This instalment of our Growth to Watch For series heads to the busy neighbourhoods east of Downtown and west of the Don Valley, exploring a diverse range of developments spanning across some of the oldest districts in Toronto. There are several hotspots of development in Downtown East, including the conversion of the former Athlete's Village for the Pan Am/ParaPan Am Games into the Canary District, and the accelerating development of the King-Parliament district. Moving north, we also explore the continued revitalization of Regent Park, and the further densification of St. James Town.
Beginning in the Canary District and Corktown, we zigzag our way northward, staying within the boundaries of the Don Valley to the east, the rail corridor to the south, Sherbourne Street to the west, and Bloor Street to the north. Along the way, we give an overview of all projects about to be completed, all buildings currently under construction, and all proposals working their way through the planning process.
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We left off last time heading south on the Bayview Extension from the Evergreen Brick Works. At the south end, we turn to the west and begin our journey in the West Don Lands, where we stop to stare at the arresting volumes taking shape at Urban Capital's River City Condos Phase 3. The unique 29-storey 333-unit tower is joining its Phase 1 and 2 neighbours, all of which feature contemporary design by renowned Montreal-based firm Saucier + Perrotte Architectes in association with local firm ZAS Architects. Construction on the tower has now reached the tenth floor, with the organic boxy forms of the building becoming apparent in the concrete structure. Look for this building to top off midway through the year.
The team of Urban Capital, Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, and ZAS Architects are not done there, as Phase 4 of River City, dubbed Harris Square, was submitted for site plan approval late last year. The 13-storey 150-unit building will be constructed on the empty lot immediately west of Phase 3, and once again features an edgy design with the architects' signature black finishes.
Moving west on Front Street, we come to the Canary District, one of Toronto's newest neighbourhoods and a legacy of the 2015 Pan Am and ParaPan Am Games. Development of the district is continuing, with DundeeKilmer proposing a new mid-rise for Block 16, the plot of land along Front Street between Canary Park Condos and the Wigwamen Building. Designed by KPMB Architects, the building will rise 12 storeys and will add 197 new condo units to the growing neighbourhood.
Another block west, the Government of Ontario donated a block of land at the southeast corner of Front and Cherry streets to Anishnawbe Health for the establishment of a Toronto Aboriginal Hub. The new Aboriginal health and community centre will allow the organization to consolidate its three locations onto one site, while also expanding services and providing complementary programs for users and local residents. There has been little news of this project over the past few years, but a conceptual site plan was recently discovered on Urban Strategies' website, and the architect of the project has long been rumoured to be Douglas Cardinal.
South a block to the Distillery District, and then west on Mill, a drawn-out battle over the Gansevoort Hotel & Condo proposal is hoping to be resolved this year, as Cityscape and Dream are planning a 34-storey tower at the northeast corner of Mill and Trinity Streets. Featuring a design from Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, the tower would retain the facade of the existing heritage building on the site, while adding an 88-room hotel and a 246-unit condo tower to the neighbourhood. First submitted for rezoning back in 2011, the proposal has been opposed by City staff and local residents with concerns over heritage, height, and density in the popular district, and having failed to reach a compromise, it is now being contested at the OMB.
Proceeding south on Trinity Street through the Distillery District, we come to a pair of towers which are looking to transform what is known as the Triangle Lands, a sliver of underdeveloped land at the southwest corner of the Distillery bordered by Parliament Street, Distillery Lane, and the rail corridor. The first proposal on this site is a 57-storey KPMB Architects-designed tower at 31A Parliament Street by Cityscape and Dream, which would house 496 condo units with a 4-storey base that extends eastward containing office and retail spaces. Given that the proposal exceeds the density and height allowances in the Distillery District, the City has voted to oppose the development after failing to reach a compromise, and the contested project is currently being sorted out at the OMB.
The second tower in the Triangle Lands carries as much controversy as the first, with The Goldberg Group proposing a 49-storey 495-unit condo tower at 31 Parliament Street at the southwest corner of the site. Designed by the New York office of Arquitectonica, the staggered tower has raised the ire of local residents and limped through a harsh Design Review Panel meeting in December, where City Planning openly opposed the project. Stay tuned to see how this development plays out over the course of the year.
