Redevelopment plans are advancing for a block of Laird Drive in Toronto's Leaside neighbourhood. Originally proposed in 2014, a plan by V!VA Retirement Communities to redevelop 146-150 Laird Drive was recently approved in principle at an OMB hearing, leading to an application for Site Plan Approval (SPA) submitted to the City in November. The updated proposal calls for 7 and 8-storey seniors rental retirement buildings, with architecture by RAW Design.

150 Laird Drive, V!VA Retirement Communities, RAW Design, TorontoFacing northwest over 150 Laird Drive, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

Previously proposed as an 8-storey seniors building and a 7-storey condominium building, the shorter building's condominium uses have since been removed from the plan in the latest SPA submission, replaced with additional rental retirement uses. The removal of these condominium units has brought the development's total retirement rental unit count up to 248, divided between 74 assisted and 174 independent units.

150 Laird Drive, V!VA Retirement Communities, RAW Design, TorontoFacing northeast over 150 Laird Drive, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

The plans call for the incorporation of the north, south, and east facades of 150 Laird Drive, a heritage-designated, 1928-built administrative building for the Durand cars manufacturing complex. To the south, a later low-rise office building would be demolished to make way for the new density. These preserved facades will be integrated into the 8-storey north building's Laird Drive frontage, with a modern structure above featuring a primarily glazed exterior.

150 Laird Drive, V!VA Retirement Communities, RAW Design, TorontoFacing southwest at 150 Laird Drive, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

Replacing the existing south building on site, the 7-storey component will have more traditional finishes including two tones of brick and precast concrete, creating a relationship with the retained facade to the north. The remaining exterior envelope would consist of a window wall system with vision glass, spandrel glass, and aluminum panels.

150 Laird Drive, V!VA Retirement Communities, RAW Design, TorontoSouth building at 150 Laird Drive, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

A number of changes have been made since the 2014 submission, most notably, revisions to the design and layout of the buildings' interiors to accommodate the switch from mixed-use residential to the currently proposed retirement use. With the project now planned to be built as a single phase, the ground floor of both buildings now functions as a single continuous level. The condominium lobby has been removed, scooter parking has been relocated, and the number of ground floor units has been reduced, freeing up space for additional ground floor uses. The ground floor is now set to include an administration/office area, a games room, a dining room and kitchen, fitness rooms, a wellness spa, and a coffee shop. 

150 Laird Drive, V!VA Retirement Communities, RAW Design, Toronto150 Laird Drive, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

Residents would be served by a three-level underground garage containing 186 parking spaces. For seniors that still pursue a more active lifestyle, 62 long-term and 21 short-term bicycle parking spaces will be included.

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.