On Tuesday May 16, a public consultation for The Conservatory Group's 150 Pearl St development proposal was held at Metro Hall, with about 40 members of the public in attendance. Designed by Richmond Architects, the mixed-use tower will be, if approved, the fourth to be built on the block between Duncan and Simcoe, and Pearl to Adelaide. 

City staff in attendance included heritage planners, the city planner on the project, as well as Ward 20 Councillor Joe Cressy. He began the presentation stating that yes, the Entertainment District—especially in this specific area—is anticipated for tower development, though the question remains: what sites are suitable for growth, and which ones are not?

150 Pearl by Richmond Architects for The Conservatory Group, TorontoWorms-eye view looking southeast to the tower, image via submission to the City of Toronto

150 Pearl, a property which also includes the municipal addresses of 158 Pearl and 15 Duncan, is proposed for the southwest corner of the block which includes development proposals to the north and east. Immediately north is Westbank Corp and Allied REIT's 19 Duncan at 57 storeys; it will be before the OMB at a prehearing on June 6. Directly east, Humbold Properties' 217 Adelaide (at 56 storeys) has been appealed to the OMB as well, though no hearing date is posted. To the east of it, 100 Simcoe and Adelaide, a 59-storey tower proposed by Sun Life and designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects is currently going through the planning process. On the next block across Duncan Street to the west, it was announced just last week that Quadrangle is designing a 48-storey tower at 14 Duncan, while to the south of Pearl are the two approved Mirvish+Gehry towers, one on each side of Duncan.

150 Pearl by Richmond Architects for The Conservatory Group, TorontoRendering of the podium levels facing north, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The 58-storey 150 pearl tower begins with 5 levels of underground parking, before reaching grade level where retail would animate the streetscape. The 4-storey heritage building at 15 Duncan would be preserved in the new development, while the facade of the heritage building at 158 would be kept and worked into the new design. At 6 storeys, the podium will include two upper floors set back from the heritage buildings, while a series of staggered variations of an architectural exterior make up the overall design of the tower. The massing itself is wide east-west but narrow on the north and south facades, pushing the elevator core to the outer part of the tower, rather than being centralized.

150 Pearl by Richmond Architects for The Conservatory Group, TorontoThe elevator can be seen in the center of the north facade, image via submission to the City of Toronto

During the question and answer period, very few in attendance expressed concern over the proposed density and any traffic implications for the area, although one member of the audience felt that Pearl is too narrow to accommodate a large amount of vehicular traffic. When asked about bedroom sizes, a representative from Richmond Architects replied that the units would be a bit larger than market standards, with 1-bedroom units going up to 650 square feet, 2-bedrooms ranging from 750-925 square feet, and 2-bedroom+den reaching 1,100 square metres, with no 3-bedroom units planned. The original number of suites proposed for the tower was 610 (on 59 floors), but the number of suites has now been lowered to 460 units on 58 storeys.

150 Pearl by Richmond Architects for The Conservatory Group, TorontoRendering looking east to the west facade, image via submission to the City of Toronto

When asked if the design will continue to further evolve, the applicants responded that the overall design would remain the same, though with some modifications likely to be made through the planning process. The applicants are focusing on achieving Tier 2 of the Toronto Green Standard, and targeting Bronze or Silver LEED certification. Currently, the team is in the preliminary stage regarding heritage preservation on the lower levels.

We will provide you with updates as more information becomes available. Additional information and renderings can be found in the project's dataBase, linked below. While this project circulates through the planning process, feel free to leave your thoughts by commenting in the space provided on this page, or join in on the conversation in the associated Forum thread.