Yesterday Pinnacle International submitted to the City its plans for a landmark project located on the Toronto Star lands at the foot of Yonge Street. UrbanToronto first reported on this project when early conceptual renderings were leaked by an insider on January 3rd of this year. Since that time plans for the expansive site have evolved in terms of the architectural expression, the public realm encircling the buildings, the make-up of the components, and of the massing of the components of the site.

Pinnacle knows that they have a crucial site here at the heart of Toronto's waterfront. While local residents may have concerns about the traffic that would be generated by a significant development here (where in this city is this not a question?), Torontontians on a whole have registered a desire for years now that the area at the base of the city's main drag should reflect the growing confidence and pride they feel for Toronto. Civic boosters want a landmark project where Yonge Street meets Lake Ontario, and they have been waiting a long time for something that would fit the bill. With Pinnacle's new submission for the site, it looks like the company is stepping up to the plate to create the kind of destination that many crave.

When the plan was first uncovered, five new buildings were being considered with one of them as high as 98 storeys. That plan has evolved into six new buildings with the tallest now at 88 storeys. We have not obtained an up-to-date rendering of the who proposal, but we do have a number of new renderings from Hariri Pontarini Architects which show off the attention to detail being paid by the renowned firm to the public realm surrounding the base of the complex. Work by landscape architects NAK Design Strategies is also on display in the renderings.

Here's what is currently on the site…

Current conditions from a similar perspective, image from Google StreetviewCurrent conditions from a similar perspective, image from Google Streetview

And here's the plan:

Proposed 1 Yonge plan by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle International, TorontoLooking south along Yonge towards the harbour, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects

Crossing the street and turning back towards the development, one would see this perspective looking south: (click on any of the images to see them larger)

Proposed 1 Yonge plan by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle International, TorontoLooking south along Yonge towards the harbour from underneath the Gardiner, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects

The 1 Yonge proposal features extensive retail frontage on the first two floors of the complex, above which a sheltering glass canopy hangs, deflecting wind and rain away from the base of the towers. Seen in the image above are partial views of five of the seven total towers planned for the site. Currently one large city block, the site would be divided into two with an eastly extension of Harbour Street one block past Yonge to Freeland.

On the south block, in the right background of the image above would be the Toronto Star building, extended skyward with new floors up top, plus a new 40-storey office tower (hidden behind other towers in this image), and a 70-storey tower with a hotel component, the bottom portion of which is seen in the image above, and new since the initial plans for the site.

On the north block would be four residential towers of 75, 80, 80, and 88 storeys, three of which are glimpsed above. The residential towers would surround a tree-lined courtyard featuring woonerf-style access to the complex, a space shared by pedestrians and vehicles. Human-scaled woonerfs are a recent phenomenon originating in the Netherlands which are gaining popularity in progressive urban developments across the world.

Proposed 1 Yonge plan by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle International, TorontoCourtyard at 1 Yonge Street, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Archtects

In total the development represents 6.3 Million square feet of space. It will be connected via the climate-controlled PATH pedestrian network to Union Station and beyond, linking 1 Yonge to Canada's largest transportation hub. Surrounding sidewalks will help the City realize its goal of providing a wide Yonge Street Promenade connecting all the way from the Financial District to a revitalized Queens Quay (pictured below) and Lake Ontario.
 

Proposed 1 Yonge plan by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle International, TorontoLooking west along Queen's Quay at 1 Yonge Street, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Archtects

Anson Kwok, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Pinnacle International expanded on his company's plans for the site. "We are excited to continue to be a part of the City of Toronto, and especially to its downtown core by creating a milestone project for all the residents of Toronto. Pinnacle International is looking forward to creating a monumental residential, office, retail and hotel destination that will stand the test of time. Our vision includes a variety of mixed-used buildings within a master planned community setting for this vibrant waterfront location. The opportunity for achieving an iconic project at this location is essential to celebrating the positive energy of developing on such a paramount harbourfront area."

With the submission of plans to the City, the planning approvals and public consultation process will commence shortly. UrbanToronto will report again on 1 Yonge once renderings are ready showing more of the project in total. In the meantime, detailed images from the renderings above will be available in the UrbanToronto dataBase page linked below this article. If you are interested in the project, feel free to leave a comment on this page, or get in on the discussion in one of the associated Forum threads linked below.