Toronto 221 Sterling | 95.5m | 29s | First Capital | Turner Fleischer

ferusian

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221 STERLING RD
Ward 9: Davenport

Development Applications

Project description:
Zoning By-law Amendment application to facilitate the development of 3 residential towers having heights of 29, 25, and 20 storeys atop two podiums. A total of 892 residential dwelling units are proposed, of which, 33 units are rental replacement units. The total residential gross floor area on the lot is 56,482.80 square metres.

This site is consists of a two-storey commercial building home to commercial studio lofts & is owned by First Capital REIT (pg. 34) / Firm Capital

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Ah, this one hurts. I kinda knew this would be coming at some point eventually, but this building is great for the community and these kinds of spaces can support so many people and small operations in a way that our monolithic new developments never can. The photo above doesn't do it justice — it's really quite a nice old warehouse from other vantage points and seems to be a bunch of buildings that have merged together or expanded to connect with each other over time, which is quite cool to see. It has so much texture and life.

And the way it integrates with the space around it creates all these neat little spaces. Walking the laneway behind is particularly nice.

Hopefully it's done sensitively and some of the nice architecture of the current building and its human-scale integration into its space is maintained, but losing what this building is and what it supports is very sad.

If you've never explored the laneway before, you can see it on Google Streetview:

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Very much agree – this pocket is really great, and these sorts of spaces that are affordable and work well for artists and artisans are vanishing fast from the city. (Thinking offhand of the warehouse at Dupont and Ossington, the coffin factory on Niagara, the workshops and spaces that used to be along Dufferin north of Queen, etc)

If I'm reading the application correctly, it's purely residential, and not replacing the commercial lofts or any live-work elements – is that correct? I'd much rather see some good city-building that preserves those kinds of spaces and builds on the art/design/film node centred on MOCA. Much like Lamb's lazy proposal next door, this feels like a wasted opportunity - we're getting more much-needed housing density near transit but we're losing spaces that we shoud be trying harder to replace and sustain.
 
Ah, this one hurts. I kinda knew this would be coming at some point eventually, but this building is great for the community and these kinds of spaces can support so many people and small operations in a way that our monolithic new developments never can. The photo above doesn't do it justice — it's really quite a nice old warehouse from other vantage points and seems to be a bunch of buildings that have merged or expanded on each other over time, which is quite cool to see. It has so much texture and life.

And the way it integrates with the space around it creates all these neat little spaces. Walking the laneway behind is particularly nice.

Hopefully it's done sensitively and some of the nice architecture of the current building and its human-scale integration into its space is maintained, but losing what this building is and what it supports is very sad.

If you've never explored the laneway before, you can see it on Google Streetview:

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Excellent little tour!

I completely agree that spaces like these are what make a city.

Both culturally and aesthetically.

It would frankly be a shame to see this go, at all.

Though partial preservation might suffice in a certain way; it certainly wouldn't be the same.

The UT lament.....why can't the developers just buy the hopelessly ugly sites, the vacant sites, the parking lots, the discount stores..................sigh.

We just have to hope for something respectful....
 
It's particularly unfortunate for the Pia Bouman Dance Studio, which relocated here not too long ago after having to move out of their previous home (of 40 years) in the Queen West & Dufferin area due to another future redevelopment plan.
 
Not bad, not great either.

Describes my feelings as well.

But I'd go a bit further.............
If this was being plunked down in inner suburbia............streetwall aside, I think I might be reasonably happy.
There's some warmth, some contrast, it's a bit safe, but by no means ugly.

*****

However, I don't like the 'fit' for Sterling Road.
Here I want something to convey that industrial vibe; or being strikingly modern in a contrasting way.
A safe middle ground, while nominally inoffensive, feels very out of place.
I'd love to see a cogent study of some of the older factories and warehouses on the site and in the area, as they were originally, and putting something together that's original and now, but sympathetic to those designs.

OR

Go Bold, go artsy, hit on the industrial theme through mass timber, or exposed steel beams, but pop it with bright colour.

OR......

Hmmm, it is T-F.........................

Maybe we can just give the project to good architects instead?

Just a thought.

