There are new developments in a downtown plot of land that has long been the subject of speculation. The Ontario Government has sold the site of 11 Wellesley Street West to Lanterra Developments at a cost of $65 million. The area south of Wellesley, between Yonge and Bay has been empty since the '90s, when it was being considered the prime location for a ballet and opera house — a project which ultimately became The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen and University.
UrbanToronto readers will know that Lanterra is also responsible for the recent purchase of the neighbouring Sutton Place Hotel, which will become The Britt Condos, as well as the Murano and Burano condominiums a block south on Bay. While any current plans for 11 Wellesley West have yet to be finalized, the zoning amendment application filed by Lanterra would allow for a mixed-use development consisting of two residential towers at 45 and 54 storeys in height. There would be a 9-10 storey podium and a total gross floor area of 90,700 square metres. 1,304 dwelling units would be constructed above a one-storey street-related retail space and the development would incorporate and frame the proposed public park.
Last year, City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam was supported by City Council in trying to buy the land from the province at a reduced rate in order to build a public park, but the City was turned down by the province and was told to bid for the site, along with developers, an option that was simply too costly to pursue. Since the Lanterra purchase, Wong-Tam has been in talks with the developer to try to convince them to include a public green space with only one tower, as pictured above in a blue-sky concept rendering. Both Wong-Tam and Lanterra continue to be optimistic that a winning situation can come out of this for all parties.
We will report back as plans for the site progress. In the meantime you can get in on the discussion in our Forum thread for the project here, or leave your comments below!