This instalment of our Growth to Watch For series picks up where we left off last time in Wilson Heights, zig-zagging northward through North York with an overview of all of the activity happening above the 401 and west of Yonge to the 400. Despite the area's distance from many of the centres of activity throughout Toronto, there is still quite a bit of development happening in the western half of North York, with growth along the Sheppard corridor, a new subway extension set to open, the redevelopment of Downsview Park, and the expansion of several major institutional campuses. Our extensive list will take you through all of the projects nearing their completion date, all developments currently under construction, and all the proposals seeking approval at the City.
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We begin with an attention-grabbing proposal at 470 Wilson Avenue near the Allen, where a sprawling complex of buildings designed by gh3 for Collecdev looks to add a 13-storey condominium building, a 12-storey rental building, and a series of 4-storey stacked townhouses to the site. The development would replace two existing 4-storey apartment buildings and a 4-storey office building with a total of 623 new residential units that incorporate ground-level retail and outdoor amenity spaces. Stay tuned for more news as this works its way through the planning process.
One block further west, more density is coming to the Wilson Station area with new buildings—both proposed and in sales—to the south of Malibu Investments' Gramercy Park and Brandy Lane, Shiplake, and Wise's Station Condos on the Subway, on either side of Tippett Road where the City has completed a regeneration study.
Malibu's second phase of Gramercy Park, dubbed Southside Residences, is the furthest along, now in sales. Southside, designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, will include 2 towers rising to 15 and 17 storeys from a variable-height U-shaped podium, with approximately 500 suites in total.
Still in planning is Malibu's next phase at 4-6 Tippett Road. This proposal on the west side of the road would see three towers by RAW Design rising 16, 16, and 13 storeys atop two podiums, comprising a total of 651 new residential units. The project would replace an existing warehouse building on the site, and is currently working its way through city planning with a rezoning application.
Just up the street, another development is proposed at Tippett Road and Wilson Avenue with Rocket Condos, a 13-storey 242-unit condo building designed by gh3 and headed by Metropia. The project replaces Iconic Condos, a previous proposal for the site that has since been scrapped, and joins a growing community of residential density adjacent to the subway station.
The Rocket Condos proposal also includes a future second phase by developers Shiplake and Wise, which would see an 8-storey 154-unit residential building erected immediately to the south. The second phase is also designed by gh3, and will include 100 affordable housing units, half of which will be rentals and the other half of which will be for purchase.
Following Wilson Avenue to the west side of Allen Road, commercial development is slated a block to the south for the site at 3621 Dufferin Street, with a four-storey self-storage facility designed by TACT Architecture that incorporates additional commercial and retail functions. Back in 2011, the site was originally proposed to be developed as an 11-storey residential tower with grade-level retail along with a series of townhouses, however, the project never gained traction and the lands were subsequently sold. A big box centre is to the immediate east.
Jumping westward on Wilson between Keele and Jane Streets, a development application has recently been submitted for a vacant site at 1326-1328 Wilson to allow for the construction of a 9-storey mixed-use building by Time Development Group. Designed by AJ Tregebov Architect, the building would have retail and office space on the first and second floors, with 73 residential units located on the third floor and above.
A little north of the intersection of Jane and Wilson, a tower-in-the-park infill development is proposed for 160-200 Chalkfarm Drive. Headed by Verdiroc and designed by WZMH Architects, the proposal includes a 36-storey tower atop a longer 8- to 12-storey podium, and comprises a total of 590 new rental units and retail incorporated on the ground floor.
Doubling back over to Keele Street, The 2800 Condos is currently under construction just north of Wilson, as the 11-storey mid-rise building by Quadcam Development Group is taking shape. Designed by KFA Architects, the 237-unit condo building with grade-level retail has nearly topped off, with exterior cladding installation beginning on the lower floors.
Heading north on Keele, a townhouse development by Stafford Homes just south of Downsview Park is currently in sales. The 155-unit Luxury Townhome Collection at Downsview Park is designed by Turner Fleischer Architects and features a series of 3- and 4-storey townhouses targeted for mid-2018 completion.
Further north on Keele Street and opposite Downsview Park, 3100 Keele has recently been approved at the OMB and is awaiting a sales start date for the 12-storey mid-rise. Headed by Decade Group, the project will replace the existing Shriners' Club and former synagogue currently occupying the site. The SMV Architects-designed building will feature a 12-storey portion with two wings of 10 and 6 storeys and three 4-storey stacked townhouses, comprising a total of 325 units and possible grade-level retail.