****

This so inspires in me the "This is good for a ____ project"
 
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I increasingly feel as though this area is the next Liberty Village (and I don't mean that in a bad way - just industrial becoming mixed-use with a lot of residents, and this happening in a very rapid fashion). I would like to see us learn the lessons of Liberty Village and do this neighbourhood right. Fortunately, it is already on rapid transit, so at least it has an advantage in that department...
 
Is this really pure residential down to street level and all the way around? I hope these developers have the respect to the neighbourhood and to the site and to the community and the area and the city to make them live-work at least. Same thing with Lamb development next door. Together they could have made a super compelling urban space between them. It shows no awareness of what this neighbourhood is even like or what would be thoughtful development here. This neighbourhood is good and interesting because of adaptability of buildings into different uses and spaces for artists, small businesses, etc. and as a place where these types of uses can flourish. Why are they deadening the area? This is why people like this part of the city! If this truly is just plain residential (and presuming there's no zoning or other issues that are stopping the developer from doing more than residential) it shows a complete lack of understanding for what the place they are building in is even like, what's good about it, and how to build thoughtfully in that community. Just complete disrespect and lack of vision or care.

Why do they think this is a good fit for the neighbourhood? Why don't they recognize and take the opportunity to do more and create a transformative building that would add to and build with the richness of the area? Given that they're demolishing an important (and beautiful) piece of the community as it exists, you would think they would have the dignity and respect to the area and the people in it (and the people who will live in their building in the future!) to at least try a bit. But I guess that's asking too much. Don't the people doing this all over this city, the companies demolishing sites of human beauty and flourishing and the building up of dead boxes in their place, feel just a little bit bad about it? And if not, what does that say about the culture and general thoughtfulness-level and sense of responsibility in this important sector of our city? There is so much they could do with this kind of site to make something fantastic or at least something that gave back a bit to the community in some way if they tried just a little or thought about the city in this way.

Can people in this industry please just do better? It is our city you have the job and responsibility of building and you should take more care when you do it.

Sorry, I'm mad because this just feels like total disrespect and so demoralizing (alongside so many other just bare-minimum new buildings in this city), but I take it all back if I'm just misreading the documents and there are actually other uses in this development or there's some zoning reason or something that makes it so they can't do more than just residential here.

Those buildings down on Dufferin by Queen, I forget the exact project, where they're building for light industrial uses in part of them would have been a great kind of vision for this site. You could have that type of use or general more larger scale commercial adaptable space down at the south end of the site near the other warehouse next door + create a small public square in there and then along the west have smaller adaptable live-work units or specifically retail or a mix or a double level retail/office type setup like the excellent new building up by Wallace and the Railpath has, creating new mainstreet style topology. And then residential above that like they have now. Would be great! Alas for the short-sightedness and lack of ambition and care of those who determine the future of the places we love.

The architecture is medium okay. Would be happy to see this type of development in residential neighbourhoods replacing single-family homes instead of in place of beloved and community-supporting mixed-use gems that can never be replaced or the likes of which ever built again. Where will dance studios go in our condobox future?

Angled rooflines kinda nice — I will enjoy looking at their geometry from afar. At least they put some degree of precast masonry kinda stuff down throughout the podium otherwise I'd be up at another level of mad 😄
 
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Everyone loves live-work units, but are they affordable to artists? Most of those people don't earn well at all because it's notoriously difficult to monetize creativity.
 
Everyone loves live-work units, but are they affordable to artists? Most of those people don't earn well at all because it's notoriously difficult to monetize creativity.

Yeah it's a good point, for this kind of thing to be really effective they'd need to be significantly subsidized. I don't really favour them in general and thinking about it I don't think I see a lot of new live-work units being really well used in this way, but at least it would show like a nod of understanding towards the context of the area and at least a basic "trying to do something fitting" approach and the potential that in the future perhaps the units could be adapted for good uses.

I think general use adaptable commercial/light-industrial/rentable space would probably be the better option. This just underscores how much of a loss it is to lose buildings like this — the kind of space that is being obliterated is not replicateable in new developments at market levels. And the City has no real plan to create new types of spaces like this accessible to the uses that we treasure.
 
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