Proceeding north on Parliament we arrive at King Street, one of two 'shoulder' areas of Downtown along with King-Spadina targeted for growth in the City of Toronto's 2006 Official Plan. While not quite experiencing the explosion of height and density currently happening in the Entertainment District, King-Parliament has had a steady stream of development over the past decade, and is now seeing an increase in interest with taller, larger, and denser proposals popping up in greater numbers.
Turning east on King we come to a small-scale infill project on King at Virgin Place, where popular restaurateurs Gusto are planning to open a new location for another Italian eatery with Gusto 501. The announcement of the new restaurant was made a few years ago and was put on hold, but recent activity suggests that the plan is back on the table and continuing its way through the planning process. Renderings posted on PARTISANS' website, the designers for the project, show several eye-catching options for a central feature staircase in the building.
Following Virgin Place to Sumach and then Eastern, we turn west and arrive at 18 Eastern Avenue, where a development is proposed to take the entire north side of the block between Sackville Street and Gilead Place. Here, Alterra has enlisted Teeple Architects to design a 13-storey mid-rise in the heart of Corktown. Looking to add 385 new condo units to the area with ground floor retail, the building is currently working its way through the planning process.
We now come to three potentially intriguing development sites huddled around Front and Parliament Streets that are currently lying dormant. At the southeast corner of the intersection, demolition was recently carried out for the former library buildings at 281 Front Street East. The site was obtained by BRL Realty via a land swap with the City for the First Parliament Site on the opposite side of the street, and in the last while they have begun planning a data centre for the property, to be built and run by Urbacon. It was BRL and Urbacon who built the architecturally acclaimed Parliament Street Data Centre to the immediate south a couple of years ago.
There has been no proposal yet across Parliament for the First Parliament Site, currently occupied by a car wash and auto dealership, but the City intends to eventually develop it with a mixed-use project that includes a new library branch, public space, and some form of commemoration for the site of Upper Canada's first parliament buildings.
Finally in this immediate vicinity, across Front from the the First Parliament site is 250 Front East at the corner of Berkeley Street, currently occupied by a Staples store. It was purchased by Greenpark Homes in 2011, though no proposals have materialized since.
On the northwest corner of Front and Berkeley Streets, the finishing touches are being put on First Gulf's Globe and Mail Centre. The high-profile 17-storey building by Diamond Schmitt Architects is the first major office tower to go up in the King-Parliament area, and the presence of its offset glassy blue and black volumes is already being felt in the immediate area. Occupation has already started with primary tenants The Globe and Mail moving in to their new home, so look for construction to be fully complete this year.
Continuing along Front Street, it appears that four is the magic number for the former Sobey's site at 177 Front Street East, as the Pemberton Group finally received rezoning approval for the fourth iteration of their proposal after negotiations with the City, and ratified at the OMB. Following a series of revisions dating back to 2012, the most recent one, now being marketed as Time and Space Condos, features four towers comprising a total of 1,586 new condo units, with ground-level retail throughout and a POPS fronting onto The Esplanade. Designed by Wallman Architects, the two tallest towers measure in at 29 storeys and are located to the north along Front Street, while the two southern towers reach 18 storeys at the centre of the site before stepping down to 10 storeys along The Esplanade.
A block west and on the north side of Front, St. Lawrence Condos at 158 Front Street East is currently in sales and marketing as developers Cityzen and Fernbrook Homes are looking to start construction on the pair of 26-storey towers within the next year. The development will replace a surface parking lot that stretches the full block between Sherbourne and Frederick. Designed by architectsAlliance, the project will add 490 new condo units to the neighbourhood.
Heading north on Frederick and then east on Adelaide Street, Greenpark Homes and Fieldgate Homes' Axiom Condos is quickly rising alongside the busy thoroughfare, with construction of the concrete structure nearly three quarters of the way up the building. The pair of towers designed by Kirkor Architects will rise 19 and 21 storeys and add a total of 527 new condo units to the growing neighbourhood. Look for the towers to top off in the coming weeks.
