Over several articles now we have taken you around Toronto, highlighting areas set to see major growth in 2014. We have already covered the Entertainment District, King West, Yonge and Eglinton, Downtown East, Bloor-Yorkville, Downtown North, Humber Bay Shores and even the region’s many expanding shopping malls. Today we turn our focus to the growth of the somewhat less dense areas on either side of our downtown core and examine the planned and under construction developments reshaping them.

The furthest west point we are looking at in this article would be Lindvest Properties’ B.Streets Condos, now closing in on completion. The 9-storey, Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed development is seeing the installation of its finishing touches, and the project’s 195 condominium units will see their occupants partway through the year.

B.streets viewed from the southwest, image by roundabout

Closer in on Bloor, construction is underway at MetropiaBazis and Plaza’s Exhibit Residences. Work is progressing on the foundations for the 32-storey, Roy Varacalli-designed tower which will rise in offset boxes, sheathed in a milky white skinned glazing. We can look forward to the one rising substantially above grade on Bloor Street West mid-this year. The building's complicated foundation straddles the university subway line.

Construction on Exhibit Residences, image by drum118

Just to the south, the University of Toronto occupies a massive block of land generally bounded by Bloor, College, Queens Park and Spadina. While much of the city sees new development in the form of condominiums and office buildings, the U of T is building out its land with ever more facilities.

Some of those are for sport, arriving so that they are open before the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in the summer of 2015. While current construction includes the controversial replacement of the university's Back Campus natural turf with an artificial surface which will allow field hockey during the Games and expanded athletics programs afterwards, concrete and steel is rising nearby too.

On Devonshire Place near Bloor, construction work is progressing on the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport. Costing $38.5 million, the 6-storey Patkau Architects and MJM Architects-designed sports complex will house research and teaching labs, a state-of-the-art sports medicine clinic, a strength and conditioning centre and a 2000-seat basketball and volleyball field house. Athletes training in the facility will have a view of all the happenings across the street from the legendary Varsity Stadium.

U of T Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport, image by savevp

While the Goldring Centre should see completion later this year, a handful of U of T academic projects are just now getting started.

The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design will be an exciting project to watch out for this year. Work on the project started late last year with scaffolding raised around One Spadina Crescent, a prominent heritage structure which divides the northbound and southbound lanes of Spadina Avenue north of College. Work on the restoration of the existing Gothic structure and the integration of a striking modern addition is being overseen by NADAAA of Boston with ERA Architects and Adamson Associates Architects to Toronto. Construction is currently slated for completion in Fall 2015.

U of T John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design as seen in November, image by yonderbean

A couple blocks to the east, the U of T Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship  is set to rise 8 storeys over St. George Street. Designed by Toronto's Montgomery Sisam Architects and Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios of the UK, the facility will include a 500-seat auditorium, learning areas, design workshops and light fabrication areas. Completion is slated for Fall of 2016.

Rendering of U of T Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship

At the north end of Queens Park Crescent, U of T’s Jackman Law Building is currently seeing a major expansion, aimed at modernizing the aging facility. The Hariri Pontarini Architects and B+H Architects-designed expansion will feature new classrooms, a renovated library and additional study areas and common spaces.

New U of T Jackman Law building

South of the U of T, Diamond Corp and Sorbara Group’s No. 210 Residences on Simcoe is rising steadily. Upon completion, the blue-toned pixelated south walls of the Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects-designed development will stand 25 storeys and contain 298 condominium units.

No. 210 Residences on Simcoe, image by Indrid Cold

A couple blocks to the west, the BSäR Group Of Companies12°Condos is currently rising above Beverley Street north of Queen. The Core Architects-designed development, with floorplates offset some 12 degrees in a fashion similar to Exhibit, will rise 11 storeys and contain 96 condominium units upon completion.

Construction progress at 12 Degrees, image by BMO

East of Downtown, things are happening too. We will start in the north again, then head south.

South of Bloor along Sherbourne, Medallion Developments has started demolition work associated with the daylighting the east end of Earl Street by removing a deck (seen below), sprucing up of existing rental towers, adding a new one, and revitalizing neighbouring streets with townhomes. The area is called St. James Town, and everyone recognizes that new planning and new investment are needed to improve the area. Medallion's 43-storey Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects-designed development will also improve its streetscapes and public spaces and bring new street level retail.

Demolition at 545-565 Sherbourne, image by rdaner

There's more going on to the south. Near Ryerson University is Great Gulf HomesPace Condos at Dundas and Jarvis. It will make its mark on the skyline this year. While our last good shot of the site is from August of 2013, the 35-storey, Diamond Schmitt Architects-designed tower is around grade level now.

Pace back in August, 2013, image by anonymous0024

A block to its south, Identity Developments and Stal Inc.’s O2 Toronto has been under construction since late 2013 when work started on shoring. We look forward to the excavation proceeding for this 14-storey, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects-designed condominium development on Shuter Street, east of Dundas.

