Near the south end of Holly and Dunfield streets in Toronto's Yonge and Eglinton area are a pair of 14-storey-tall apartment buildings, slab style, built in 1961. At that time, the two buildings, staggered to see past past each other on the back-to-back former single-family home lots, were located amidst a sea of lawns and surface parking, in the tower-in-the-park style that marked the latest thinking of the time. Over five decades later, we now understand that this style of planning brought us vast expanses where little happens at ground level: the lawns go mostly unused, and the parking lots push one building away from the next. It all takes away from life on the sidewalk, leaving much to be desired when looking through the lens of city-building.

With the emphasis now on building more densely, and creating livelier residential neighbourhoods near high capacity public transportation, towers-in-the-park sites across Toronto are being rethought. Here on Holly and Dunfield streets—situated just steps from the offices, shops, restaurants and entertainment at Yonge & Eglinton—is one of several infill projects in this district. Developer Plaza has recently filed for Site Plan Approval to replace the surface parking with two new condominium towers which they're calling Plaza Midtown.

Plaza Midtown by Quadrangle Architects for Plaza, TorontoRendering looking east on Holly Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Having gained zoning approval in 2016 following the reworking of an initial 2013 submission, the Quadrangle Architects-designed project will add a 34-storey condo tower on the northeast corner of the site along Dunfield, while a 27-storey condo will be constructed on the southeast end of the site, fronting Holly St. The new towers will reach 108 metres (354 feet) and 84 metres (275 feet) in height, respectively. Each of the towers would abut one of the existing rental buildings, but the interior hallways will not connect.

Plaza Midtown by Quadrangle Architects for Plaza, TorontoRendering from Dunfield Avenue looking west, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Combined, the two buildings will add 206 1-bedroom units, 257 2-bedroom units, and 82 3-or more bedroom units to the area. A total of 413 vehicular parking spaces will be included through three levels of underground parking, below the new buildings and between the existing buildings. The space above the garage and between the buildings will be landscaped by NAK Design Group as outdoor amenity area for the condos. 547 bicycle parking spaces will be provided throughout the complex, while the driveways that front the existing buildings will be modified to create enhanced urban landscaping, transitioning to a stronger public realm.

Plaza Midtown by Quadrangle Architects for Plaza, TorontoAerial rendering looking south, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The earlier plans for the site included 5-storey additions to the existing rental buildings, and a 6-storey mid-rise at the southeast corner of the site fronting Soudan Avenue. Appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) due to a lack of decision by City Planning, the applicants reached a settlement agreement, resulting in the approved plans. As approved, the applicants have agreed to a new 1,550 square metre public park where the mid-rise would have been on Soudan. Design of the park is now being handled as part of a separate application.

Plaza Midtown by Quadrangle Architects for Plaza, TorontoAerial rendering looking west, image via submission to the City of Toronto

We will provide more information as Plaza Midtown progresses. Additional information and renderings can be found in the project's dataBase file, linked below. Want to get in on the conversation? Feel free to leave a comment in the field below, or join in the ongoing discussion in the associated Forum thread. 

To request more info directly from Plaza Midtown click here