On the south side of the street across from Axiom, a massive redevelopment is proposed by ODC Holdings for 254 King Street East, encompassing the entire block bordered by Adelaide, Ontario, King, and Princess Streets. A pair of 32-storey towers designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects would replace most of the buildings on the site save for a pair of heritage facades. They would include a total of 938 residential units with grade-level retail and a pair of bridges connecting them. The project hit a major setback, however, when City Council rejected the application in January, citing "excessive height, excessively large tower floor plates, insufficient tower separation, and insufficient tower step-backs" leading to an overall incompatibility with the existing context, in addition to the proposal not providing enough office space to replace the existing on site.
Immediately across Ontario Street at Adelaide, First Gulf is planning to follow up the success of their Globe and Mail Centre with another office tower at 25 Ontario Street. Featuring an angular design from Sweeny &Co Architects, the 22-storey tower would preserve the entire facade of the heritage-designated Drug Trading Company Building while incorporating retail into the ground floor. The building is currently working its way through the planning process.
One more block east, just north of Adelaide and running the length of the block between Berkeley and Parliament, construction is now underway at East United Condos, a 21-storey 279-unit condo building by SigNature Communities, Berkshire Axis Developments, and Andiel Homes. Designed by Giannone Petricone Associates, the tower sits atop a preserved portion of the existing heritage building with grade-level retail and office uses in the podium. Excavation is now complete, with the tower crane recently erected in the pit, and the foundation levels now under construction. Look for the building to rise above grade later this year.
Across Parliament from East United, we come to Great Gulf and Hullmark's home: Power and Adelaide, a condo project looking to rebuild the entire block bounded by Adelaide, Power, Richmond, and Parliament Streets. Designed by Core Architects, the City initially opposed the development on the basis that the proposal is too bulky and does not fit within its context, and so headed to sort things out the OMB. Following the appeal back in June, the proposal was slightly modified from an initial U-shaped building of 18 and 22 storeys, to two towers of 19 and 22 storeys, which sit atop a 5-storey mixed-use podium comprising a total of 520 residential units. It appears, however, that the City and developers have settled their differences, with a site plan approval submitted to the City three weeks ago, and an ongoing marketing campaign by Great Gulf ramping up in the new year.
Across the street from home: Power and Adelaide, the City of Toronto owns the land at 51 Power Street, a sliver of green space known as Orphans Green, much of it currently used as a dog park. Sandwiched between the Richmond and Adelaide Street ramps connecting to the DVP, Toronto's Official Plan designates it as a mixed-use area. The land could be sold for development, but it unknown what the City intends on doing with this it, or whether any development is even feasible on it as there are human remains buried under parts of it.
Turning west onto Richmond Street, a block along at Berkeley Street, East FiftyFive is gearing up for the start of construction, as the 25-storey condo building was recently approved for rezoning and site plan control at the OMB. Headed by Lamb Developments and Hyde Park Homes and designed by architectsAlliance, the building is located just south of Richmond at 55 Ontario Street, and will add 274 new condo units to the growing area. According to the developer's website, construction is scheduled to start in the spring.
One more block west at Ontario Street, we run into a huge proposal that looks to redevelop the block bordered by Richmond, Ontario, Queen Street, and McFarrens Lane. Designed by Arquitectonica, S9 Architecture, and Sweeny &Co Architects, the 245 Queen East project by ONE Properties was initially proposed as a trio of towers rising 39, 39, and 45 storeys atop a podium rising as high as 11 storeys. Following the identification of Sherbourne and Queen as a likely station on the future 'Relief' subway line, the proposal has since been tweaked, with the heights increasing to 47, 52, and 56 storeys, while the number of residential units has jumped from 1,645 up to 1,820. Also included in the revised proposal is a new 150-room hotel component, and a greater proportion of the heritage buildings retained on the site. The substantial retail and office space incorporated in the podium still remains, while the height of the base building has increased slightly to 12 and 14 storeys. Given the hesitation by the City at the initial density proposed, it will be interesting to see how they will respond to the latest iteration.
One block east, another tower is proposed at 301 Queen Street East on the southwest corner of Queen and Berkeley Streets, where Berkeley Events is planning a 25-storey condo building constructed adjacent to the heritage-designated Berkeley Church. The church would be preserved in its entirety, and would continue to operate as an event space. The Quadrangle Architects-designed tower would contain 206 new condo units, with grade-level retail incorporated into the 4-storey podium.
