At the southwest corner of The Esplanade and Church in Downtown Toronto, one of the core's last remaining surface parking lots is set to welcome new urban density. First proposed last year, Harhay and Carttera's condominium at 75 The Esplanade was envisioned as a 34-storey tower with a streetwall podium reflecting the scale of neighbouring built form.

75 on the Esplanade, Toronto, by Harhay, Carttera, architectsAllianceThe site in May, 2016, image by Edward Skira

Now marketed as '75 on The Esplanade,' the architectsAlliance-designed building has been reduced to a height of 29 storeys through the planning process. Meanwhile, the rendering below depicts a previous design—at a height of 34 storeys—that attempts to reflect both the surrounding scale and the St. Lawrence neighbourhood's industrial heritage.  

75 on the Esplanade, Toronto, by Harhay, Carttera, architectsAllianceLooking southeast, a rendering of the tower, image courtesy of Harhay / Carttera

The massing is arranged in three volumes, with the Church and Esplanade frontages mirroring the scale of adjacent structures, with the contemporary glassy tower above. Along the Church Street frontage, the red brick podium picks up on the height of the 8-storey TCHC building to its south. Similarly, the Esplanade frontage's shorter streetwall engages with the height of the Novotel building immediately to its west.

75 on the Esplanade, Toronto, by Harhay, Carttera, architectsAllianceA closer look at the podium levels, image courtesy of Harhay / Carttera

Along The Esplanade, the new structure does not extend the Novotel's distinctive colonnade. As outlined in the City's Tall Buildings Guidelines, colonnades are now generally discouraged, since they risk disengaging street-level retail from the sidewalk. Nonetheless, some aesthetic balance with the Novotel would be preserved via a set of vertical piers that continue the colonnade's rhythm. 

Meanwhile, the tower above is characterized by a light-coloured envelope of offset frames, subtly hinting at the brick pattern found in many of the St. Lawrence Area's older buildings. The project will also feature interiors by Toronto-based II BY IV DESIGN, with 9' ceilings throughout most suites. Amenities will include a gym, party room, roof deck, swimming pool, and guest suite, with more details expected in the coming weeks.

75 on the Esplanade, Toronto, by Harhay, Carttera, architectsAllianceThe upper tower levels, image courtesy of Harhay / Carttera

As proposed, the project would add 350 residential suites to the neighbourhood, along with resident 126 parking spots. This ratio (0.36 spots per unit) reflects the area's urban character, as well as the increasingly car-free lifestyle embraced by a growing number of Torontonians.

We will keep you updated as the project makes its way through the final stages of the planning process. In the meantime, additional information is available in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts about the project? Feel free to leave a comment in the space provided on this page, or join in the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum thread.