall and its dramatic red framing, and has also designed Tridel's 300 Front Street West, a 49-storey tower now under construction.
Ten York Street condos will be situated on a spot that is prominent for anyone driving Downtown on the Gardiner Expressway, or anyone looking toward the city from the islands. The proposed design is marked by some recessed balcony stacks, and vertical stacks of windows which extend in places beyond the building's otherwise flat façades. Tinting vertical bands of certain windows lighter or darker than others will also emphasize the tower's skyscraping 249-metre height. Cladding the protruding stacks in a lighter material is also being considered to ensure that those stacks are legible in daylight hours, as well as the evening hours when interior lights make them more easily discernable.
The current design, still preliminary, shows a street realm predominated by a somewhat pixelated podium with alternating punchouts and randomized coloured glass accents. Not needing windows, it is possible that the podium's cladding may be where the building's public art will be located, and various artists are now being considered. Rising above the traffic, the podium will house some of the building's parking garage, on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors. The garage is proposed to hold 344 cars in total, and will use 5 levels below ground as well. A 5th floor of the podium will house mechanical equipment, while the 6th floor will be the building's amenity level. While the rendering below shows the top of the podium blank now, Janet Rosenberg + Associates are creating a landscape plan for that space.
The building may not remain quite so surrounded by elevated highways by the time it is finished: the City of Toronto has a plan to reconfigure the eastbound off-ramps for Yonge, Bay, and York Streets, and the Planning Department's preffered option is to replace those ramps with one descending to Harbour Street at Simcoe, one block west. This plan would free up more land for the park at York and Harbour Streets, kitty corner from this site to the southeast, and would bring more light to ground level in the area along the south side of Ten York Street condos. The plan to replace the off-ramps still has several hurdles to clear at City Hall.
UrbanToronto's dataBase entry for Ten York Street condos has several more detailed views of the proposal. You can see them by clicking below, or join in the discussion by choosing one of the related forum thread links.