UPDATE: Higher quality 'Top-down' rendering replaces fourth image in the story below.

Pinnacle International knows they have one of the great redevelopment sites in Toronto. We got a strong hint of that in early January of this year when we saw the first leaked rendering of their project on the Toronto Star lands at the base of Yonge Street. Two months later the first polished renderings of the project's street realm showed that architect Hariri Pontarini had been told to make this a landmark. It's two months later again, and the newest renderings confirm that neither company is playing around: 1, 3, 5, and 7 Yonge is being designed to amaze.

Welcome to a new dawn breaking over Toronto.

Redeveloping the Toronto Star, by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle InternationalRedeveloping the Toronto Star lands, designed by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle International

New skyline at the Toronto Star, by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle InternationalThe new skyline for the Toronto Star lands, designed by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle International

New skyline at the Toronto Star, by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle InternationalThe new skyline for the Toronto Star lands, designed by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle International

Top down at 7 Yonge Street, by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle InternationalTop down at 7 Yonge Street, designed by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle International


Modern tracery designed by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle InternationalScultped modern tracery mid-tower on the Toronto Star lands, designed by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle International

Street realm at 5 and 7 Yonge, by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle InternationalStreet realm at 5 and 7 Yonge Street, by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle International

Toronto Star Building boosted 10 storeys by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle IntlThe Toronto Star building is boosted by 10 storeys by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle International

We know that not everyone wants to go where Pinnacle and Hariri would take us. From the surfacing of the earliest renderings for this project, the local residents' association have made it known that they take a dim view of the amount of development proposed for this site. They are worried that the density will choke the area beyond its ability to cope with every type of traffic; that both area sidewalks and streets will be pushed beyond their carrying capacity. Toronto's Planning Department would have rathered that this proposal had come after a local area study was complete, but the proposal is before the City now. It proposes a standardized local grid of streets through the extension of Harbour Street eastwards and the reworking of Lake Shore Boulevard eastbound. The first phases of the project would be complete after the completion of work to double capacity at nearby Union Station, while a new arm of the PATH network is proposed to expand local pedestrian infrastructure. The City's study will aim to determine just what the area's future transportation capacity could be.

Community consultations will come as the planning process for the site kicks into gear. Like the extraordinary Mirvish+Gehry proposal a kilometre away on King Street, 1 through 7 Yonge is a sign that Toronto is playing in a bigger league than it was just a couple of years ago.

Whatever eventually happens here, it's clear that there has never been a more exciting time to be a Toronto-watcher. This is quite the ride we're on!

Want to dive into more renderings? Choose the dataBase entry for the project, linked below. Choose the associated Forum thread links to get in on the conversation, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.