O2 Toronto site as it appeared in early November, image by Craig White

Some blocks to the east, the past few years have seen the transformation of Regent Park from a troubled neighbourhood into one with real promise and some of the most people-friendly community facilities in all of Toronto now. Early success means that the Regent Park mixed-income regeneration model will soon come to other neighbourhoods in need in Toronto, like Alexandra Park and Lawrence Heights.

The Regent Park Revitalization, now in its second phase, is being carried out through a public/private partnership involving Toronto Community Housing and The Daniels Corporation. Rent geared to income, affordable housing, and market units all mingle here now amongst new retail, business and recreation facilities along reconnected streets.

Phase two of Daniels’ One Park Place market condos project is rising next to the recently completed first phase on Dundas, just west of Sumach. The uniquely clad Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed 28-storey tower will be slightly taller than its older sibling to the northeast, and is already sporting the same white cladding.

One Park Place Phase 2, image by ChesterCopperpot

On the north side of Dundas, the recently completed Regent Park Aquatic Centre will soon have a new neighbour. The new Regent Park Central Park at Dundas and Sackville will provide residents of the rapidly changing neighbourhood with some much needed green space later this year. Designed by The Planning Partnership, the park will feature recreational play area, multiple picnic areas, an off-leash dog park, water play areas and a playground.

The play area coming to Regent Park's new Central Park, image courtesy of Toronto Community Housing

On the other side of Dundas, a new affordable housing development at 180 Sackville Street is currently four storeys above grade. Upon completion, there will be 78 rent geared to income units and 40 affordable rental units. The 78 RGI units are rental replacement units, while the 40 affordable units represent increased density.

Construction at 180 Sackville, image by ChesterCopperpot

Regent Park is also getting a new Community Centre to replace the existing facility at the corner of Sackville and St. Bartholomew Streets. A look at the existing Community Centre using Google Street View reveals a cool transition; following this link, you will find yourself facing east on St Bartholomew Street toward Sackville, amid the busy construction of the Regent Park Revitalization’s first phase. Click the forward arrow, and you'll be taken close-up to the community centre a few years backward at the same time: you will find yourself at the same spot before the neighbourhood revitalization began, revealing a remarkably different landscape. The new facility, which has been designed by CS&P Architects to target LEED Gold certification, will accommodate employment services, recreational and multi-use community facilities, as well as a community green roof to be used for urban agriculture. It is being integrated a block to the south beside Nelson Mandela Public School.

Regent Park Community Centre, image courtesy of CS&P Architects

So, that's what's under construction this year in the area. What's in sales?

On the eastern edge of downtown, Easton's Group’s Dundas Square Gardens is a high-profile project just starting to be marketed. The 45 and 16-storey, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects-designed tower and podium will replace the existing Hilton Garden Inn on the northeast corner of Dundas and Jarvis, bringing 768 condominium units and new retail to the intersection, kitty-corner from where Pace is being built.

Rendering of Dundas Square Gardens

Across Downtown to the immediate west of the core, Urban Capital Property Group and Malibu Investments are introducing Toronto to the micro-condo with Smart House, a 25-storey, architectsAlliance-designed condominium project planned on Queen Street just west of University.

Rendering of Smart House

A few more blocks to the west, Tri-Win International’s 170 Spadina is also currently in marketing. The Wallman Architects-designed condominium, which was known as Fad Condos before being relaunched in its current form, will rise 15 storeys from Spadina north of Queen Street.

Rendering of 170 Spadina

Just to the west of Spadina and Queen is SQ Condos, a somewhat freeform building with a grid-work of extending balconies and multiple stepbacks, designed by Teeple Architects for Tridel. This is the first of the new wave of buildings coming for the Alexandra Park rebirth.

SQ condos, image courtesy of Tridel

A couple blocks to the north, Ideal DevelopmentsDragon Condos is planned to rise 10-storeys on Spadina south of Dundas in the heart of Chinatown. Sales for the Young + Wright / IBI Group Architects-designed development are ongoing and the developer has recently applied for demolition of the existing property at 270 Spadina.

Rendering of Dragon Condos

The College Condominium by Tribute Communities will add yet another condominium development to this rapidly growing area. Sales are currently underway for the 15-storey, 226-unit, Core Architects-designed development.

Rendering of The College Condominium

There are still many condominium proposals in the planning pipeline for the shoulders of Downtown, many related to making it easier for students to find accommodation near their university, along with higher-end condos and new rental towers too. Current proposals include 231 College, 245 College, and 484 Spadina, all near the U of T, and  36 McCaul St also on the west side, while on the east side there is the Ryerson Residence at 186 Jarvis, and condos at 308 Jarvis, 159 Wellesley, 592 Sherbourne, North St. James Town, and 387 Bloor East all working their way through the system.

Our next article will look at what's to come to the southeast of Downtown. In the meantime, you can find out more about all of these projects by clicking on the links above or below. You get get in on the conversations via any of the associated Forum thread links, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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