It has been just over four years since architecture and skyscraper enthusiasts witnessed the unveiling of what will surely become some of Toronto's most iconic buildings. Set in the bustling Entertainment District along King West at Duncan Street, the Mirvish+Gehry proposal was initially for three towers, rising 82, 84, and 86 storeys atop 6-storey podiums. The initial design would also have meant the demolition of five heritage buildings on the site, as well as the Princess of Wales Theatre.

After consultations and negotiations with City Staff, May of 2014 brought forth a new design that would ultimately be approved two months later. Smaller but taller, the revamped design went from three to two towers, rising 92 and 82 storeys, and would preserve the Princess of Wales Theatre, along with three heritage buildings.

Mirvish Gehry Toronto, Gehry Partners, Projectcore Inc.Rendering, image courtesy of Projectcore Inc.

In the time since approvals, news surrounding the development has been relatively quiet, leaving some people speculating if this project would come to fruition anytime in the near future. Rest assured, developer Projectcore has been working continuously behind the scenes with their eyes set on gaining Site Plan Approval, which was submitted to the City back in April.

While the storeys and heights remain the same, the application has a few changes regarding certain elements. To begin, the podium has now increased by one level to 7 storeys, a minor change from what the Zoning By-law Amendment allows. In regards to the allowed maximum floor plate area, 51 storeys of the west tower will now exceed 1,370m², contrary to the draft By-law's 11 storey allowance. The east tower will now have 8 storeys that exceed the By-law's 926m² coverage, while the average floor plate size will be a proposed 907m². The average floor plate size of the west tower is much larger than its counterpart, proposed at 1,229m². When complete, the total gross floor area (GFA) for the entire project will be 173,218m², with a floor space ratio totalling 18 times coverage.

Mirvish Gehry Toronto, Gehry Partners, Projectcore Inc.Scale model, image courtesy of Projectcore Inc.

Toronto's normal maximum floor plate for residential point towers is 750m², but the City does accept larger floor plates for very tall buildings. In the case of the Mirvish+Gehry project, both towers are articulated into two attached volumes as they rise, breaking the mass up.

The overall number of residential units is now 1,953, comprised of 281 bachelor units, 929 1-bedroom units, 533 2-bedroom units, and 210 3-bedroom units. The square footage for these units average at 721 square feet, ranging from 430 to 1,140 square feet. Five levels of underground vehicle parking will be provided strategically in both towers, with 572 spaces in the west tower, and 94 in the east, totalling 666 parking spaces. In addition, 1,953 bicycle spaces are proposed, with 1,369 spaces in the west block, and 584 spaces in the east.

Mirvish Gehry Toronto, Gehry Partners, Projectcore Inc.Rendering of the podium, image courtesy of Projectcore Inc.

The west podium will have retail on its first 3 levels, and commercial office space through levels 4 to 7. In the east podium, retail occupies only the first 2 levels, while space for OCAD is provided on the third and fourth levels. The upper 3 levels are comprised of commercial office space. Overall, there will be 7,852m² of retail, 10,888m² of office space, and over 2,300m² of space for the new OCAD campus.

As it stands, Projectcore wants to make sure every aspect of the residential layout works and can be a success. While those last design details are being worked out, marketing of the development has just taken a step forward with the recent release of view photos from the future penthouses. If these new photos are any indication, news on the project going into sales may come sooner rather than later.

Mirvish Gehry Toronto, Gehry Partners, Projectcore Inc.The view looking northeast, image courtesy of Projectcore Inc.

As the anticipation of this project grows, we will keep you up-to-date when more information becomes available. In the meantime, feel free to look through our dataBase file for the project, comment in the space provided below, or join in the conversation in our associated Forum thread.