Further east, on the southwest corner of Queen and Parliament Streets, the former home of iconic furniture store Marty Millionaire is currently undergoing a major facelift. The 1907-built heritage building will be fully restored to its original appearance, losing its garishly iconic turquoise paint, and will be retrofitted as a new headquarters for the WE Charity organization, formerly known as Free the Children. Retail spaces will also be incorporated on the ground floor. Scaffolding is now up and restoration work is currently underway, with completion scheduled for summer 2017.
Just north of Queen and Parliament, Downing Street Group is proposing a mixed-use mid-rise at 191 Parliament Street. Designed by Kohn Partnership Architects, the 12-storey building would house retail on the ground floor, with office spaces provided on the four floors above. The upper storeys of the tower would be home to 30 live-work units, as well as additional spaces for non-residential uses. The configuration and floor plans of the building are still taking shape as the proposal seeks rezoning and site plan approval at the City.
Continuing eastward along Queen, we turn north onto River Street and come to 28 River, a site currently occupied by The Beer Store, where Rosewater Capital is proposing to construct a 15-storey condo tower. Featuring architecture from RAW Design, the building would house 162 new condo units, with retail integrated into the ground floor of the podium.
Continuing north, a five-storey residential project is being planned at 41 River Street, just south of Shuter. Featuring 26 units, the Studio JCI design would introduce comparatively gentle density to the area, while fronting River Street with a trio of art studio suites at ground level. Initially submitted for Site Plan Approval in May of 2016, a slightly updated plan was tabled in late October of last year, advancing the submission.
Further north, another tower is proposed for 77 River, at the intersection with Shuter Street, where TAS Developments is proposing a 38-storey residential tower designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects. The tower comprises 584 new residential units and would sit atop an 11-storey podium with retail integrated into the ground floor. The project has met with the City's approval, so look for marketing to begin in the near future.
East of 77 River Street, on the banks of the Don Valley, further density is planned for a former industrial site at 5 Defries Street, where a massing study by RAW Design reveals a proposal for a residential redevelopment. Initially, a pair of towers rising 31 and 39 storeys were presented back in 2014, however, the project has recently evolved with a scaled down version submitted late last year showing a single tower of 39 storeys with a 14-storey base building stretching southward (depicted in pink in the image below). The original proposal was for 610 residential units, but it is unknown how many units are included in the revised version. This project is still in the early stages of design as it works its way through the planning process.
We now come to the high-profile Regent Park neighbourhood, which has been undergoing a complete reconstruction that began in 2005. At this point in time, the final three blocks of Phase 2 are under construction, and the majority of blocks in Phase 3 are either under construction or submitted for site plan approval at the City. Two more phases are still to come at an undetermined future date. We will start our coverage with the remaining Phase 2 projects, before moving on to Phase 3.
Following Shuter Street west from River, we arrive at Sackville Street where Phase 2's Block 23 is currently being developed by The Daniels Corporation as 'The Sutton Collecton'. It will see two rows of 3-storey townhouses and two 3-storey semi-detached houses constructed on the property bounded by Shuter, Sackville, and Sutton Street. Designed by Kirkor Architects, the development totals 18 residential units (14 townhouses and 4 semi-detached houses), and is currently under construction, with work now moving above grade.
One more block west at Shuter and Regent Streets is the former site of The Duke of York Public School. The property was sold to the Toronto Catholic District School Board back in 2012, who completed demolition of the old school last year. Though not a part of the Regent Park Revitalization Project, this site is nevertheless integral to the rebuilding of the community. The TCDSB is planning on constructing a new school and child care centre on the site that would consolidate students from three nearby schools. No proposals have been put forward yet as the TCDSB is still deciding the best course of action, however, the matter was debated at a recent board meeting, the minutes of which have yet to be made publicly available.
Heading north on Regent Street, we then turn east on St. David Street where The Bartholomew is all but complete and is currently finishing. The 13-storey condo and townhouse complex fills Block 21, the property bounded by Regent, St. David, Sackville, and St. Bartholomew streets. Overseen by The Daniels Corporation and featuring a design by Quadrangle Architects, the development comprises 159 new condo units and 30 new townhouse units, and will be fully occupied partway through the year.
