The City of Toronto's Planning Department has received a submission by Oxford Properties concerning the redevelopment of the Cumberland Terrace site, specifically the first phase of the redevelopment which runs along the Cumberland Avenue edge of the L-shaped site from Bay Street most of the way east to Yonge. This area, under which the TTC's line 2 subway tunnel runs, currently features a three storey retail mall, one floor of which is below ground. The mall has seen better days and plans to redevelop its complicated site have been kicked around for years.

Oxford went with architectsAlliance for the design of the redevelopment. The plan includes a new retail pavilion facing Bay Street with a 54-storey residential rental point tower mid-block. The underground retail level of the Cumberland Terrace Mall would be rebuilt, still connecting to Bay Subway Station, and to the uptown PATH pedestrian system which continues on to the Holt Renfrew Centre, the Manulife Centre, and the Hudson's Bay Centre. Another 2-storey retail and amenity building is proposed east of the rental tower, but is hidden in the image below.

Mid-block rental tower behind retail pavilion facing Bay Street, image by architectsAlliance

The pavilion facing Bay Street starts below ground with a renewed PATH level retail space just above the subway tunnel. Connecting all the nearby buildings, it will also provide access to the new rental tower lobby. At the west end of the pavilion is the possibility for a 3-storey store as large as 36,000 square feet, or which can be split up as required. Hidden in the pavilion above the retail floors are two parking garage levels. Above that is indoor and outdoor amenity space for the residential tower.

Retail pavilion facing Bay Street, image by architectsAlliance

The tower is planned to have a lobby approximately 50 feet tall, and marked by canted beam which will transfer the weight of the tower to its edges at the base. This allows all of the foundation work for the building to take place on either side of the subway tunnel will providing a grand, dramatic and memorable space for the tower.

The lobby of the 54-storey tower with its canted beams, image by architectsAlliance

Ground level space around the tower opens up the space around the building, a step towards creating a better pedestrian precinct in the East Yorkville area in accordance with the City's intentions for the area. Eventually Holt Renfrew to the south will have a door facing the pedestrian laneway, while redevelopment on the north side of Cumberland Avenue will also include retail at ground level and open up a mid-block connection terminating at the Yorkville Fire Hall's Clock Tower.

East of the tower, a new two storey podium will provide more retail opportunities, as well as more amenity space on top for the tower residents. The remainder of the site facing Yonge Street is not part of phase one, but Oxford is considering a small floorplate hotel tower for the corner of Cumberland Avenue and Yonge Street in the future.

Detailed information for the Phase One plan can be found at the City's Yorkville Planning Portal. Public consultations will follow.

Want to know more about this plan? Several more renderings can be found in our dataBase file for 2 Bloor West, linked below. Want to talk about it? Choose the associated Forum thread link to get in on the conversation, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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