Moving northwest onto Sheppard, a small development is breaking from the norm with a proposal by Two Bars Inc. to construct eight semi-detached houses at 1629 Sheppard West at the corner of Seeley Drive. The three-storey four-bedroom units will occupy a vacant site fronting onto Sheppard, and are currently seeking rezoning approval at the City.
Heading east along Sheppard, the highly-anticipated extension to the University-Spadina subway line is slated to open this December, and one part of the line we had the recent pleasure of touring is the new Downsview Park Station. Designed by AECOM, Aedas, Bryan Shaw OAA, and Parsons Brinckerhoff, the southernmost station of the extension is nearly complete, with finishing touches being applied in preparation for the influx of trains and passengers in 10 months' time.
Just east of Downsview Park Station, Centennial College has big plans for a new Downsview Park Aerospace Campus under construction on a parcel of the former Downsview military base just off of Sheppard Avenue. The campus would focus on assembly and maintenance of aircraft, providing a larger teaching facility with access to a working runway. Designed by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA) in association with Stantec Architecture, the campus will utilize the 1929-built Havilland aircraft plant, formerly home to the Canadian Air and Space Museum, with additional buildings planned. The ground-breaking ceremony was held in November, and the project is targeting a 2018 completion date.
Continuing eastward, Sheppard Avenue West is slated for a sharp increase in density with a host of mid-rises planned along the avenue. Beginning at the intersection of Sheppard and Allen Road, a proposal for a 14-storey condo tower from Urban Capital and ALIT Developments appears to be in limbo according to recent news. The 199-unit Futura Condos, designed by Wallman Architects, was approved at the OMB in 2015, however, the site was apparently up for sale last year. No news has surfaced recently, so stay tuned for more updates on this development as they become available.
Just to the south, a district plan is in the works by Build Toronto for the Allen District, a 54-acre plot of land stretching southward from Downsview Station that the City wants to develop into a mixed-use neighbourhood. The proposed plan in its current form calls for a mixed use area around the subway station, an apartment neighbourhood to the south, and a low-rise neighbourhood to the east, where it meets with the Wilson Heights community. Building heights are proposed to be capped at 14 storeys for the mixed-use and apartment sectors, and 4 storeys for the neighbourhood sector. Phase 2 of the Plan is just getting underway, with the draft plan of subdivision, zoning by-law, and environmental assessment consultation process.
Continuing eastward, Sheppard & Faywood Developments has submitted a rezoning application for 847-873 Sheppard West, proposing to construct a series of stacked and independent townhouses designed by SRN Architects totalling 172 residential units. The site has had a tumultuous history, having been the subject of two previous failed development applications. Currently occupied by a series of detached single-family houses and commercial buildings, the site was first planned to be redeveloped as a 6-storey mixed-use building in 2005, which never gained approval from City Council. In 2009, the OMB approved in principle a rezoning application for a pair of 9-storey mixed-use buildings, but these never materialized and the site has since been surrounded by hoarding. Perhaps now the site will finally be developed, and the cycle will be broken with this most recent townhouse proposal.
Densification along Sheppard continues with a proposal by Greenfield Quality Builders dubbed Sheppard and Gorman Park Condos, conveniently named after its adjacent intersection, that would see a 9-storey condo building constructed on the avenue. Designed by superkül, 85-unit building is currently seeking rezoning approval.
A little further down Sheppard, another mid-rise has recently received rezoning approval at 740-748 Sheppard West, that would see a 9-storey condo building constructed on the site by Royal Lane Sheppard North. The building is designed by Kirkor Architects and will feature 82 residential units with grade-level retail.
Just across the street, excavation is complete and construction is starting on the below-grade levels of Diva Condos, a 9-storey mid-rise by Torbel at 741 Sheppard Avenue West. Designed by KFA Architects, look for the condo building to rise out of the ground sometime this year.
Continuing eastward, another mid-rise is planned at 719 Sheppard West that would see a 9-storey condo constructed on the site designed by Icon Architects. The project was approved for rezoning at the OMB in 2014 and has been dormant since, but recently released updated renderings have appeared on the architects' website, hinting that the project may be revived once again.
Just across the street, the intensification of mid-rises continues with Westmount Boutique Residences at 700 Sheppard West, a project headed by Quadcam Developments and designed by KFA Architects. The proposal for a 10-storey 134-unit condo building with grade level retail is currently seeking rezoning and site plan approval at the City.
