A proposed development submitted in 2013 by Great Gulf Homes for the northeast corner of Adelaide and Parliament Streets in Corktown has since undergone a dramatic design transformation. Previously encompassing 48 Power Street and 125 Parliament Street, the latest iteration now spans the entire city block, bounded by Richmond Street to the north, and now includes Hullmark as a joint venture partner.
The lots at 48-54 Power and 113-135 Parliament are currently occupied by an eclectic mix of buildings: a three-storey newspaper plant on the corner of Power and Adelaide; a private parking lot on the site's southwest quadrant; a three and a half storey apartment building fronting Parliament; a Hertz Equipment Rentals building; a two-storey auto dealer on Richmond; and two semi-detached homes hosting three rental units on Power. The previous proposal, designed by TACT Architecture, had only imagined building on the properties where the newspaper plant, parking lot, and apartment complex are now located.
The initial zoning application by Great Gulf proposed a 22-storey residential building inclusive of a six-storey podium. A revised proposal in April 2014 was submitted to the City, increasing the number of units from 431 to 446, but eliminating one storey from the tower. In November 2015, another revised amendment to the zoning bylaw was submitted by Great Gulf and Hullmark, who had purchased the remaining properties on the block.
The application now asks for the original 22 storeys across a much larger site, with an increase to 532 units — of which 10 percent will have three bedrooms — and 6,187 square metres of retail space. The 77.5-metre-high development, excluding the 6.5-metre mechanical portion, has a Gross Floor Area of 47,329 square metres with a density 10.5 times the area of the site. Current but outdated zoning only specifies a 23-metre building height. The 15 rental units in the semi-detached homes and apartment building will be replaced and accommodated within the new development, meeting the housing policies outlined in the Official Plan. A four-level underground parking garage housing 499 vehicular stalls and 606 bicycle spaces has also been proposed with access off Richmond.
The newest version moves away from the more slender point tower predecessor in favour of a significantly bulkier U-shaped design by Core Architects. Two connected wings of 15 storeys each frame the north and south edges of the site. A seven-storey block perched above sits perpendicular to the two wings. The alternating white and black facade allows for a softer look at street level, where expansive windows invite entry. Smaller retail units will be included on the ground floor of the four-storey podium, while the level above features a single large space suited to a grocery store. Over 2,000 square metres of amenities are planned for the fourth floor, to be divided nearly evenly between indoor and outdoor programs. A pool and seating areas are envisioned alongside the podium green roof, while a fitness centre, spa and party room may be included indoors.
At 21 metres tall, the podium is in line with the height of nearby warehouse properties. It is planned to be built to the Adelaide, Parliament and Richmond lot lines, leaving room on the Power Street frontage to accommodate the residential entrance, a forecourt, alcoves, and a potential restaurant patio. The ground level is setback from the street to allow six-metre sidewalks on all sides. Landscaping by Ferris + Associates includes street trees planned along Adelaide, providing contrast to the paving treatment surrounding the structure. An extension of the paving across Power Street to Orphan’s Green could be implemented as part of the upcoming Section 37 benefits to be negotiated.
The planning rationale available on the City's website makes mention of the nearby approved, proposed and completed developments that have been redefining the building typologies present in the area. Of particular interest is the completed 15-storey King East to the south and the upcoming East United development just across Parliament, which tops out at a comparable 21 storeys.
The Tall Building Design Guidelines recommend a floor plate size of 750 square metres, though City staff had requested an "elongated building form" for the site, and the end design does not strictly meet the suggested guidelines. The combination of setbacks and the articulation of each wing could help mitigate any issues arising from the large floor plates.
The physical tower separation between this proposal and East United exceeds the 25-metre minimum outlined in the guidelines. The two elongated wings are positioned 21 metres from one another in the middle of the site, and while the northern wing sits parallel to Richmond, the southern block is angled away from the centre, thus allowing for a greater separation closer to Parliament of 42 metres.
The property's inclusion in the King-Parliament Secondary Plan means City staff will have to look at the development from an additional planning lens. West of Power Street, the Jarvis-Parliament Regeneration Area seeks a range of uses, encouraging investment, intensification, and growth. The plan also identifies Parliament as a 'Special Street' for its "unique physical characteristics" and role in connecting the waterfront to areas of new development, such as Regent Park. This stretch of Parliament particularly lacks a strong public realm, as parking lots form gaps in the streetscape and adjacent low-rise structures provide little in the way of urbanity.
Further details should reveal themselves through public consultations and as the proposal makes its way through the planning process. Until then, check out the images in the dataBase file below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Visit the associated Forum thread or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.To request more info directly from home: Power and Adelaide click here