A plan to redevelop the Toronto Star lands at the base of Yonge Street continues to evolve as developer Pinnacle International and their architects Hariri Pontarini move closer to finalizing a plan with the City of Toronto. In response to talks with City Planning and with Waterfront Toronto, and in particular with their Design Review Panel, the proposal has morphed from the initial plan with 7 proposed towers to one with 5 towers. Arranged in two blocks—one block on either side of an eastwards extension of Harbour Street—3 residential towers are proposed to rise from a two-storey shared retail podium on the north block, while 2 office towers, one of which will incorporate the existing Toronto Star Tower, will rise from a shared retail podium on the south block.

1 - 7 Yonge Street, Toronto, by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle InternationalTowers of the 1 Yonge redevelopment rising amongst other proposals and existing Toronto surroundings, image courtesy of Pinnacle International

The development is one of three major properties that make up the City of Toronto's Lower Yonge Precinct, a master plan for which is currently being finalized by the Planning Department. The precinct includes the land south of the Gardiner Expressway, east of Yonge Street, north of Queens Quay, and west of Jarvis Street. The middle portion of the block is known as the LCBO Lands, currently for sale by the Ontario Government, while the east portion is home to a Loblaws store. Both the LCBO Lands and the Loblaws store are expected to be redeveloped in the coming years, with Harbour Street being extended all the way east to Jarvis to serve the new developments.

1 - 7 Yonge Street, Toronto, by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle International1 - 7 Yonge and the Lower Yonge Precinct Area, image courtesy of Pinnacle International

To the south of the Lower Yonge Precinct are the Pier 27 development (on the west) and the Redpath Sugar Refinery (on the east). To separate the refinery from new residential development, the City is planning for a park on the north side of Queens Quay immediately east of the Pinnacle redevelopment, and office buildings further east. The proposed park—only a concept plan at this point—is seen below with the 1 - 7 Yonge towers as a landmark backdrop.

1 - 7 Yonge Street, Toronto, by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle InternationalPark view with 1- 7 Yonge towers rising behind, image courtesy of Pinnacle International

On the left half of the image is a multi-volume office tower planned for the southeast corner of the site. Behind it (and behind the tree) can be seen the existing Toronto Star building, now incorporated into a taller office building. The right half of the image includes three residential towers, of 65, 95, and 80 storeys. The tallest of the towers is planned for where Yonge and Harbour Streets meet. While a previous plan had a passageway running diagonally from Yonge and Lake Shore southeast through the block towards the park, the current plan replaces that with a north-south interior passageway to link the two sides of the development, favouring Harbour Street as the east-west link between the new neighbourhood to the east and the developing South Core to the west.  

1 - 7 Yonge Street, Toronto, by Hariri Pontarini for Pinnacle InternationalThe plan for the buildings at 1 - 7 Yonge, image courtesy of Pinnacle International

Retail is planned for most of the project's grade level frontages to enliven the streets, while a new community centre will take up much of the second floor of the north block podium kitty corner from the proposed park.

Finalized plans are still some months away. While the City and the developer continue to talk, a second OMB pre-hearing is scheduled for May 2016 with the hearing planned for October 2016. If an agreement is worked out between the parties in advance, an OMB event may simply be used to ratify the agreement. Want to know more about the redevelopment at 1-7 Yonge in the meantime? UrbanToronto's dataBase file for the proposal includes renderings of earlier versions. You can see them by clicking below, or visit the associated Forum thread to get in on the discussion of the project. You may also leave a comment in the space provided on this page.