A July 2016 proposal for a high-rise condominium tower in Toronto's Distillery District has been replaced with a new design. The original 49-storey, 167-metre plan for 31 Parliament Street was refused by Planning and Council, citing a number of reasons including height, context, and shadowing. The refusal was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, and a recent offer to settle in advance of the hearing comes with new planning documents submitted this month, to be presented at an upcoming April 24th City Council meeting.

The 2018 plan retains design architect New York's Arquitectonica with Toronto-based Kirkor Architects Planners serving as Architect of Record, but introduces a brand new design. The new plan has been reduced to 39 storeys, the previously proposed height of 172.75 metres now falling to 150.1 metres. 

31 Parliament Street, Arquitectonica, Toronto2018 iteration of 31 Parliament Street, image via submission to City of Toronto

31 Parliament's new design incorporates a series of stacked volumes that reduce in mass in three stages above the podium. While the podium itself has increased in size from the previous proposal, the progressively smaller stacked volumes above bring the overall gross floor area from 39,040 m² down to 33,461 m², while the floor space index falls from 16.4 down to 14 times the area of the lot.

The glass and steel aesthetic of the original plan is mitigated in the new design by the warmth of brick frames meant to blend the new building into the Distillery District's heritage context. Other changes include the repositioning of the tower, bringing it closer to Parliament Street to create more of an urban presence for the site's doorstep while reducing shadowing on properties to the north.

31 Parliament Street, Arquitectonica, TorontoLooking northeast past 31 Parliament Street, image via submission to City of Toronto

294 units are now proposed in the 2018 version, a pronounced reduction from the 495 proposed in 2016. The units are proposed in a mix of 135 one-bedrooms, 134 two-bedrooms, and 25 three-bedrooms. An option for more three-bedrooms would reduce the unit count a further 10 units to 284.

The above-grade parking component proposed in the 2016 iteration has been eliminated, with all of the site’s parking now proposed within a three-level underground garage. 153 parking spaces are proposed, for an overall parking rate of 0.52 spaces per unit.

31 Parliament Street, Arquitectonica, TorontoStreet level view of 31 Parliament Street, image via submission to City of Toronto

While the new design has been met with a mostly warm reception by contributors to our Forum, renderings omit the shadow-boxed spandrel glass which will clad a bank of elevators and stairs, taking up about a half of the wall space of the upper two volumes on the north face of the tower. The image below currently shows all of that simply as windows.

31 Parliament Street, Arquitectonica, Toronto2018 iteration of 31 Parliament Street, image via submission to City of Toronto

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