On the northeast corner of Sackville and St. David, construction is well underway on Block 24 South, where the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) is building a pair of 9-storey mid-rises designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects. The development will total 155 affordable rental units, and represents the final piece of Phase 2. The building has now topped off with cladding installation begun, so look for the interior to be sealed off in the coming months.
Continuing east on St. David, our first Phase 3 project is on Block 32, a triangular plot of land at the southwest corner with Sumach, where The Daniels Corporation is constructing a 12-storey mid-rise condo building designed by SvN Architects. The building will be a 332 unit retirement residence operated by Chartwell. Excavation and shoring currently underway on site. Look for this project to rise above grade later this year.
Continuing, we cross the Regent Park Athletic Grounds northeasterly. On our left is a block of 24 townhomes, soon to be complete. Designed by Van Elslander + Associates for TCHC, these units are becoming homes for people presently.
To the east of the townhomes a small but important building is seeking site plan approval from the City. The Dixon Hall Youth Centre is looking to construct a new 4-storey home on the southwest corner of Wyatt and Nicholas avenues, housing community services and social spaces for local youth. Designed by LGA Architectural Partners, the site is cleared and awaiting for construction to begin.
On the east side of Nicholas Avenue is Block 30, otherwise bounded by Wyatt, River, and Shuter streets. Here, The Daniels Corporation is planning to construct a mixed-use tower and townhouse complex designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects. The southern portion of the site would house a 28-storey tower with 4- and 6-storey podium arms, comprising a total of 371 rental units with retail integrated in the ground floor along River and Shuter Streets. The northern portion of the site would house two blocks of 3-storey townhouses, totalling 24 condo units. The site is cleared with demolition complete, and the project is currently seeking site plan approval at the City.
The block to the north is known as Block 27. Bounded by Wyatt, Tubman, Dundas, and River streets, construction is well underway here on a mid-rise and tower complex headed by TCHC and designed by RAW Design. The eastern portion of the site will house a 29-storey 181-unit rental tower with retail integrated on the ground floor, while the western portion of the site will see a 10-storey 95-unit mid-rise constructed with amenity spaces between the two buildings. Construction is progressing quickly, with the mid-rise now topped off, and the concrete structure reaching the tower levels.
Just west of Block 27, The Wyatt is a 27-storey condo tower coming to Block 26, bounded by Sumach, Dundas, Tubman, and Wyatt Avenue. Headed by The Daniels Corporation and designed by KPMB Architects with Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, the development will add 342 new condo units to the neighbourhood, with retail spaces planned for the ground floor. Excavation and shoring is now underway.
Jumping to the north side of Dundas, demolition is now complete with two proposals in the planning pipeline for Block 16 bordered by Dundas Street East, Sumach, Oak, and Tubman Streets. The first project for Block 16 South is a tower and mid-rise proposal by The Daniels Corporation designed by Core Architects. The western portion of the site will be home to a 29-storey 318-unit condo tower, while the eastern portion of the site will house an 11-storey 126-unit co-operative housing mid-rise. The two buildings will be connected by a 5-storey podium with retail and commercial spaces along Dundas Street.
Moving to the adjacent property, Block 16 North is slated for more density, with a 12-storey mid-rise proposed for the site by TCHC, which steps down to 7 and 3 storeys along Oak and Tubman streets respectively. Featuring architecture from RAW Design, the building would add 181 new rental units to the neighbourhood, and is currently seeking site plan approval at the City.
Moving east on Oak Street one block, the next site is Block 17, bounded by Tubman, Oak, River, and Dundas Streets. Demolition and site clearance are also complete here, construction waiting to begin on its two parcels of land. Block 17 North is submitted for site plan approval, with TCHC planning to construct an 11-storey mid-rise building along River Street, which steps down to 6 and 3 storeys along Oak and Tubman Streets respectively. Designed by Wallman Architects, the colourful building would provide 158 rental and townhouse units to the growing area.
