A community consultation was held yesterday evening at the Park Hyatt Hotel on Avenue Road, where new information and images were revealed pertaining to a major redevelopment proposed for the northeast corner of Avenue Rd. and Yorkville Ave. Owned by developer Empire Communities, the project has changed significantly since the original proposal surfaced back in 2012, with two additional iterations of the design being submitted since then, including the latest revision which was revealed to the community yesterday.

33 Avenue Road, Empire Communities, Zeidler Partnership Architects, TorontoRevised design for 33 Avenue Road, image courtesy of Empire Communities

The development site at 33-45 Avenue Road is currently occupied by York Square, a group of seven Victorian houses which were renovated by architects Jack Diamond and Barton Myers in 1968, as the first commercial redevelopment project to be built in the previously Bohemian incarnation of Yorkville. York Square was part of a gentrification process which transformed Yorkville into one of Canada's premier shopping destinations.

The initial proposal for the site back in 2012 called for the demolition of York Square, plans which were unacceptable to local residents and business owners as well as Toronto's City Planning department. The second iteration of the design, in a joint venture with adjacent landowners First Capital Realty, proposed to retain only a portion of the existing York Square facade, and that too met resistance. The release of the third design iteration, with First Capital no longer involved, shows that much more of York Square is to be preserved, maintaining the facades of the existing corner as seen in the rendering below.

33 Avenue Road, Empire Communities, Zeidler Partnership Architects, TorontoRevised design for 33 Avenue Road, facing northeast, image courtesy of Empire Communities

Like the first two iterations of the project, the third has been designed by Zeidler Partnership Architects and Richmond Architects. Though the proposed height of 40 storeys remains the same, the newly revealed design is quite the departure from the earlier proposals. Gone is the gradually curving tower which tapered in height as it ascended, and in its place is a uniquely shaped tower rising from a narrow base, bumping out in spots, and featuring rounded corners reminiscent of Zeidler's work at the Eaton Centre. Bright red accents punctuate the elevations. 

33 Avenue Road, Empire Communities, Zeidler Partnership Architects, TorontoRevised design for 33 Avenue Road, facing northwest, image courtesy of Empire Communities

The podium of the building will feature rounded corners similar to those seen on the tower portion above, as well as warm wood accents. A courtyard facing Yorkville Avenue will be sheltered by a large canopy, featuring circular openings which will allow light to penetrate down to street level. Filled with shops, the development's podium would contain 6,643 square feet of retail space at ground level, while the second and third floors would be fully given over to retail, containing 15,756 square-feet and 13,779 square-feet respectively.

33 Avenue Road, Empire Communities, Zeidler Partnership Architects, TorontoRevised design for 33 Avenue Road, facing north, image courtesy of Empire Communities

In the rendering above, the smaller two-storey structure depicted on the right side of the image will soon be transformed into a southern entrance for the Hazelton Lanes Shopping Centre, now in the process of being rebranded as Yorkville Village by owner First Capital. The upscale shopping centre is undergoing a major revitalization.

33 Avenue Road, Empire Communities, Zeidler Partnership Architects, TorontoRendering of Yorkville Village's future south entrance, image courtesy of Urban Capital

We will keep our eyes out for more news about the 33 Avenue Road development's push through the planning and approvals process. In the meantime, additional information can be found in our dataBase file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment using the space provided at the bottom of this page.