425 Bloor West | 104.4m | 30s | The Brown Group | IBI Group

Northern Light

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I have been expecting this application for awhile, having hinted at it elsewhere...........but it now arrived in the AIC.

The proposal to redevelop the Metro supermarket at Bloor and Robert, just west of Spadina on the south side.

Site as is:

1666164238248.png


Application:

1666164124369.png



From the Docs:

1666164345972.png


1666164394285.png


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North and East elevations above

1666164681315.png


1666165102622.png


0.14 parking ratio

***

Now for a bit of throwback, this site was first evaluated by the City for its potential in the Bloor Street Visioning Study in 2009:


In that study, we find this image:

1666166605079.png

and this one: (oddly for the same study, if you look carefully you'll see the Bloor frontage of this site represented differently from the above)

1666166712551.png

Also from the plan:

1666166811922.png


Comments: Density and Height are consistent w/the above study and the City's vision for this site. On that level, this should have no problem.

The architecture, shows some aspiration in respect of using brick and making use of arches; though I'm not entirely convinced it comes together as it could/should.

Where this proposal comes up short, to me, is the public realm treatments proposed.

As I've shown above, the City once dreamed big in terms of public space here, there is surely no better time to contemplate that than this proposal. Consideration must be given to special paving treatment for Robert Street and the sidewalk adjacent to Trinity Church and integrating that w/the existing park(let) on Metro's flank.

Further, Bloor here is to be a 'Great Street'; yet the sidewalk here shows no street trees.

On that latter point, the Bloor sidewalk (south side) from Robert to Spadina is severely challenged in size (its narrow).

Aerial Pic:

1666167397667.png


As one can see, this is, in part, due to the presence of street parking on the north side of the street. That parking, which provides only ~5 spaces should be eliminated and some of the surplus reallocated to sidewalk width on the south side, as well as buffering the Cycle Tracks on both sides of Bloor.

The left hand turn lane at Spadina also encumbers sidewalk width. Removing it, operationally, might be a challenge, but should be considered. If done, this would likely require a partial or complete left-turn ban at Spadina.

It would also be nice to see an off-site parkland acquisition proposal that fulfilled one of the new/expanded park proposals for this area outlined in TO Core.

The closest of these is the proposed extension of Joseph Burr Tyrrell Park eastwards to Walmer.

Not mentioned in the reports, that I can see is what will happen to the supermarket............but no worries........its staying in the area; something they will almost certainly have to say publicly to get this one to flow smoothly.
 
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UtakataNoAnnex

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Dammit, not this gain...

Me: "Where did they put apple juice now?"

Employee: "Sorry, we had to move the beverage isle again because workers are excavating there..."

>.<
 

Northern Light

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Dammit, not this gain...

Me: "Where did they put apple juice now?"

Employee: "Sorry, we had to move the beverage isle again because workers are excavating there..."

>.<

LOL, last I heard, the plan was for the relocated store to open first, before this one gets demo'ed.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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LOL, last I heard, the plan was for the relocated store to open first, before this one gets demo'ed.
More seriously though, I am not sure where they would relocated it around there...as I am not aware of any industrial sized buildings of that girth and dimension around that immediate area that could handle all that stock and inventory and where consumers and employees can move around reasonably freely. As with the current site, things are pretty tight as it is.

...and am I to assume the new location will only be temporary until the new building is completed...where Metro will be moved back to it's current location, albeit with spanking new digs?
 

Northern Light

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More seriously though, I am not sure where they would relocated it around there...as I am not aware of any industrial sized buildings of that girth and dimension around that immediate area that could handle all that stock and inventory and where consumers and employees can move around reasonably freely. As with the current site, things are pretty tight as it is.

...and am I to assume the new location will only be temporary until the new building is completed...where Metro will be moved back to it's current location, albeit with spanking new digs?

Not the case, to my understanding.
 

cd concept

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This development seems to look real nice having the precast brick column and arche cladding. Complimenting that punctured window look right to the top of the facade. Which is quite rear in the downtown core with new towers.
 

innsertnamehere

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yup. I wish the freshco down on Bathurst was open when I lived on Markham St, would have been just as far and is a far superior grocer.

I usually ended up doing groceries all over the place depending on where I was for the week and hauling them back on my bike or the subway to avoid it.
 

Northern Light

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When I lived at 90 Walmer a decade ago it was my closest grocer too. Couldn't stand it back then and I still avoid it unless absolutely necessary.

Granted, it was never an every day store for me; but I did pop in from to time over the years, especially when I was in University. I never found it that bad, as conventional grocers go.

I like the small'ish footprint to a great degree; I don't like it where it impairs selection, but a well managed store can simply cut back on the 20 facings of Coke to find room for some additional category depth.

Now that said, the store, prior to its last reno was looking a bit worn; also, the store does not manage large crowds well as there just isn't the space for lineups of any size.

***

The replacement will be larger; though not large.
 
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Urban-Affair

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Well. I’ve been waiting for this for four years since debating the highest and best use with Metros reps who were claiming it had no better use than the grocery. This density is a bit higher than we predicted though even then, although we were being conservative in our estimates. At the time I was using the apartment behind this to the north of Bloor as a density comp, as well as the newer tower on Spadina a bit south of Bloor. As always, one would expect this to be a starting point for negotiations, with the density to decrease from here somewhat.

EDIT: Actually scratch that, I estimated exactly 10x density here. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.
 
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