Following our recent update on the extremely slender 17-storey tower at 24 Mercer Street, another svelte proposal evidences a somewhat novel approach to development in Toronto's Entertainment District. Wedged in between the 42-storey Festival Tower and the 46-storey Pinnacle on Adelaide, an 8-storey Sweeny &Co-designed commercial building could rise from the narrow, 277 m² lot at 86 John Street.  

86 John Street, Toronto, by Sweeny &Co Architects Inc.A rendering of the project, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

With a "food-centric" retail program planned, the proposed 8-storey complex features a GFA of 1,991 m², making for an FSI of 6.90. While specific information about the type of commercial programming planned is not yet available, the space is set to feature a 217 m² bakery-café at street level, with four floors of retail—each at 245 m²—above.

86 John Street, Toronto, by Sweeny &Co Architects Inc.A massing model showing the structure in its urban context, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

At the upper levels, the 6th floor will be occupied by a 245 m² wine bar, with an equally sized restaurant on the 7th level. On the 8th floor, the building will be topped by a 129 m² roof terrace, and mechanical installations above. No vehicle parking space is provided. 

86 John Street, Toronto, by Sweeny &Co Architects Inc.A cross-section of the building, showing the various programming (click for a closer view), image via submission to the City

So far, it's unclear whether the entire retail-dining complex will be operated as an integrated, centrally owned establishment, or whether the spaces will be given over to a variety of independent retailers and restaurateurs. However, considering the food-oriented programming planned, and the already established mix of uses, it's very possible that the 8-storey building is intended as a custom-designed home for a single brand. Documents submitted to the City of Toronto list Tawse Realco Inc. as owners of the site.

86 John Street, Toronto, by Sweeny &Co Architects Inc.Side-by-side renderings, seen from the south and northeast (l-r), image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

Architecturally, the slim tower is characterized by a glazed exterior. The glassy building envelope is punctuated by an artful series of translucent panels, which emerge from a diagonal grid pattern that wraps around the body of the structure.

86 John Street, Toronto, by Sweeny &Co Architects Inc.A closer look at the lower levels, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

The tower would replace a vacant three-storey building on the site, which was constructed in the 1870s. According to a heritage report prepared by ERA Architects, the property is not designated under PART IV of the Ontario Heritage Act nor considered a contributing property to the proposed King-Spadina Heritage Conservation District (HCD). Despite its age, a series of heavy modifications—spanning from the late 19th century to the 1980s—have stripped the building of much of its original character. 

86 John Street, Toronto, by Sweeny &Co Architects Inc.A view of the site in May 2016 (including the customary line for Sweet Jesus), image retrieved via Google Maps

We will keep you updated as more information about the development becomes available. In the meantime, our dataBase file includes additional renderings and elevations. Want to share your thoughts about the project? Feel free to leave a comment in the space below this page, or join in the ongoing conversation in our Forum.