The City of Toronto has received an application for another soaring tower in Toronto's Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood. 80 Bloor Street West, currently an 18-storey office building just west of Bay Street, is owned by the Krugarand Corporation. The building contains 204,000 square feet of office space on approximately 11,000 square foot floor plates, and currently has a vacancy rate of approximately 20%.
The building's floor plate is considered a bit small for most companies these days: typically firms like to consolidate as many people as they can on one floor. Of the 26 office buildings along this stretch of Bloor in fact, only 4 have smaller floor plates than 80 Bloor West, which makes this property more of a challenge to lease. Krugarand's solution is a proposal to replace the office tower with a condominium on the site. While the City of Toronto is generally not in favour of the conversion of employment land uses to residential, Krugarand argues that removing the office inventory from this stretch of Bloor Street will have an insignificant negative impact on the area as a whole, which has not seen substantial leasing interest in the last few years.
Krugarand's proposed replacement is a soaring 66-storey design by architectsAlliance, notable for its two canted volumes, each kinked in the middle, and slanting in opposite directions. It's an understated but still quite dramatic gesture that plays on the classic box, that, while it breaks the mould with a sly wink, still adheres to the principles of minimalism and still celebrates the clean lines of the box.
The City has begun its review of the application, which will include public consultations in the coming months. A number of studies have already been submitted to the city concerning the proposal, and they can be found on the City's Yorkville Development Web Portal on this page for anyone who wants to pore over the nitty-gritty details.
We will follow up as more information becomes available on the project. In the meantime, if you want to know more about 80 Bloor Street West, our dataBase file for the project, linked below, has several close-up renderings, elevations, and section plans not included in this article. Want to talk about 80 Bloor West? Choose the associated Forum thread link to get in on the discussion, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.