The Tudor styling of the 106-year-old Ridpath's Furnishings building at 906 Yonge Street is certainly eye-catching amongst all the familiar and mostly unremarkable post-Modern developments that line this stretch of the street. With the closure of the Ridpath's store in 2011, the property was proposed for redevelopment. An application was submitted to the City of Toronto outlining the plans for the property which extends west through the block to 25 McMurrich Street. The plan, designed by KPMB Architects, called for a complex that incorporates a 27-storey boutique hotel on Yonge along with a 23-storey condominium on McMurrich. The east façade and some of the interior of the historic Ridpath store would be preserved and incorporated into the front of the 164-unit hotel.

Rendering of proposed 906 Yonge Street, looking south. Courtesy of KPMB Architects via City of Toronto

The Planning department issued a report for the original development and zoning amendment application. In this report the Director states "this application is not appropriate for the site. The overall proposal, including the proposed height and massing, does not conform to the Official Plan; is inconsistent with Council-approved guidelines; and represents an overdevelopment of the site".

Rendering of proposed 906 Yonge, incorporating historic Ridpath's Furnishings building. Courtesy of KPMB via City of Toronto

Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam subsequently hosted a number of working group meetings with the local residents and other members of the Bloor-Yorkville Community along with the applicant and City Planning staff. Four working group meetings were held between April and June of 2011. According to the Staff Report, "Matters relating to heritage, public realm, built form, traffic, access and parking were discussed throughout the working group meetings. No consensus was reached in support of revisions at the time. Formal resubmissions were made in January 2012 and February 2013. The application was appealed [to the Ontario Municipal Board] in April 2013."

Rendering of proposed 25 McMurrich Street, looking south. Courtesy of KPMB via City of Toronto

On October 17th, 2013, Toronto and East York Community Council voted to oppose the development at the Ontario Municipal Board.

Proposed plan of 906 Yonge and 25 McMurrich Street. Courtesy of KPMB via City of Toronto

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Related Companies:  KPMB Architects