A community meeting was held on April 10 to address plans for a new condominium development at 36-60 McCaul Street, one block south of OCAD University's Will Alsop-designed Sharp Centre for Design, and kitty-corner to Frank Gehry's blue-titanium covered AGO Modern Art tower through Grange Park.

36 McCaul Toronto Aerial View from Apple Maps, modified by Craig WhiteAerial View from Apple Maps, modified by Craig White

Tridel is partnering with Osmington Inc. for this project, a company headed by Canadian billionaire and media magnate, David Thomson. Development interest for this site has been around for over 10 years. A design charrette has been working with community groups (Grange Community, University Settlement) for the past 2 years or so, resulting in an architectsAlliance-designed proposal seeking 15-storeys and approximately 230 residential units.

36-60 McCaul, Initial Renderings courtesy of architectsAlliance and Tridel36-60 McCaul, Initial Renderings courtesy of architectsAlliance and Tridel

Peter Clewes of architectsAlliance was on hand at the meeting to present the proposed design. The new building will be situated on the south end portion of the site. Plans call for 10-metre setbacks along McCaul Street, creating a plaza for pedestrians and enhancing public space along that frontage. The deisgn is marked by undulating precast fins projecting from floor-to-ceiling window frames. Balconies also undulate on the building's west facade.

The north portion of the site will be privately held but publicly accessible and will feature an interim art garden available to the public, a space where the Thomson family has long-range plans for a permanent gallery to display their art collection.

36-60 McCaul, Initial Renderings courtesy of architectsAlliance and Tridel36-60 McCaul, Initial Renderings courtesy of architectsAlliance and Tridel

The north end public space will feature urban landscaping, and potential for sculptures and performance areas. Underneath the space would be an underground 3-storey art research facility. Mr. Clewes mentioned ideas for an elevator from the surface which would access the underground facility. The plaza along with the garden will create a pedestrian gateway into the adjacent Grange Park.

36-60 McCaul, Initial Renderings courtesy of architectsAlliance and Tridel36-60 McCaul, Initial Renderings courtesy of architectsAlliance and Tridel

Retail is not being explored for grade level of the condo, rather, there are plans for lobby space dedicated to the display of artwork, a recurring theme in new developments centred around the rapidly expanding AGO-OCAD U area.

While an Osmington representative at the meeting stated that there are plans for an eventual gallery to display David Thomson's art collection on the site, the Thomson family have not made public the timeframe they have in mind for the project. Thomson's collection is known to contain Picasso, and the world's largest trove of John Constable paintings.

EDIT: An earlier version of this article included a reference to a design created by Drew Mandel Architects for the eventual Thomson Gallery. DMA is no longer associated with the project.

With details still emerging about these new proposals, we will be sure to return with updates as soon as more information becomes available to us. In the meantime, check out the dataBase pages below (containing more renderings of both projects) or choose the related forum threads to join in the discussion.