This story was originally published on May 29, 2012. Since then, we have received updated information: Construction activity on the site is associated with the repaving of the parking lot. CBRE is actively searching for a lead tenant in order to meet the proposed 2013 completion date.

Located at the corner of Queen Street West & Soho Street, Parallax Investments is proposing a major new addition to this bustling retail hub. Purchased in 2009, the longevity of the 28,000 sq. ft. surface parking lot is an oddity given its considerable size and central location on a high-traffic retail strip. According to the commercial real estate firm CBRE, the new 2-storey building is slated to offer 20,240 sq. ft. of retail space per floor with ceiling heights of 22 feet on the first floor and 16 feet on the second. A narrow linear public space is planned for the portion of the site fronting onto Soho Street.

Below are two pictures of the site as it currently appears. The first is a street level view while the second aerial image provides greater perspective on the context of the project.

Surface parking lot at 300-308 Queen Street West. Image from Google Earth.

Aerial perspective of the site within the context of the larger Queen West retail strip. Image courtesy of CBRE.

In keeping with the guidelines set forth in the Queen Street West Heritage District Plan, architect Dermot Sweeny has designed the building to respect the low-rise, human-scale character of the street while satisfying another objective of the report by redeveloping an under-utilized site. Although the design mimics the existing scale of the neighbourhood, it diverges in both the choice of materials as well as the architectural direction; choosing a contemporary expression as opposed to a reinterpretation of the neighbourhood's Victorian character. Below is a rendering of the project:

Rendering of 300-308 Queen Street West. Design by Dermot Sweeny of Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Co. Architects. Image courtesy of CBRE.

Given the considerable floor space available as well as the impressive ceiling height, this would make an ideal flagship location for a brand looking to either enter the Canadian market or one that may looking to expand in order to have a presence in downtown Toronto.

What do you think of the project? Will this be a positive addition to this stretch of Queen Street West? Join our discussion here and let us know!