Following last year's submission to build a 34-storey tower at the southwest corner of Church and Esplanade in Downtown Toronto, the team of Harhay Developments  and Carttera Private Equities have returned with a revised proposal for a site still occupied by surface parking. Along with a number of alterations, the 75 on The Esplanade tower's height has been reduced to 29 storeys, moving to address some of the concerns about height, density, and shadowing that were expressed in public consultation.  

With the reduced height comes an evolved design from architectsAlliance. While the visual relationship between the red brick base structure—which attempts to reflect the scale and materiality of the once-industrial surroundings—and the lighter tower remains intact, a number of notable elements have been revised since the initial submission. 

75 on The Esplanade, Toronto, by Harhay, Carttera, architectsAlliance Revised design, 75 on The Esplanade, image courtesy of Harhay Developments

Across the body of the 8- and 12-storey base structure, the brightened brick articulation now reads as a more horizontal expression, more closely reflecting the aesthetic rhythm of nearby built form. 

75 on The Esplanade, Toronto, by Harhay, Carttera, architectsAlliance A closer look at the Esplanade podium, image courtesy of Harhay Developments

Additionally, the Church Street setback has been pushed back 6 metres to accommodate the proposed future construction of a Cooper Street underpass, while the tower setback from the Esplanade podium—which includes a slightly reduced retail space of 1,144 m²—has also increased to 10 metres. 

75 on The Esplanade, Toronto, by Harhay, Carttera, architectsAlliance The street level, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Above the red brick podium, the balcony pattern that characterizes the tower has also been revised, with a somewhat tighter configuration now apparent. The previously rectangular tower's form is now a parallelogram, mirroring the angle of the Esplanade to the north. The reduced 29-storey height also eliminates new shadowing on the new Berczy Park sidewalk, and to at least some degree also addresses more general community concerns regarding density.

75 on The Esplanade, Toronto, by Harhay, Carttera, architectsAlliance A closer look at the tower levels, image via submission to the City of Toronto

While the reduced tower height means that there are now fewer units—with 302 planned as opposed to 350—the unit mix has also changed to accommodate City Planning's push for family-friendly housing in the urban core. 39 three-bedroom units are now planned, representing almost 13% of total suites, and surpassing both the 7% initially planned as well as the 10% minimum outlined by the Planning Department.  

75 on The Esplanade, Toronto, by Harhay, Carttera, architectsAlliance Aerial view of existing conditions, image by Jack Landau

The revised proposal also takes surrounding context into greater consideration, with the neighbouring building at 55 The Esplanade set to receive benefits via the development. At street level, an enhanced landscaping program will bring further greenscaping to the building's sidewalks, while the front entrance will also be improved. 

75 on The Esplanade, Toronto, by Harhay, Carttera, architectsAlliance The previous design, image courtesy of Harhay / Carttera

With both a rezoning application and a site plan submitted in tandem, the renewed application reflects a more finalized iteration of the project. We will keep you updated as the project continues to make its way through the planning process, and more information becomes available. In the meantime, make sure to check out our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space below, or join the conversation in our associated Forum thread.