The Greenland Group Canada celebrated its third anniversary last night in the cavernous space of the former FedEx warehouse at Sherbourne and Lake Shore in Toronto's transforming East Bayfront area. They had more than drinks and nosh for the guests in attendance, as President of Greenland Canada Henry Cao was there to announce that Hariri Pontarini Architects had won a competition between local and international architects to design Greenland's next development.

A crowd gathers inside the former FedEx warehouse on Lake Shore Boulevard, imageA crowd gathers inside the former FedEx warehouse on Lake Shore Boulevard, image by Edward Skira

The Canadian company—its Shanghai-based parent company is possibly the world's largest developer—started its local story with the purchase of the King Blue development, now rising in Toronto's Entertainment District. On hand to celebrate Greenland's three years here so far were the Chinese Consul General of Toronto, He Wei, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade The Honourable Michael Chan, and Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon representing the City of Toronto. All three brought congratulations for Greenland's fist three years and best wishes for the future.

Michael Chan, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Henry Cao, David Pontarini, He Wei, image bMichael Chan, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Henry Cao, David Pontarini, He Wei, image by Craig White

It was David Pontarini, partner at Hariri Pontarini Architects, who spoke about the vision for the new complex while a video showing the concept played on a screen.

An aerial view of the 215 Lake Shore concept for Greenland, Hariri PontariniAn aerial view of the 215 Lake Shore East concept for Greenland, original by Hariri Pontarini Architects

Pontarini stated that the competition produced a design that won them the competition, but which—for the time being—remains a concept to inform the final design, emphasizing that they and Greenland have a long way to go, and work to do with both the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto, before a design is submitted for rezoning and site plan approval.  

The "hero rendering" of the design concept for Greenland's next project, originaThe "hero rendering" of the design concept for Greenland's next project, original image by Hariri Pontarini Architects

Hariri Pontarini's concept is heavily influenced by the sailboats—featured in the video which played at the party—which ply Toronto's Harbour just a block and a half to the south of the site, and in particular the curves of their hulls.

Ground level of the concept plan shows an animated streetscape, Hariri PontariniGround level of the concept plan shows an animated streetscape, original image by Hariri Pontarini Architects

No heights, nor approximate unit counts, nor amounts of commercial or public space on the site were provided, Pontarini stating only that all of the numbers are still being worked out. In regards to the density across the site, however, the intention is for a taller tower to rise on the east side of the site, opposite Great Gulf's Monde, which borders the other side of Sherbourne Common. Toward the west end of the site, the buildings would decline in height. Across Richardson Street to the west, the Daniels Waterfront mixed-use complex is currently rising.

The pin shows the property to be redeveloped, image retrieved from Apple MapsThe pin shows the property to be redeveloped, image retrieved from Apple Maps

The former FedEx site (they have since moved east to a new building in the Port Lands) takes up about two thirds of the block bounded by Lake Shore Boulevard East, Lower Sherbourne Street, Queens Quay East, and Richardson Street. There are three properties to the south of the Greenland property which front onto Queens Quay and which are owned by other companies. No proposals have come forward for the redevelopment of those properties yet.

UrbanToronto will report back when the development is submitted for approvals, and more specifics are known. In the meantime, you can find out more via our dataBase file for the project, linked below. To get in on the conversation, you can visit our associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.