Since being submitted to the City of Toronto in February 2016, plans for Menkes Developments' redevelopment of 771 Yonge Street have evolved, with a new version that responds to concerns voiced by City Planning staff regarding expression, massing and parking. Designed by Wallman Architects, the refined proposal includes a reimagined exterior, a revised floorplate, and the addition of resident parking.

771 Yogne Street, Menkes Developments, Wallman Architects, TorontoSoutheast view, 771 Yonge Street, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

The most obvious change to the casual observer is the complete redesign of the tower's exterior, with the minimalist glass facades of the initial iteration replaced with a tessellated pattern of interlocking rectangular window frames. Above the residential levels, a lofty mechanical penthouse level will be recessed from the Yonge frontage, though screened in by a continuation of the framing.

Less visible in renderings are the reduction in floors from 49 to 48 storeys, and the narrowing and repositioning of the tower floorplate to increase tower separation between 2 Bloor Street West's north facade. While the number of floors has decreased, the actual height of the tower has slightly increased from 161.1 metres up to 163.25 metres to the top of the mechanical penthouse level. Tower separation has increased by 50%, from about 10 metres to about 15 metres apart. (The two buildings are slightly off parallel.)

771 Yonge Street, Menkes Developments, Wallman Architects, TorontoUpper levels of 771 Yonge Street, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

The greater tower separation is gained by moving the tower north, and by making it narrower, now just over 15 metres wide, with 447 square metre floor plates. (Typical Toronto point tower floor plates are 750 square metres. The previous version of this tower had floor plates in excess of 550 square metres.) The new plan drops the FSI to 19.9 times lot coverage from the original 24.8 times.

Changes to the tower's base include the addition of five vertical supporting columns in place of the previous design's unsupported cantilever, while the material expression of the podium's Asquith Avenue frontage has been heavily revised. The stone cladding along Asquith—which served as a contextual buffer between the designated heritage building at 771-773 Yonge Street and the new tower above—has been replaced with what appears to be a glass wall with an undulating surface application.

771 Yonge Street, Menkes Developments, Wallman Architects, TorontoFormer (left) and current (right) designs for 771 Yonge, images retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

Originally proposed without parking included, the revised submission includes three below-grade levels, two of which will house a combined 26 autoshare and residential parking spaces. While this is far below the City-mandated parking minimum, the nearby Bloor-Yonge subway station will give residents easy access to two major subway lines, while the proposed 291 bicycle parking spaces will serve residents commuting on shorter trips.

Our dataBase file features additional information, while a discussion of the proposal is already underway in the Forum. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space provided on this page, or join in the conversation in our associated Forum thread.