WaterfrontToronto has unveiled plans for Bayside, its largest makeover yet, a 4 hectare (10 acre) parcel on the south side of Queens Quay Boulevard between Sherbourne and Parliament Streets. The winning proponent from a short list of 4 bidders is the American developer Hines. Hines' portfolio includes 675 buildings around the world, including the Atrium On Bay in Toronto. To assist them in creating 2 million square feet of space at Bayside, Hines has hired Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects of New Haven, CT, headed by world renowned AIA Gold Medal winner Cesar Pelli, along with Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut & Kuhn Architects, of New York, NY, and Toronto-based Adamson Associates Architects.

Plan of Toronto's East Bayfront with labelsPlan of Toronto's East Bayfront with labels

The rendering above shows more than just the Bayside property, so we have outlined the area in question in red, and labeled significant sites around it. For example, you will note in the background Moshe Safdie's diagonally striated tower for Great Gulf that was announced earlier this year and which is going ahead separately. So, let's zoom in a bit closer to Bayside. The buildings rendered here are concept design only, and are not at the detail design stage yet, but they represent about 2 million square feet of space, 70% of which will be about 1700 residential units. Two buildings facing Queens Quay Blvd. will be offices, while much of the ground level units across the site will be retail and restaurant uses. Day care, a fitness club, and possibly a library are also included in the plans. Streets are short to keep winds from building, and to keep cars from racing through the neighbourhood.

Plan of Toronto's East BayfrontPlan of Toronto's East Bayfront

Before we zoom in further for more detail though, here's a reminder of the site's current context, or at least the site as it was in the spring:

Toronto's East Bayfront in its current stateToronto's East Bayfront in its current state

Here it is in its broader context:

Context plan for Toronto's East BayfrontContext plan for Toronto's East Bayfront

And here's the local plan:

Plan for Toronto's East BayfrontPlan for Toronto's East Bayfront

Ground level land uses will be as such:

Plan for Toronto's East Bayfront with labelsPlan for Toronto's East Bayfront with labels

This rendering portrays Phase 1 of the project along the east side of Sherbourne Common in the summer, fall, and winter. (Imagine spring on your own.) Residential units will be built in the podium and mid-rise portions of the buildings pictured, with mostly retail and restaurant space at ground level. Note 'Bayside Hall', a climate controlled space between the two buildings which will provide public access from the Common through the block to Bonnycastle Street year round. Bayside Hall will be a place to escape the heat or the cold or the wet on extreme-weather days, and will provide food service and convenience shops for the public. Just outside the hall is Sherbourne Common's Pavilion.

Rendering of the Sherbourne Commons in summerRendering of the Sherbourne Commons in summer

Rendering of the Sherbourne Commons in fallRendering of the Sherbourne Commons in fall

Rendering of the Sherbourne Commons in winterRendering of the Sherbourne Commons in winter

East of these buildings is Bonnycastle Street, the neighbourhood's Main Street. It will be "double loaded" - shops on both sides - and will make for the lively, public heart of the area. Here is Bonnycastle looking south, day and evening:

Rendering of Bonnycastle Street in the dayRendering of Bonnycastle Street in the day

Rendering of Bonnycastle Street in the eveningRendering of Bonnycastle Street in the evening

East of Bonnycastle Street, the next opening from the neighbourhood to the lake is at the quieter Aitken Place Park. The renderings below picture it in summer and fall:

Aitken Park Place and the promenade in the summerAitken Park Place and the promenade in the summer

Aitken Park Place and the promenade in the fallAitken Park Place and the promenade in the fall

Rendering of the East Bayfront skylineRendering of the East Bayfront skyline

So we end for now with a view over Bayside back toward the downtown skyline, but do look for a video of the whole site here. Once it goes up on YouTube we will link it directly. All renderings courtesy of Hines. First image annotated by UrbanToronto.

posted: 2010-08-19 14:31:50