18 Elm | 134.09m | 39s | Westerkirk Capital | BDP Quadrangle

Northern Light

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Let's start out by saying I find this proposal an abomination.

That said......

18 Elm is one of most beautiful heritage facades on Elm, on the north side, between Yonge and Bay. Before anyone has a heart attack, the intent is to retain said facades.
The building in behind those facades is already a newer build so in that sense, no heritage would be lost here.

However, the proposal, to my mind, is utterly overbearing and will greatly diminish the sense of this beauty:

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Now, the app:

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For such an 'ambitious' ask, the proposal has very mediocre quality renders:

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The massing drawings below give a sense of that overhang:

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Description:

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Project tenure (supposedly) purpose-built rental.

Note the proposed Separation Distances, (shy of what would normally be expected/guidelines) and the unusually small floor plate size (about 1/3 smaller than typical)

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The small working site area and need for some separation on the east/north sides is what leaves the tower, to me, feeling overbearing on the Elm Street side. I had a look, and I don't believe there is any opportunity to re-site the building within the land area; shrinking it to let the heritage stand proud, would reduce the footprint a further 25% to ~400m2 or a bit less than same.

*****

Additional Comments:

No real issue w/height here or the substance on heritage since the historical elements (facades) are being retained.

I just can't stand the overhang on top of the heritage which exudes greed to me, diminishing a lovely building just to make money..........

Psst, the owner here, Ms. Bryden, is the richest woman in Canada, worth many Billions.
 
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innsertnamehere

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The overhang looks necessary because even with it, the tower floor plate is only 571 square metres.

Whether this project works at all is another question.
 

Northern Light

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The overhang looks necessary because even with it, the tower floor plate is only 571 square metres.

Whether this project works at all is another question.

I note that in my comments. That to remove the overhang you would shrink the floor plate to a smidge under 400m2. Which probably isn't viable; to which my answer is leave as-is, thanks.
 

cd concept

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Wow! This development has a double edged sword feel to it. Though it would be nice not to touch this building for development! The tower part does blend in with its fancy Victorian arches below and fancy columns accenting the punctured window effect . That braces the tower upwards above the old building. Complimenting to structures together compared to some other developments seen in the photos up above . Giving this project a midevil feel to it in a sense lol!
 

Rascacielo

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This is where Bangkok Garden is? If so, the interior is pleasant enough, but nothing special. Also, it's a trek to get from the dining room to the bathrooms - multiple stairs - up, down, up again.
 

Urban-Affair

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You could move this back somewhat, (5m for instance) and maintain the floor plate size as is. Less dramatic along Elm, but more appropriate. That would go against planning policy on setbacks but perhaps in this case an exception could be made. Then everyone would want that exception though.

In the end this one should probably be left alone, but nothing in Toronto is sacred.
 

Northern Light

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You could move this back somewhat, (5m for instance) and maintain the floor plate size as is. Less dramatic along Elm, but more appropriate. That would go against planning policy on setbacks but perhaps in this case an exception could be made. Then everyone would want that exception though.

In the end this one should probably be left alone, but nothing in Toronto is sacred.

Separation distance at north end of the property is already below guideline. Shaving another 5M would have folks in this building and the one to the north starting right into each other's windows.

It would also eliminate almost all natural light, not only at grade, but for tenants/owners in either tower.
 

Bayer

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Wow! This development has a double edged sword feel to it. Though it would be nice not to touch this building for development! The tower part does blend in with its fancy Victorian arches below and fancy columns accenting the punctured window effect . That braces the tower upwards above the old building. Complimenting to structures together compared to some other developments seen in the photos up above . Giving this project a midevil feel to it in a sense lol!
"Midevil" is an appropriate typo though I think this is fully evil. So it's Sherry Brydson herself who is having her building redeveloped?
 

Northern Light

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It's wise to remember that just because someone submits an application for a site, doesn't mean it's real. Value increase is the name of the game here. We'll leave it at that for now.

Fair enough, but for two things.

1) If the application succeeds in some manner, even if not in the current form, ie. secures zoning for additional height/density which inflates a future sale price, that additional density/height still becomes the basis of a future proposal by a future owner at some point, as it would hardly make sense to pay a premium for greater zoning permission that you either could not or would not make use of..........

2) The owner here is among the richest people in the world. She has no need whatever for another few tens of millions or even 100M this might gain her on sale.

If there is no intention to mess w/this building, there is no need to waste private money or the City's money on addressing this application.
 

ProjectEnd

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Fair enough, but for two things.

1) If the application succeeds in some manner, even if not in the current form, ie. secures zoning for additional height/density which inflates a future sale price, that additional density/height still becomes the basis of a future proposal by a future owner at some point, as it would hardly make sense to pay a premium for greater zoning permission that you either could not or would not make use of..........

2) The owner here is among the richest people in the world. She has no need whatever for another few tens of millions or even 100M this might gain her on sale.

If there is no intention to mess w/this building, there is no need to waste private money or the City's money on addressing this application.
No question, but unfortunately both of those things are incorrect, as much as we'd like them not to be. The owner can submit anything they like (and has, in this case), and, under the Planning Act, the City is required to evaluate it and submit comments. Whether or not the proposal succeeds is up to both parties.
 

Northern Light

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No question, but unfortunately both of those things are incorrect, as much as we'd like them not to be. The owner can submit anything they like (and has, in this case), and, under the Planning Act, the City is required to evaluate it and submit comments. Whether or not the proposal succeeds is up to both parties.

Well, I was speaking not as a legal nicety, but as a practical matter (in an idealistic sense).

I don't disagree that the City is required to deal w/what's before it; I'm articulating that it ought not to have to.........
 

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