This edition of our Growth to Watch For series explores development at the eastern edge of Downtown Toronto along the Church and Jarvis Street corridors between Bloor Street and The Esplanade. With redevelopment on the west side of Downtown having picked up steam earlier, a shortage of redevelop-able space there now means that large-scale projects are now coming en masse to the less dense neighbourhoods along Church and Jarvis on the east side of Downtown.
Aided by proximity to transit, the characteristically historic and small-scale east side is about to see a host of new towers rising into the sky. The diverse area incorporates heritage properties galore as it covers formerly wealthy neighbourhoods from Toronto's younger days toward the north, and the historic heart of the city toward the south, with important historic landmarks such as the Allan Gardens, St. James Cathedral, and the St. Lawrence Market dotting the landscape throughout. In the midst of it all lies the rapidly expanding campus of Ryerson University, looking to further assert its influence in the downtown after the highly successful opening of the Ryerson Student Learning Centre.
Our journey begins at Carlton Street, travelling south along Jarvis to The Esplanade, before heading north along Church back up to Bloor. We will take you through all the major projects along this stretch, including buildings currently under construction or nearing completion; approved projects waiting to get started; and early proposals working their way through the planning process.
Jarvis Street Corridor
Starting at the intersection of Carlton and Jarvis, a few years ago Duration Investments proposed a 43-storey condo tower designed by Quadrangle Architects at 308-314 Jarvis Street. Across from the historic Allan Gardens, a recent fire destroyed a designated heritage building currently occupying the site. Early plans and renderings for the new tower incorporate the heritage structure as part of the new development, but there was discussion whether the building would have to be moved on the site to make the proposal work. It is yet unclear how the fire will affect the proposal moving forward. Initially rejected by City Council, an OMB hearing for this project is scheduled for March 2017, so it may be some time yet before we have some answers.
The intersection of Jarvis and Dundas East is set for some intense densification in the near future, with seven development sites bunched around the busy crossroads, three of which are currently under construction. Starting at the northwest corner, Ryerson University purchased two surface parking lots back in 2013, but has yet to submit its proposals for the sites. The first property is a modest 750-square-metre lot on the northwest corner of Dundas and Mutual, while the second lot is located directly on the northwest corner of Dundas and Jarvis, and is rumoured to be the future location of a new Faculty of Science Building. Hopefully some updates surface on these two development sites in the coming year.
On the northeast corner of Dundas and Jarvis, Gupta Group's Dundas Square Gardens celebrated its groundbreaking ceremony back in October, with demolition now underway on the interiors of the existing Hilton Garden Inn that currently occupies the site. The development will see a 45-storey Page + Steele / IBI Group-designed tower erected on the property, adding 978 condo units to the busy intersection.
Across the street from Dundas Square Gardens, CentreCourt is proposing Grid Condos, a 50-storey condo tower located on the southeast corner of Dundas and Jarvis. Designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, the tower looks to add 563 residential units with amenities catering to students and the nearby Ryerson crowd. This project has recently been redesigned following a bump in the road at the OMB, which rejected the initial proposal last summer due to its proximity to Amexon's neighbouring Grand Hotel redevelopment. CentreCourt now has OMB approval however, and are proceeding. An announcement of changes to the initial proposal is expected in the coming weeks.
Amexon's initial proposal to redevelop the Grand Hotel property—adding a 45-storey condo tower to the site while maintaining and renovating the existing 13-storey hotel—may change somewhat as well, and we should know in what ways later this year too. Designed by Core Architects, a rendering looking southwest across George Street from a recent public consultation highlights the podium at the base of the two conjoined Grand Hotel towers.
Moving across to the west side of Jarvis Street, Pace Condos by Great Gulf is just wrapping up construction on the 42-storey condo tower. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the 272-unit building is expected to be completed soon. Clad in slate gray bricks with splashes of colour throughout, Pace has already made its presence known as one of the first of many towers to rise on the east side of downtown.
A few lots south of Pace Condos, excavation is well underway for Ryerson University's student residence at 186-188 Jarvis Street. Designed by IBI Group, the 30-storey tower will be replacing a surface parking lot with some much-needed living space for Ryerson's growing student population. With the the tower's crane having been raised in the time since the image below was taken, look for this project to rise above the ground later in 2016.
Adjacent to Ryerson's student residence development, another condo tower is working its way through the planning process with Tribute Communities and Greybrook Capital's 81 Mutual. The 38-storey building designed by Graziani + Corazza Architects looks to add 349 new units to the densifying area, once again targeting Ryerson's chronic lack of student housing. This building is working its way through the planning process.
Just to the south on the same block, also working its way through planning and heading for sales soon, The Sher Corporation is looking to add another condo tower at 71 Mutual. The 32-storey highly-articulated building by RAW Design proposes to add 275 more residential units to the quickly-gentrifying neighbourhood.
Two proposals near the intersection of George and Richmond Streets have been floating around for the past few years, but seem to be on hold with no recent updates. Trolleybus Developments is looking to add a 20-storey condo building at 129-151 George Street, while just to the east, Lamb Developments has proposed a stylish 18-storey condo building at 231 Richmond Street East. Hopefully we'll hear some news on these two projects in the coming year.
Moving south along Jarvis, a landmark project is slowly coming along at the St. Lawrence Market North redevelopment on the corner of Jarvis and Front Street. With the north market relocated to its temporary site last year, archaeological work has been ongoing and will wrap up shortly, with demolition of the existing building expected mid this year. Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners with Adamson Associates, the project looks to replace the aging north market building with a multi-use complex providing space for the weekend farmers and antiques markets, court rooms, offices, and an underground parking garage.
