Motion On Bay Street by Concert Properties and Young & Wright/IBI Group Architects continues to climb toward its eventual 29-storey height with 20 storeys just completed. What makes Motion On Bay Street unique is that its units are for rent only, which is surprising given Toronto's demand-driven condominium market. One of the few other rentals being constructed in the city is Toronto Community Housing's Block 32 of Concord CityPlace. 

Forum member Jack Landau recently snapped some great photos of Motion On Bay Street's skyward progression. 

Motion On Bay Street image by Jack Landau

Motion On Bay Street image by Jack Landau

Motion On Bay Street image by Jack Landau

Construction is scheduled to be complete this fall, and will include 463 units ranging from studios to three bedrooms with 11,500 square feet of retail space.

The intersection of Bay Street and Dundas Street is a prime location, right next to the Eaton Centre and nearby institutions such as Ryerson University, University of Toronto, City Hall and the Toronto Coach Terminal at 610 Bay Street all within a few minutes walking distance. The increase in the neighbourhood's residential density on a rental scale could make the case for the installation of another "scramble crossing" at this intersection, as it is already heavily traveled by pedesrians who work, shop and go to school in the area. The addition of scramble crossings at nearby Yonge and Dundas as well as others in the downtown area (Yonge/Bloor, Bay/Bloor) have eased pedestrian congestion and improved pedestrian flow. 

Scatter Crossing at Yonge and Dundas image by Rene Johnson/Toronto Star

The likelihood of seeing more scramble crossings in Toronto is up for debate, given the attitude of the current administration toward encouraging active transportation. The removal of bike lanes on Pharmacy, Birchmount and soon Jarvis speak volumes about the value placed on providing transportation infrastructure for all modes, as does the review by the chair of the city's Public Works committee of the scatter crossing at Yonge and Dundas.

The relevance of such transporation issues to Motion On Bay Street in particular is that all its units are rentals. Those who live in rental units, particularly downtown, tend to be more transient, have lower incomes and are less likely to own cars (such as students). They rely on mostly active transportation (cycling and walking) and public transit to get around. While it is great to see new rental units being built in a city obsessed with building and selling market condominiums, we should be mindful of the demographic that tends to live in rental units and provide the appropriate infrastructure to meet their needs.

Related Companies:  Bird Construction Company, Concert Properties, DTAH, EQ Building Performance Inc., ERA Architects, IBI Group, Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, Kramer Design Associates Limited, NAK Design Group, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, Paul Raff Studio, Stephenson Engineering, U31