Hot on the heels of last year’s opening of the 17-storey Globe and Mail Centre, First Gulf is proposing another office tower for their King East Centre complex at the east edge of Downtown Toronto. A new application seeks rezoning to permit a 25-storey Class A office tower at 200 Front Street East, where a low-rise block of retail currently exists between the new Globe and Mail Centre to the east and the existing mid-rise Coca-Cola Canada HQ to the west. The southwest corner of the site includes a No Frills grocery store and surface parking lot at ground level.

200 Front Street East, Toronto, First Gulf, WZMH, King East CentreSite of the King East Centre and 200 Front Street East, image via submission to City of Toronto

Currently zoned for a 12-storey office tower where the No Frills' surface parking lot is, the new proposal differs from the previously-granted zoning, seeking to build a tower over double the allotted height, and with the proposed location shifted to the central portion of the block. Designed by WZMH Architects, the tower would reach a height of 119.7 metres, and introduce 50,873 square metres of new gross floor area to the complex.

200 Front Street East, Toronto, First Gulf, WZMH, King East Centre200 Front Street East, image via submission to City of Toronto

The proposal would wedge into the built-out site with minimal disruption for existing office tenants of the complex. A low-rise podium containing retail would closely match the existing retail massing with a podium clad in a striking decorative screen framed in red brick. A break in this low-rise volume at the centre of the block would frame the glass-clad tower base, while a series of Y-shaped structural elements would support a cantilevered tower volume above, while minimizing the number of structural supports intruding into the podium’s retail spaces.

200 Front Street East, Toronto, First Gulf, WZMH, King East Centre200 Front Street East, image via submission to City of Toronto

The rooftop of the podium would be used as outdoor amenity space for office tenants, with renderings depicting outdoor furniture and landscaping, as well as crystalline-shaped skylights that will allow natural light to penetrate to the retail spaces below.

200 Front Street East, Toronto, First Gulf, WZMH, King East Centre200 Front Street East, image via submission to City of Toronto

Above, the tower would take on a box form, but with crimped facades and a pitched roofline that combine to give the exterior a faceted look. Office space is proposed to occupy levels 6 through 25 of the tower, with the level above to be split between mechanical penthouse space and amenity space for tenants, including a galleria and an outdoor terrace that faces west towards the city skyline, similar to the existing rooftop terrace next door at the Globe and Mail Centre.

200 Front Street East, Toronto, First Gulf, WZMH, King East Centre200 Front Street East, image via submission to City of Toronto

Planning documents included in the submission also describe a proposed construction phasing plan that would be implemented were the plan to be approved. The first step would involve the construction of new enclosed mechanical penthouse floors above a set of existing loading docks, allowing business to continue for the complex’s tenants. Next, the existing Front Street retail would be demolished to make way for shoring and excavation of four underground parking levels. A tower crane would follow to start forming of the underground levels and the tower above.

200 Front Street East, Toronto, First Gulf, WZMH, King East Centre200 Front Street East, image via submission to City of Toronto

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 using the field provided at the bottom of this page.