The Globe and Mail is moving. Not to a new building at the corner of Front and Spadina, as was the plan a year ago, but to a new 17-storey office tower designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, to be called The Globe and Mail Centre, part of First Gulf's King East Centre, now in the preliminary stages of construction.
The Globe's previous plan was to move to the far southeast corner of the large plot of land owned by the company between Front and Wellington Streets west of Spadina. A Toyota dealership stood on that property until last year when it was bulldozed in preparation for work on the new Globe and Mail Headquarters. The move of the Globe offices to the KPMB-designed building was meant to open up the rest of the substantial downtown site for redevelopment by RioCan, Allied Properties REIT, Diamond Corp, and Tribute Communities. The companies have been planning a multi-stage retail/office/residential development for that land in consultation with Hariri Pontarini Architects.
Last November it was announced that the southeast corner where the new Globe Headquarters were to go was also being sold to RioCan, Allied REIT, and Diamondcorp. Early work on the new Globe building stopped, and the site has since reopened as a temporary surface parking lot. It was assumed by many at the time that the Globe and Mail would eventually move into new office space somewhere on its existing site as part of the redevelopment, so today's announcement of the move will come as a surprise to many. The KPMB design for the building was well regarded generally on UrbanToronto, and there are those who will now be chagrinned to see it relegated to the 'Never Built' category of projects.
Reaction in the UrbanToronto Forum to early renderings of the Diamond Schmitt 351 King Street East design of shifted volumes, meanwhile, has been overwhelmingly positive. Donald Schmitt, Principal at the firm had this to say about the building, "The Globe and Mail returns to King St. The mix of residential and neighbourhood uses in the emerging east downtown is considerably strengthened with this significant new office building, its media and employment use. Shifting strata of multi floor neighbourhoods create a distinct identity and silhouette on the City skyline."
The move to 351 King Street East puts the Globe and Mail shoulder-to-shoulder with colleagues and competitors at the Toronto Sun, whose address is 333 King Street East in the same complex. Coca Cola Canada also recently moved its headquarters into the complex, while developer First Gulf plans to take several floors in the 500,000 square foot Globe and Mail Centre tower for its own headquarters, moving downtown from suburban North York. The Globe and Mail will occupy over 130,000 square feet in the top floors of the tower, expected to open in 2016.
First Gulf CEO David Gerofsky had this to say upon the announcement, “We are delighted to have The Globe and Mail as our anchor tenant. Our vision to create a centre featuring innovative architectural design with great outdoor amenity spaces is another example of the commitment First Gulf has made to the continued growth of the area. The Globe and Mail Centre represents the final phase of a two city block redevelopment by First Gulf which will add over 5,000 jobs to the revitalized King East office district.”
Sustainability is a key component of the new building, with Diamond Schmitt Architects targeting LEED® Gold for the building. The location on King Street between Sherbourne and Parliament Streets has a neighbourhood walk score of 98%, meaning the area presents many conveniences for pedestrians on surrounding streets. Half way between the growing Pan Am Village/Distillery District area and the Saint Lawrence Market area, Toronto's east downtown is seeing significant regeneration.
Want to know more about the project? Several more renderings can be found below in UrbanToronto's Globe and Mail Centre dataBase file. Want to get involved in the discussion? Choose the associated Forum thread link, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.