The plan to redevelop three lots at Yonge and Elm streets in Downtown Toronto has evolved with a redesign for the project. The original July 2016 proposal for 8 Elm Street included only a 19.7-metre-wide single lot at 8 Elm, and the initial 259-metre-high, 80-storey proposal was met with a refusal from City Council. It was subsequently appealed to the OMB, but in the meantime, the developer Pemberton Group continued to work with the City and a revised proposal was submitted to the City in May 2018 with and expanded site that now included 348 and 356 Yonge Street as well, while the building was increased to 84 storeys. Following more talks with the City, the plan has been redesigned again, and a shorter 8 Elm has been submitted in support of a potential upcoming OMB/LPAT settlement. 

8 Elm, Pemberton, IBI Group, TorontoElevation diagrams for the revised 8 Elm, images via submission to City of Toronto

The IBI Group-designed project has been reduced to 67 storeys in its newest version, and a height of 215 metres. The height prevents new shadows from being added to College Park to the north. The new design shakes up the rectilinear tower massing with taper carved into its base and crown. While no renderings of the latest design are expected to be released until the project reaches the Site Plan Approval stage, elevation diagrams (the yellow-tinted image below) hint at a staggered cladding pattern that would give texture to the exterior elevations.

8 Elm, Pemberton, IBI Group, TorontoEvolution of the project's design, image via submission to City of Toronto

The revised proposal includes plans to preserve the façade of the designated heritage building at 8 Elm Street. Additional buildings now incorporated into the project site are neither listed nor designated on the City’s heritage register, though their exteriors are planned to be partially integrated into the tower's podium. The Yonge Street façade of 348 Yonge Street would be preserved in-situ, the Elm Street façade of 348-354 Yonge would be conserved in situ for the first 4.8 metres west of Yonge Street with the remainder being dismantled and rebuilt. The building at 352-354 Yonge Street would also be dismantled and reconstructed.

8 Elm, Pemberton, IBI Group, TorontoEvolution of the tower's base, image via submission to City of Toronto

The revised proposal now includes roughly 10,000 square feet of office space in the podium levels, meeting the City’s new 100% office replacement policy. Other revisions introduced in response to City staff comments include a new parking ratio of 0.15 spaces per unit, an increase in amenity space, increases to the number of multi-bedroom units, and minor changes pertaining to loading and solid waste management. 

Despite the height reduction, because the tower can have larger floor plates now, the overall unit count has increased, rising from 469 up to 667. The suites are planned in a mix of 35 studio units, 366 one-bedroom units, 199 two-bedroom units, and 67 three-bedroom units.

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.

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