Last month, we updated you on the progress that St Thomas Developments' 88 North has made since its formal announcement. Located at Mutual and Shuter streets on the east side of Downtown Toronto, 88 North is slated to replace the north end of the block sized parking lot which runs north from Queen Street East. The Page + Steele / IBI Group-designed project proposes four high-rise towers, one of which will be named 88 North, fronting Shuter Street. 

88 North, Page + Steele / IBI Group, Gensler, St. Thomas Developments, TorontoFacing Southwest across site, image by Stefan Novakovic

With zoning approval received, the project moved forward with a fencing off of the parking lot. Now, construction is set to begin as this 3,049 square metre site has been cleared and readied for excavation. Shoring equipment has since arrived at the site. 

88 North, Page + Steele / IBI Group, Gensler, St. Thomas Developments, TorontoFacing Northwest across site, image by Stefan Novakovic

88 North is set to be the smallest of the three towers in the development at 29 storeys, animating Shuter Street first and starting the system of pedestrian mews that will punctuate the site and bring life to a block of the city that has been the domain of parked cars for the past few decades. Unlike most high rise developments in Toronto with retail concentrated on main street frontages, the retail and pedestrian focus will be inwards looking, animating the spaces between the four towers which creates market-like corridors. The large site and the quiet side streets are the key factors that enable this approach here.

88 North, Page + Steele / IBI Group, Gensler, St. Thomas Developments, TorontoGround Plan of site, highlighting landscaping and retail locations, image via submission to City of Toronto

Designed by Montreal based landscape architects Claude Cormier + Associés, two open spaces will mark the site: a piazza-like Privately Owned Publicly accessible Space (POPS) to the southeast, and a small park to the northwest will further animate the site. The mews—lined with shops and restaurants—will run north from Queen Street past the POPS and between the towers all the way to the park near the north end, giving people a reason to keep the public realm lively. Hiding loading away from the mews means no barren alleyways that mar some dense developments in the city.

88 North, Page + Steele / IBI Group, Gensler, St. Thomas Developments, TorontoRendering of Southeast Mid-block Connection, image via submission to City of Toronto

The City is now considering rezoning and site plan applications for the remainder of the 88 Queen site south of 88 North. The three towers of the second phase were originally proposed at 29, 33, and 57 storeys, but have been reduced to 27, 28, and 54 storeys. 

In the coming months we will return with updates as construction progresses. in the meantime, further information about 88 North and 88 Queen is available in the dataBase files, linked below. Want to talk about it? Leave a comment in the space on this page, or join the conversation in our associated Forum threads.