Plans are in the works for a redevelopment of the lands known as 1 Yonge Street, which is essentially the Toronto Star site at the base of what some people consider the world's longest street. Dubious claims of length aside, the site has a commanding position across from Toronto's harbour in a "picture post card" location that will forever shape the way people perceive the city's skyline. Developer Pinnacle International bought the site last year and has engaged renowned Hariri Pontarini Architects to prepare concept plans for the site.

The Toronto Star building itself at the corner of Yonge and Queens Quay would stay, but everything else on the site, which consists of the former printing plant and newspaper distribution buildings as well as the adjacent parking lots is to be redeveloped. The plans are still preliminary for the site, but the intention is to "go big", and it currently proposes five new towers, the tallest of which is planned at 98 storeys.

UrbanToronto readers have been calling for something special here, and the preliminary concept does not disappoint. While we caution that this plan is not ready for a re-zoning application to the City yet, and it will certainly continue to evolve, it currently calls for the site to be bifurcated by an easterly extension of Harbour Street as far as Freeland Street. South of Harbour Street a new office tower would rise at the corner of Freeland and Queens Quay. This tower appears to be in the mid-30 storey range, and it features faceted façades.

Preliminary massing study for 1 Yonge Street Toronto, image by Hariri PontariniPreliminary massing study for 1 Yonge Street, image by Hariri Pontarini Architects

North of Harbour Street four residential towers would rise, currently proposed at 70, 70, 92, and 98 storeys. Hariri Pontarini’s concept plan shows three angular towers canting out as they rise from a podium at street level, with a more freeform 98-storey tower as the feature in the northwest corner of the site closest to Toronto’s core.

Plans include new retail and restaurant spaces as seen in the street level image below, which looks northwest towards the new office tower across Queens Quay. The existing Toronto Star building is picture in the left background.

Queens Quay view of 1 Yonge Street Toronto, image by Hariri PontariniQueens Quay view of 1 Yonge Street, image by Hariri Pontarini Architects

The plans at this point do not yet represent the proposal which will go to the City. Once the rezoning application is made the City's planning department will review the application in detail, and the public consultation process will begin as well. The City's architectural Design Review Panel will also have input on the plan. Much could change, and likely will, but now you know at least a "blue sky" starting point for the redevelopment of this site.

Please feel free to leave a comment here of course, but if you'd like to get in on the discussion of this project, click on the link to the Projects and Construction Forum thread associated with our dataBase page link below.