Continuing eastward, a development is proposed for 665-671 Sheppard West that would see 4-storey stacked townhouses fronting onto Sheppard, a 3-storey double duplex block fronting Yeomans Road, and a 3-storey townhouse block along the southern edge of the site. Designed by SRN Architects, the proposal comprises a total of 51 residential units, and is currently seeking rezoning at the City.
Just south of Sheppard, a vacant site at 4362 Bathurst has lain dormant for several years despite a proposed 8-storey mixed-use residential and retail development approved for rezoning back in 2012. More recently, the single-family detached house occupying the site was demolished in 2015, and a 'For Lease' sign for a retail or commercial space is up on the property as of last year. No news has cropped up recently, but hopefully something will get moving this year.
North of Sheppard on Bathurst, the Prosserman Jewish Community Centre at 4588 Bathurst, also known as the Sherman Campus, is planning a 9,930-square-metre (106,000-square-foot) expansion that would include a day care, fitness centre, art gallery, studio, chapel, theatre, offices, and more on the site. The two-storey project designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects is the second phase of development on the campus, and is currently seeking site plan approval at the City.
Continuing eastward along Sheppard, a massive proposal at 325 Bogert Avenue has recently been submitted to the city by Greatwise to redevelop the site, currently populated by a three-to-six-storey rental apartment complex, with six residential towers ranging in height from 21 to 37 storeys.
Seven of the ten existing apartment blocks will be demolished along with eight single detached dwellings on the western edge of the property, while the three retained apartment blocks, located along the southern edge of the site, will have three storeys added on top of them. Also included in the proposal are 20 three-and-a-half-storey stacked townhouse units and a 2,045-square-metre (22,000-square-foot) public park. Designed by Core Architects, the development totals 1,765 residential units (148 of which are retained) with ground level retail incorporated in the 8- to 11-storey podiums of the towers.
Further east, another mid-rise is proposed at 245 Sheppard Avenue West, where PineLake Group is planning an 11-storey condo building at the intersection of Sheppard and Senlac Road. Designed by WZMH Architects, the proposal also includes seven 3-storey townhouses on the southern edge of the site facing onto Bogert Avenue, comprising a total of 105 units for the entire site. The development would replace a private school, a three-storey commercial building, and several single detached houses on the property. Earlier this year, however, North York Community Council refused the application as recommended by Planning staff, on the basis that the proposal was introducing an inappropriate building form and did not provide appropriate transition to the adjacent neighbourhoods. At this point, it is unclear whether or not this development will be appealed to the OMB, resubmitted with a new design, or abandoned.
To save Yonge Street for later, we're turning north on Senlac, and heading up to Finch, where we'l turn right. A couple blocks east, a 4-storey 91-unit residential building designed by Icon Architects is being proposed at 221-231 Finch West. Currently seeking rezoning at the City, little is known about the proposal at this time, but renderings posted on the architects' website show a striking curvilinear design of vertical wood elements, promising gentle density along the avenue.
mAking a 180 and heading westward on Finch, a proposal for a 12-storey 78-unit residential building at 591 Finch West was approved by City Council back in 2014, though no activity has been seen on the vacant site since. Proposed by Ambience and designed by Keith Loffler McAlpine Architects, it is unknown at this time what the future of this development will be.
Just before the intersection of Keele and Finch, a new commercial development is now under construction and is set to benefit from the coming subway extension. The 8-storey University Heights Professional and Medical Centre will bring 180,000 square feet (16,700 square metres) of commercial and retail space to the growing area. Developed by Haven Developments and Union Capital and designed by ACK Architects, work is now underway on the below-grade levels, so look for this building to make significant progress over the coming year.
Just to the north of Finch on Keele, we come across the second stop on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension, with construction progressing on Finch West Station. Designed by Will Alsop of aLL Design with IBI Group, the boxy station is behind its nearly-complete counterpart at Downsview Park, but nevertheless, progress is being made for the December opening date. With exterior glazing now being installed to finally seal it off the us terminal from the elements, finishing touches will be applied in the coming months.
