Over two years ago, developers Kingsett Capital proposed a 45-storey mixed-use purpose built rental apartment tower to replace a 2-storey podium on Gerrard west of Bay, a couple blocks north of Toronto City Hall. Designed by Quadrangle Architects, it would connect to the existing west end of the 700 Bay Street apartments, also known as LuCliff Place, providing an additional 252 residential rental units and 1,500 m² of new amenity space. LuCliff Place is already an odd building for Toronto, 24-storeys tall, with 223 residential units to the west of a 16,341 m² office portion on the east side. It has an additional 1,700 m² of retail space on the ground floor.

700 Bay, Quadrangle Architects, Kingsett Capital, Rental Apartments, TorontoUpdated rendering of the northeast corner, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

Recently, a Site Plan Application has been submitted to the City with new details about the proposal. With initial concerns regarding the height of the tower along Elizabeth St., the issue became whether or not this would impact the view corridor down to Toronto City Hall. Studies had shown that the initial proposal would have had a minimal impact on the sight lines, however the proximity to the Enwave venting stack posed another issue. Immediately south on Walton, the public consultation from last year brought up a point that anything proposed over 33-storeys would be quite problematic.

700 Bay, Quadrangle Architects, Kingsett Capital, Rental Apartments, TorontoRendering of the new entrance, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

Now reduced down to 32-storeys (311 feet), the new proposal transfers some of the new space into a four storey extension above the existing building. In total, it will add 274 rental units, featuring 187 1-bedroom units, 58 2-bedroom units, and 29 3-bedroom units. Overall, the entire complex will have a total of 494 residential units.

700 Bay, Quadrangle Architects, Rental Apartments, TorontoArchitectural elevation showing the 4-storey addition, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto 

700 Bay, Quadrangle Architects, Kingsett Capital, Rental Apartments, TorontoUpdated rendering of the western facade, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

During the construction of the 32-storey tower, the existing western-facing units will have to be compromised. The 22 3-bedroom units that face west will be converted into 2-bedroom plus den units, with the loss of a bedroom window. The new addition will replace the loss of the 22 3-bedroom units.

700 Bay, Quadrangle Architects, Kingsett Capital, Rental Apartments, TorontoRendering of the southeast corner base vs current site, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

One of the other notable changes in the proposal is the elimination of the vertical fins that drop down to street level. In the updated renderings, the ground floor is setback a couple metres with the tower overhanging on the north side, creating a more human-scale environment. The new residential lobby occupies the western space, while retail has shifted east along Gerrard. Copper hued soffits add warmth the overhang ceilings.

700 Bay, Quadrangle Architects, Kingsett Capital, Rental Apartments, TorontoRendering of the Gerrard streetscape vs current site, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

The first floor will undergo exterior renovation, replacing Postmodern finishes with new cladding materials. Precast or metal panels running vertically will clad the tower, with black aluminum panels separating the window floor slabs. Additionally, bird friendly glazing will be applied throughout the building.

700 Bay, Quadrangle Architects, KingSett Rental Apartments, TorontoThe planned Gerrard streetscape looking west vs current condition, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

As part of the public realm improvements to this site, the existing lay-by in front of the residential entrance on Gerrard will be reduced to only two cars, acting as a pick-up and drop-off zone. Moving around the building to Walton St., access to the underground parking garage will connect the existing structure to a new five level garage, with bicycle parking on each level. In total, 258 vehicle parking and 358 bicycle parking spaces are proposed.

As this project seeks Site Plan Approval, we will keep you updated once more information becomes available. More renderings are posted in the dataBase file for 700 Bay, linked below. Feel free to leave a comment in the space provided on this page, or join in the ongoing conversation on our associated Forum thread.