An earlier version of this story omitted a few projects in this busy area. It's all in now!
Since the onset of our most recent building boom, several new high-rise condominium developments have been proposed or started construction in the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood and its bordering communities. This area— bounded roughly by east of Queens Park to Jarvis, and north from St. Joseph Street to the railway tracks—is set to see some profound change this year with the completion of a handful of condominium towers, and several more which will push into the sky. There are a number now being marketed which may start construction later this year too, and we are always wondering about what's next beyond that, namely projects which are now making their way through the approvals process. Today we take a look at what to expect in this booming area during 2014.
At the intersection of Yonge and Church, Conservatory Group's "The Milan” is topped off at 37 storeys and almost fully clad. The Richmond Architects-designed condominium sits at the north end of the growing Bloor-Yorkville skyline and helps to serve as a northern gateway to our dense urban core.
Just south of Bloor Street and west of Yonge, Urban Capital Property Group and ALIT Developments’ Nicholas Residences is getting close to topping off at 35 storeys. The Core Architects-designed tower is already greatly contributing to views looking both up and down the Yonge Street corridor.
See that Modernist building behind it that needs a little love? 696 Yonge might get reclad this year by its Church of Scientology masters with a truly horrific PoMo facelift which was announced in December 2012. We hope not. Something more sensitive would be welcomed, but is seems that Xenu may land here with a kitschy thud.
A few blocks northeast, Lifetime Developments and Great Gulf Homes’ X2 Condos is rising quickly towards its goal of 49 storeys at Jarvis and Charles. Like its fraternal twin to the north designed by architectsAlliance, X2 was designed by Wallman Architects with a design that pays homage to Mies van der Rohe. Construction on the project is progressing quickly, and we can expect to see this one topped off before the end of the year.
West of X2 on Charles Street is CHAZ Yorkville Condos, a 47-storey, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects-designed condominium. Being developed by 45 Charles Ltd with construction manager Edenshaw Homes Ltd, CHAZ is only one of many high-rise projects currently transforming Charles Street East from a sleepy downtown side street into one of Toronto’s densest blocks.
Pemberton Group's U Condominiums is another project which will top out this year. The 55 and 45-storey architectsAlliance-designed towers (currently at the Committee of Adjustment for small height increases) are rising from Bay and St. Mary Street, on the eastern edge of the University of Toronto grounds. The completed towers will each boast 4,500 square foot rooftop amenity areas and façades marked by balconies which appear to move across each elevation.
The bohemian-turned-posh Yorkville neighbourhood is reasserting its claim to the blocks north of Scollard, due to the sheer marketability of the area name. Many projects in the area bear the moniker in some form, including Lifetime Developments' The Yorkville, located on Davenport just east of Avenue Road. The 31-storey Wallman Architects-designed development entered the year at roughly half its final height, and the first panels of cladding have recently been installed on the podium. We'll actually get some colour with this building!
Just a short walk to the northwest, Menkes Developments' Pears on the Avenue is rising along the complicated grade of this stretch of Avenue Road, just north of Davenport. The Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects is set to rise 20 storeys and contain 175 condominium units upon completion.
Just to the southeast, construction on Mizrahi's 133 Hazelton is well underway at Davenport Avenue. In the photo below, taken this past summer, the underground floors of the 9-storey, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects-designed boutique condo were on the rise, and given the project's size, it will be topped off this year.
Closer to the south end of Hazelton Avenue, Alterra Group of Companies and Zinc Developments' 36Hazelton should be completed in late 2014. Designed by Quadrangle Architects and Goldsmith Borgal and Company Architects, the 7-storey boutique condo will add 19 luxury condos to the much sought after neighbourhood.
At Avenue Road and Yorkville, Camrost-Felcorp's condominium-conversion of the previous Four Seasons Hotel is making steady progress. Dubbed Yorkville Plaza, the 31-storey, brutalist landmark is getting a modern facelift courtesy of WZMH Architects, and will be reborn as a residential condominium tower.
It has further phases to come — more on them later.
On the far eastern side of the area, a rental tower at 66 Isabella is getting a major addition. Built in 1970, the Mohican Holdings-owned property is in the process of being upgraded with a Quadrangle Architects designed 23-storey addition which, when complete, will house 211 units comprised of 199 rental and 12 condominium suites.
The south facing windows and balconies to the left-middle of the image above were all-new in 2013. This year we expect the cinder-blocked-up former balcony wall to be hidden behind the addition.
Easily the most anticipated project in the area, Great Gulf Homes' One Bloor East will be a major project to watch out for in 2014. The Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed tower will rise 75 storeys above the Yonge and Bloor intersection, becoming one of Toronto’s tallest (and boldest) structures upon topping out.
It has been very interesting to watch this project progress from a massive excavated pit to an ever more impressive podium structure. As the podium floors continue to rise, the unique undulating floorplates are revealing a shifting streetwall. With only one more storey to go on this colossal podium, we will soon see the first of the tower floors begin to rise from the podium.
Construction work on the area’s next generation of major developments is already underway. Foundations are currently being anchored into the bedrock at Cresford Developments’ Casa II Condos. The 56-storey, architectsAlliance-designed development will take visual cues from its older brother, Casa. The completed tower will add 447 condominium units to the ever densifying Charles Street East.
Bloor-Yorkville and the surrounding areas are home to many projects currently in the marketing phase. 7 St. Thomas Street, a 9-storey office condominium by St. Thomas Commercial Developments is soon to rise at the southeast corner of Sultan and St. Thomas Streets. The novel design by Hariri Pontarini Architects will incorporate the existing heritage properties at ground level with an ultra-modern waving fritted façade hovering above.
Several other projects in the area also currently in sales include 1 Yorkville by Bazis and Plaza, 181 Davenport by Mizrahi, The Perry Condos by Mansouri Living, Casa III by Cresford Developments, as well as Cumberland at Yorkville Plaza, a new 38-storey, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects-designed tower, to be built at the southern end of the old Four Seasons site, facing Cumberland Street. All of these projects are still in their early phases, but we will be sure to keep a close eye on them as they progress throughout the year.
A number of proposals are also working their way through the approvals process, including 80 Bloor West, 50 Bloor West, 27 Yorkville, 70 St Mary St., 89 Avenue Road, 140 Yorkville, 906 Yonge Street and 8 Gloucester, as well as proposed redevelopment of Cumberland Terrace. We are especially looking forward to an official announcement regarding a huge remake of The Bay at Yonge and Bloor into Saks' Fifth Avenue, while rumours persist that 'The St. Thomas' will be re-introduced this year in a new form at Charles and St. Thomas.
With so much happening in this relatively compact area, 2014 will certainly be an exciting area for those living, working, shopping or dining in this popular neck of the woods. For additional information and renderings pertaining to the projects covered in this article, check out the our dataBase files, linked below.