Continuing west on Finch, we come to Sentinel Road, the southern gateway to York University, and turn north. As we head up the road, to our left are four 22-storey-high towers rising out of expansive grounds. The epitome of tower-in-the-park planning of the 1960s and 1970s, the rental apartments have been owned by Double Z Investments since 2011, but in 2010 when ELAD Canada owned the property, the City approved a significant increase in density with a site plan that would add 8 new buildings of between 6 and 12 storeys with 1,035 new residential condominiums units amongst them. The plan, all the while, despite the new density, maintains significant green space on the site which would be upgraded. Since Double Z's purchase of the properties, however, there has been no talk of the plan. When the owners are ready, however, significant new development could come to this site.
At the north end of Sentinel Road we enter York University's huge campus. Construction at the institution will be no surprise, as growing educational campuses are a city-wide trend. First off, York University is adding some much-needed student residences at the southeast corner of The Pond and Sentinel Roads, with a private development of two 6-storey mid-rises. Headed by Forum Campus Suites and designed by ARK Design, the twin buildings of The Quad Student Residence will add 812 beds in a variety of configurations to house York's growing student populace. Construction is advancing quickly with the exterior cladding almost complete, and a targeted opening date of Fall 2017.
Just to the north in the centre of campus, construction is well underway on the new York University Student Centre. Featuring a boxy, cantilevered composition by Cannon Design, the four-storey student centre will feature much-needed study space, meeting rooms, club and student offices, administrative spaces, lounge areas, recreational uses, and restaurants and retail. The new building is scheduled for a Spring 2018 opening, with pouring of the concrete structure currently reaching grade level.
A final institutional project currently underway at York University is an expansion to the Schulich School of Business, with a new contemporary addition planned for the northeast corner of the buillding. Designed by Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, the 67,000-square-foot (6,225-square-metre) addition had its groundbreaking ceremony back in September, and with site preparation beginning last month, the project is targeting a late 2017 completion date.
New residences and academic buildings are not the only things under construction at York U right now though: a pair of subway stations on the extension of the University Line are finally going to bring rapid transit to the campus, which will no doubt aid in the institution's future growth. The first of these is the York University Station, located just west of the Schulich School at the heart of the campus, and featuring a dramatic winged design from world-renowned firms Foster + Partners and Arup. The exterior of the curving building is largely complete, with work on the interior progressing for the December 2017 opening date.
The second subway station serving York Unversity will be Pioneer Village Station, located at the northwest corner of the campus at Steeles Avenue West. The quirky building is designed by Will Alsop of aLL Design with IBI Group, and features cor-ten steel cladding on its entrance pavilions and cantilevered bus terminal canopy. Construction is wrapping up on the exterior cladding, with work continuing on the interior. We published an extensive report on an August-2016 tour of the new station which included the video below.
Finally, we turn east on Steeles Avenue and start heading for Yonge Street. East of Dufferin Street we cross the West Don River. To our south, the next 200 metres is the Sanofi Pasteur property, originally the University of Toronto's Connaught Laboratories site, where historically important medical research and vaccine manufacturing facilities have now been operating for 102 years. In November 2016, Sanofi Pasteur applied for rezoning to add a further 2-storey-plus-mechanical, 23-metre-high, 15,000 square metre manufacturing plant in amongst the 30 other buildings on the site. Included on the Inventory of Heritage Properties, and also affected by a Ravine and Natural Feature Protection By-Law, the City is now studying the extensive application.
Continuing east on Steeles, we come to another couple of tower-in-the-park infill projects. The first is to the south, at Bathurst, where Pinedale Properties is looking to add a 19-storey rental tower and 29-storey condo tower to the apartment neighbourhood at 6040 Bathurst Street. Designed by IBI Group, the proposal would add 609 new residential units to the site, in addition to the 404 existing rental units.
A block to the east of Bathurst, another tower-in-the-park intensification scheme has been refined through the planning process over the last two years, and is seeking rezoning approval. Gull Construction, owners of the Marcher Towers, a 1970s 15-storey slab apartment building at 755 Steeles Avenue West, are looking to add single-stray commercial retail to the east side of the tower along Steeles, along with two blocks of stacked townhomes and a 10-storey condominium tower fronting Greenwin Village Road to the south. The design is by Rafael + Bigauskas Architects.
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We end our journey through the western half of North York approaching Yonge Street. Next up, our Growth to Watch For series heads south through North York Centre and turns eastward along the Sheppard corridor, summarizing all the development happening in the eastern half of North York. In the meantime, make sure to check out the dataBase files and Forum threads for each of the projects mentioned for more information. You can tell us what you think of all the developments happening in the city by joining the discussions in the associated Forum threads, or by leaving a comment in the space provided on this page!