Church Street Corridor
Jumping west to the base of Church Street, Harhay Developments and Carterra's proposal for 75 The Esplanade is in the early stages of planning. The proposal would see a 34-storey 350-unit condo tower designed by architectsAlliance erected on the surface parking lot currently occupying the site.
A couple blocks north, construction is progressing on Freed Developments and Carterra's Sixty Colborne, a 25-storey condo tower rising on the southwest corner of Church and King Streets. Designed by architectsAlliance, the unique building will feature a laneway passing through the podium, and visual references to the iconic St. James Cathedral on the opposite corner of the intersection. With construction well underway on the below-grade levels, look for this tower to rise above ground later this year.
A proposal by St. Thomas Developments looks to fill in one of the largest remaining surface parking lots in the downtown area at 88 Queen East. Designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, the complex comprises four towers at 27, 29, 29 and 58 storeys, with an extensive public realm that includes a new city park and privately-owned public space. The first phase of the project, dubbed 88 North, is currently working its way through planning and into sales, and would see the northernmost 27-storey tower constructed along Shuter Street.
Just across the street from 88 Queen East, CentreCourt Developments' Core Condos is currently under construction at the corner of Shuter and Dalhousie Streets. The 24-storey tower designed by Architecture Unfolded and Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects includes amenities catered to the local student population. Currently rising several floors above grade, expect this tower to top off sometime mid this year.
On the southwest corner of Church and Shuter Streets, an aging proposal by Lancer Developments would see an under-utilized parcel of land behind the historic Metropolitan United Church developed into a 37-storey residential tower, dubbed The Metropolitan. The prime piece of real estate, sandwiched between the United Church and St. Michael's Cathedral, has been the subject of speculation for some time now, but no updates have surfaced recently on the status of the proposed tower.
Moving north to Church and Dundas, a proposal currently working its way through planning would see a 46-storey residential tower by Pemberton Group constructed on the southeast corner of the intersection at 215-229 Church Street. Featuring a striking pattern of balconies by RAW Design, the building would add 212 units with ground level retail in a 4-storey podium.
Work is rapidly progressing on yet another Ryerson University expansion, with excavation well underway at the site of the new Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex, which replaces a surface parking lot on Church Street just north of Dundas. Designed by Perkins + Will, the 27-storey building will add 18,600 square metres of new space for the expanding institution, and will house Ryerson's School of Nutrition, School of Occupational and Public Health, Daphne Coxwell School of Nursing, and Midwifery Education program, among others.
Just south of Carlton Street, the intersection of Church and McGill Streets is slated to become a very dense node along the Church corridor, with three development sites on three of its corners. The first site, currently undergoing excavation, is Tridel's Alter, a 33-storey condo tower located on the southeast corner. Designed by architectsAlliance, the tower is replacing an existing two-storey commercial building with 340 residential units and new office space with ground-level retail located in a four-storey podium.
Across the street from Alter, 365 Church Condos by Menkes Developments has reached grade level as construction progresses at the northeast corner of Church and McGill Streets. Wach for the 30-storey Wallman Architects-designed tower to rise into the skyline over the course of 2016.
A third development site at the corner of Church and McGill has recently hit a roadblock, with MPAR Development's proposed 32-storey student residence at 412 Church Street being rejected by the OMB earlier this year. The SvN-designed tower would have replaced an existing surface parking lot, but evidently significant design changes are forthcoming, so stay tuned for more updates on this development as they arise.
Jumping to the northeast corner of Church and Carlton, Tribute Communities' Stanley condo tower has now entered sales, as the curvy 37-storey building designed by Core Architects slowly works its way through the design and planning process.
At the north end of the same block as the Stanley, a proposal for another tower was announced late last year by CentreCourt Developments. Located on the southeast corner of Church and Wood Streets at 411 Church, the 45-storey Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects-designed condo tower would replace a surface parking lot with 583 residential units, and features an undulating pattern of balconies above ground-level retail in a seven-storey podium. We have yet to hear from the City regarding what they think of the height of this proposal.
Further north at Church and Wellesley, Aragon Properties' Eighty One Wellesley is going into sales for their 28-storey condo tower. Designed by Core Architects, another story published today details this development further.
Travelling north to the intersection of Church and Isabella, the densification of a former tower-in-the-park is currently wrapping up construction at 66 Isabella. The new 26-storey building designed by Quadrangle Architects is an addition to the existing rental apartment building occupying the site, and adds 211 new rental units to the property.
Wrapping up our tour of the Church and Jarvis corridors, three more development sites deserve mentioning toward the north end of Church Street. First, a reported land assembly from Edmonton-based WAM Development Group at the northwest corner of Church and Wellesley. Next, the Beer Store property to the immediate north at 572 Church was purchased by a developer last year, though no news has come forward yet regarding a proposal for the site. Further north at the corner of Charles and Church Streets, an application for a 52-storey tower, dubbed The Manhattan, at 68 Charles East is currently sitting with City Planning. We expect to hear more about The Manhattan soon, but do not know when to expect plans for the other two mentioned here.
Finally, the property at 61-63 Charles Street East that currently has a three-storey rental building on it has reportedly been sold to a developer, with no news yet on a proposal. Check back for more details on these potential developments as updates become available!
Our Growth to Watch For series will continue soon with an overview of the development coming to the Bloor-Yorkville area. To catch up with our series so far, check out our previous Growth to Watch For stories from around the city.
What do you think of the projects that are transforming this area? Leave a comment at the bottom of this page, or join in on the conversation on one of our associated Forum threads. For additional information, check out our dataBase files (linked below) and Forum threads.
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