The Toronto Star lands, bounded by Yonge and Freeland Streets, Lake Shore Blvd, and Queens Quay, were purchased last year by Vancouver based developer Pinnacle International for a whopping $255 million. The exceptional sum of money spent on the tract of downtown land left many of our curious Forum members wondering how big of a project it would take to turn Pinnacle’s massive investment into a profitable venture. 

Rezoning application board for 1 & 7 Yonge

Now, several months later, we have some basic details about this proposed megaproject, now being referred to by its municipal address of 1 & 7 Yonge Street.  A rezoning application has been erected in front of the existing Toronto Star office building, giving us our first official taste of the proposal to come.

South Elevation diagram of 1 & 7 Yonge rezoning application

The proposed development includes 6 new Hariri Pontarini-designed buildings alongside a vertically-extended incarnation of the existing 25-storey Toronto Star building, with an eastbound extension of Harbour Street planned to run through the middle of the plot. The north block would contain 4 new primarily residential buildings are set to rise to heights of 75, 80, 80 and 88 storeys, the tallest of which is planned to rise 272 metres, measured to top of the uppermost floor. On the south block plans call for a 70-storey hotel and condominium tower, a 40-storey office building, and a 10-storey addition to the current Toronto Star building, bringing the total height of the structure up 136.0 metres. The development proposes to bring 4,150 residential units to the increasingly dense area of downtown Toronto found south of the rail tracks.

Site plan seen of the 1 & 7 Yonge rezoning application

The proposal lies within the bounds of a Toronto Planning Department study called the Lower Yonge Precinct Plan. The October 2012 report called for a Transportation Master Plan (TMP) for the large blocks south of the Gardiner between Yonge and Jarvis Streets, examining the current transportation network and its strengths and weaknesses. The TMP will provide an assessment of opportunities and limitations relating to roadway capacity, the size of blocks, intersection safety, public realm issues and circulation for all modes of transportation in the area.

The City plan will likely call for an easterly extension of Harbour Street as the blocks come up for redevelopment here, and this plan allows for that, normalizing the intersections of Yonge with Harbour and Lake Shore in the process with right angle turns. The ramps to Lake Shore eastbound would be removed in favour of pedestrian plazas on either side of Yonge, and Lake Shore would be redesigned for the new development.

1 & 7 Yonge Street conceptual rendering, image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects


We have obtained a clearer image of the proposed site plan for the block. Of note in it; it appears that the separation distance between all adjacent towers meets or exceeds the 25 metres called for in Toronto's Tall Building Guidelines—other than for the separation between the existing Toronto Star tower and the adjacent 'Tower 6' to the north. These two would be be joined for the first 20 storeys before splitting into two towers.

The distance can be read along the lines drawn between each pair of buildings; 26373 between Tower 3 and Tower 4 indicates a separation of 26,373 millimetres, or 86.5 feet. The distance between Towers 2 and 3 of 36,342 mm equals 119.2 feet, and the separation between Tower 5 and the existing Toronto Star building would exceed that. These numbers represent separations that are greater than many buildings which face each other across the street throughout Toronto.

Site Plan for 1 & 7 Yonge Street redevelopment, image by Hariri Pontarini

We will return for a closer look as more details regarding this ambitious project become available. In the meantime, please visit our dataBase page linked below for additional information and renderings of 1 & 7 Yonge.  Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the related forum thread, here, or voice your opinion in the comments section below.

Related Companies:  BVGlazing Systems, Doka Canada Ltd./Ltee, Grounded Engineering Inc., Hariri Pontarini Architects, Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, McIntosh Perry, NAK Design Strategies, Peter McCann Architectural Models Inc.