The proposal for a new condo tower on the northwest corner of Church and Wellesley streets in Toronto's Gay Village has evolved with a resubmission to the City. Originally proposed as a 43-storey, 162-metre-high tower, it was rejected by City Council on December 5, 2017, on the advice of the Planning Department. The Department laid out several reasons to refuse the application in their background report for Council, including that the site—falling within the Church Street Village Character Area as identified in the Official Plan—is not considered a tall building site. 

Looking west to Church and Wellesley, Toronto,designed by 3XN for ONE PropertiesLooking west to Church and Wellesley, designed by 3XN for ONE Properties

The developer ONE Properties subsequently appealed Council's decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), and a pre-hearing has been scheduled for June 28 of this year. In the time since the appeal was launched, the developer has now submitted a revised proposal for the 3XN-designed development to the City.

Looking northwest up Church Street, image retrieved from Google Street ViewLooking northwest up Church Street, image retrieved from Google Street View

The revised proposal encompasses a larger site: the original proposal covered an assembly of properties at 552 through 570 Church Street, and 66 Wellesley Street East. Now, 64 Wellesley Street East has been added to the assemblage, allowing the tower to be shifted somewhat to the west. The additional property—the four storey building with blue sign—is seen at left in the image below. The proposal also includes the narrow public lane between 64 and 66 Wellesley, and therefore its success depends upon the City's willingness to sell and close the lane.

Looking northeast across Wellesley Street, image retrieved from Google Street ViLooking northeast across Wellesley Street, image retrieved from Google Street View

The new proposal of February 2018 is 4 storeys and 21 metres shorter, now 39 storeys and 141 metres. Along with 442 units, it proposes parking spaces for 140 on 3 underground levels, and lockups for 487 bikes. At ground level, 5 retail units are planned, 2 fronting Wellesley and 3 fronting Church. At the north end of the Church Street frontage, another doorway would give access to escalators to take shoppers up to a full second level grocery store. Finally, at the corner of Church and Wellesley, a sheltered two-level-high, 320 square metre public plaza is proposed—one which can be left open to the street during good weather, but which can be closed off behind sliding glass doors in poor weather. It would be available for community events throughout the year.

Looking northeast to the public plaza, Church and Wellesley, TorontoLooking northeast to the public plaza, image from before the property was extended west, courtesy of ONE Properties

Many of those attending public consultations have supported the public plaza as a major benefit to the community, but many also see the proposal as too big overall. Grand facilities depend upon large developments to shoulder the cost of building them, so the eventual construction of such a space will no doubt come down to the size of the development the City is willing to approve here.

Massing study for the new proposal, including balcony area, Church and WellesleyLooking southwest: massing study for the new proposal, including balcony area, image retrieved from submission to the City

The developer intends to continue talking with the City in advance of the OMB proceedings. If a settlement can be reached before the OMB hearing, what might have taken a couple of weeks to argue in front of the board could instead become a quickly presented settlement ratification. It remains to be seen how the City will react to the revised plan, and ow far off an OMB hearing date might be.

Looking southwest past Church and Wellesley, designed by 3XN for ONE PropertiesLooking southwest past Church and Wellesley, designed by 3XN for ONE Properties

Want to know more about the Church and Wellesley proposal? We have more renderings and statistics in our database file for the development, linked below. Want to talk about it? You can visit the associated Forum thread to get in on the conversation, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.