Public consultations have begun for a proposed mixed-use redevelopment at 300 Bloor Street West, along the southern edge of Toronto's Annex neighbourhood. Home to Bloor Street United Church, Northrop Developments Inc has engaged KPMB Architects and ERA Architects to design a 38-storey mixed-use tower along with renovations to and restoration of the historic church space with a “space-between” style connection to the commercial and residential high-rise.

300 Bloor St W, Toronto, designed by KPMB Architects for Northrop DevelopmentsFacing northwest towards 300 Bloor West, image retrieved from submission to the City of Toronto

Completed in 1890, Bloor Street United Church has been an important community gathering space for over 125 years. Designed by architect William R. Gregg in the Norman-Gothic style, the space is rich in history. The proposal outlines the importance of heritage preservation when renovating the existing sacred spaces within the church, with plans to restore the large cathedral windows and acoustics in the main sacred space. 

Bloor Street United Church, TorontoFacing northeast on Bloor and Huron, Apr-29-1924, City of Toronto Archives

These improvements are proposed all while getting the building to code and retaining other historic features. Pidgeon House, gifted to the church in 1954, is an under-utilized space located just north of the site on Huron Street and is included in the redevelopment, proposed to be connected to the base of the tower.

300 Bloor St W, Toronto, designed by KPMB Architects for Northrop DevelopmentsDiagram of proposed building components, image retrieved from submission to the City of Toronto

Primary focuses outlined in the proposal include heritage preservation, sustainability and enhancing cultural, spiritual and social programming for the space. Although some demolition of the church is proposed as necessary for integration of the new high-rise building, the developer will protect the acoustics of the main sacred space. This comes with proposed upgrades to meeting areas, administrative offices and a community kitchen. With this, Northrop Developments will attempt to enhance the culture and public realm of the site.

300 Bloor St W, Toronto, designed by KPMB Architects for Northrop DevelopmentsBloor street, view facing northeast at 300 Bloor West, image retrieved from submission to the City of Toronto

Once completed, the United Church of Canada will relocate their headquarters to part of the tower’s commercial space. As the Bloor-Danforth subway line runs below the development, above ground parking atop the atrium is proposed as the base-levels. The tower will mainly consist of residential condos—with 30% as one-bedrooms ranging from 41 m²/445 ft² to 55 m²/600 ft², 60% as two-bedrooms ranging from 86 m²/925 ft² to 93 m²/1,000 ft², and 10% as three-bedrooms ranging from 116 m²/1250 ft² to 186 m²/2,000 ft².

300 Bloor St W, Toronto, designed by KPMB Architects for Northrop DevelopmentsView facing north on Huron street at 300 Bloor West, image retrieved from submission to the City of Toronto

The cathedral is intended to remain as the main building of focus, proposed to enhance the open space on Bloor street. A new mixed retail and cafe space will join the streetscape just west of the church. A promenade will connect the church and this space to the high-rise, designed as a “space-between” connection. KPMB's work at the Royal Conservatory of Music is cited as an example of a similar heritage-to-modern linking space. 

300 Bloor St W, Toronto, designed by KPMB Architects for Northrop DevelopmentsWorship space, 300 Bloor West, image retrieved from submission to the City of Toronto

300 Bloor St W, Toronto, designed by KPMB Architects for Northrop DevelopmentsWorship space, 300 Bloor West, image retrieved from submission to the City of Toronto

Looking for community feedback before submitting a design to the City, the proponents have scheduled another public consultation at the church on Tuesday, November 21st, from 7 - 9 PM. Discussion will be focused on traffic, parking, shadow studies and community services. For more information on the session, you can visit www.300bloorstreetwest.com. The proponents are targeting late 2017 for submission of a revised design. A formal community consultation would follow in the new year.

We will return with updates as additional information on this development emerges. In the meantime, you can view more renderings and get building facts by visiting the project's dataBase file, linked below. Want to join the discussion? Visit our associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.