Redevelopment plans drawn up by Loblaw for the company's former head office and warehouse at Bathurst St. and Lake Shore Blvd. have changed. For over a decade now, the site's future has been in question while Loblaws' plans have failed to satisfy heritage advocates seeking to preserve more of the building. The 1928-built Art Deco structure designed by Sparling, Martin & Forbes has been crumbling in the meantime, with metal straps now holding finials together atop the building.

Loblaws, City of Toronto, Loblaws BathurstLoblaws lakeshore site from the corner of Lake Shore Boulevard and Bathurst St, image courtesy of Google Maps

In 2011 Loblaw Companies Ltd. sought a demolition with facade reconstruction, while heritage advocates have demanded that more than the structure's facade be restored. The development proposal would have seen a Loblaws grocery store occupy newly constructed space behind the reconstructed heritage facade, as testing carried out by the company found that the structure was not sound enough to simply refurbish it.

Loblaws, City of Toronto, Loblaws Bathurst, City of Toronto2011 Plan for the Loblaws lakeshore site, image courtesy of City of Toronto

Permits were issued allowing demolition of single-storey parts of the structure at the north end of the site, which is partially located under the Gardiner Expressway. A month ago Urban Toronto reported that demolition had started on that portion.

Loblaws, City of Toronto, Loblaws BathurstDemolition at the Loblaws Lake Shore site on July 1st 2013, image by Forum member urbandreamer

A revised development application for the site has now been submitted to Toronto's planning department. While many of the details of the application are still to be made public, an 8 storey commercial space is proposed for the southern portion of the site where the current heritage structure currently sits. It would comprise of 21,031 squares meteres of mixed retail and office space with the building facing Lake Shore Boulevard. It can be assumed that the proposal would wrap the lower levels in the reconstructed heritage facade. On the northern portion of the site, two residential towers would rise 37 and 41 storeys respectively. The total residential floor space proposed is 51,830 square meters providing 840 new units. A 5-level underground parking garage on the site would hold 859 spots.

As this story develops, UrbanToronto will keep you up to date. Join the discussion in our Forum to see what other are saying about the latest in the Loblaws Lake Shore saga.