That concludes our round-up of all active projects as part of the Regent Park Revitalization Project. Two remaining sites in Phase 3 have yet to receive proposals - Block 17 South and Block 1, at the southeast corner of Gerrard and Parliament Streets - however, given the speed of development in the neighbourhood, we can expect to see some activity in the near future. Once Phase 3 is settled, work will progress on to Phases 4 and 5 to redevelop the last remaining existing Regent Park buildings along the south side of Gerrard Street East. Stay tuned for more news on the major reconstruction, but in the meantime, we continue our tour through the east side of downtown.
We arrived back at River Street, south of Gerrard. To the northeast, Linwood wants to expand its Oak Heights rental community, with a 32-storey rental tower at 230 Oak Street proposed to constructed adjacent to the existing 22-storey tower on the site. Designed by Sweeny &Co Architects, the building would add 330 new units, contributing to the rapid growth and densification of the River Street corridor.
Heading west on Gerrard Street, we come to another Beer Store site that will give way to a development, as Rosewater Capital is planning an 8-storey mid-rise at 227 Gerrard Street East. Designed by Architecture Unfolded, the project will add 99 residential units with grade-level retail to the relatively low-rise historic neighbourhood.
A couple blocks west, at the southeast corner of Gerrard and Sherbourne Streets, Oben Flats is adding another mid-rise to their collection at 307 Sherbourne Street. Designed by superkül, the 13-storey building would add 94 condo units to the area and would replace a vacant lot at the busy intersection. The project is currently working its way through the planning process.
Heading north on Sherbourne, we come to 159SW Condos at the southwest corner of Sherbourne and Wellesley Streets, where Alterra is planning a 36-storey tower in the busy neighbourhood. Designed by Richmond Architects, the tower would add 360 new condo units and grade-level retail to the area, across the street from the dense forest of towers in St. James Town. The project is both currently working its way through the planning process, and nearly sold out.
Turning east on Wellesley and then north on Parliament Street, we come to Howard Street, just south of Bloor. Here on the west side of Parliament, sandwiched between Howard and Bloor is a long vacant lot, soon to be redeveloped. Submitted to the City for site plan approval, Via Bloor is a two-tower development by Tridel which will rise 38 and 46 storeys from a shared podium. Suites in the westerly of the two towers were recently put on the market by Tridel, and have nearly sold out; suites in the taller easterly building will be on the market soon. The architectsAlliance-designed development will 769 up-market condominiums to an area with high rental density, while looking to draw Bloor Street retail further east.
Heading west on Howard Street, we pass Victorian homes on both Howard and Glen Road which have been restored, one of them moved, as part of the the Via Bloor development and the next development to the west, dubbed for the time being as North St. James Town. Headed by Lanterra, it is also designed by architectsAlliance. At the northeast corner of Sherbourne and Howard Streets, a 45-storey tower is planned to be constructed atop a two-storey retail base. To the east of the tower, a row of 4-storey townhouses is planned on Redrocket Lane alongside restored heritage properties.
Directly across Sherbourne from the end of Howard, The Selby is quickly rising. MOD Developments and Tricon Capital are constructing a 50-storey 441-unit rental tower on the site of a shifted and restored historic mansion. Designed by bkL Architecture, construction is now working its way up the tower floor plates, so look for the building to top off before the end of the year.
Across the street from both The Selby and North St. James Town, Medallion Corporation is proposing a 51-storey rental tower at 591 Sherbourne Street, at the southeast corner at Howard. Designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architect, the building would comprise 525 new units, retail on the ground floor, a restored heritage component on the north side of the site, and a new park on the southern portion of the site. The project is currently working its way through the planning process.
Finally, we turn south on Sherbourne and end our tour of Downtown East with a further densification of St. James Town, as 561 Sherbourne Street is progressing quickly through construction and has taken its place in the Toronto skyline. Headed by Medallion Corporation and designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, the 43-storey 409-unit rental tower has now topped off, with cladding now installed halfway up the building. The project is scheduled for completion before the end of the year.
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Our next Growth to Watch For story will follow Isabella westward over to Jarvis, heading south on it, then north on Church, exploring development along two of the fastest-growing corridors in the city. In the meantime, make sure to check out the dataBase files and associated 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 threads, or by leaving a comment in the space provided on this page!
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