Our ongoing Growth to Watch For series has already covered several areas of the city, including North York Centre and East, Yonge-Eglinton, St. Clair West, Bloor-Yorkville, Downtown North, Church and Jarvis Streets and most recently, East of Downtown. We have also done one story focused on transportation projects around the GTHA. We return today for another installment of the series, where we cross the Don River for a look at the various planned and under-construction developments set to transform the east side in 2015 and beyond.
We start this overview in the south in the Port Lands, where there are no active builds to consider, but we can report that the work of the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative (PLAI) will wrap up around the end of the second quarter of this year. The PLAI report is to lay the framework of development of the vast area for the coming decades. It is likely that around this time next year we will be looking at particular neighbourhood plan for the area—dubbed Villiers Island—as opposed too many specific projects, although there are a couple of active files now:
The owners of 309 Cherry Street and are currently testing the City by appealing to the OMB for a resolution to an application for their site on Villiers Island. The City has asked the OMB not to schedule a hearing, as it would be pre-mature to rule on the application before plans for the greater area have been settled. So far no hearing date has been set. Meanwhile, a recent application was submitted to build a 7,381 square metre facility for FedEx on the site of a former warehouse building at 475 Commisioners Street, which was demolished between 2012 and 2013. This would allow FedEx to move from their current location at Lower Sherbourne and Lake Shore, freeing up that more centrally-located property for redevelopment.
East of the Port Lands the TTC's Leslie Barns, is under construction on the south side of Lake Shore Boulevard, just east of Leslie Street. The AECOM-designed facility will include storage for 100 new TTC streetcars. Construction of Leslie Barns will wrap up later this year.
At the west end of our subject area and just north of the Port Lands, plans are in the works for First Gulf's redevelopment of the Unilever lands at 21 Don Roadway. A 28-acre plot of land bounded by the rail corridor to the north and Lake Shore Boulevard to the south, this multi-year project would consist of multiple buildings containing as much as 12 million square feet of office space, along with retail. First Gulf has been working closely with the City, Metrolinx, the TTC and Waterfront Toronto on the details of the future development, which will depend upon transportation improvements through the site including the extension of Broadview Avenue to the south, new streetcar extensions, and potential GO RER and Relief Line stations. The design for the renovation of the Unilever factory into offices, the first phase, is by Pellow + Associates Architects, while a yet-to-be-named international architect is working on the area plan.
East of the First Gulf site along Eastern Avenue are a few proposals which have been in process for a few years now as the City completes the South of Eastern Employment Area Study. This area of mixed older industrial and gentrifying blue collar housing is being looked at comprehensively to direct redevelopment in a way that will preserve employment while improving the public realm, look at transportation issues especially as they pertain to a revitalized Port Lands to the south, Don River flood control issues, and much more.
Submissions in this area include plans for the redevelopment of the Weston Bakery at 462 and 459 Eastern with low and mid-rise mixed office and residential, while between Carlaw and Leslie at 629 through 675 Eastern a major project by SmartCentres dubbed StudioCentre is proposed. The Diamond Schmitt Architects-designed mixed use development, would add plenty of office, retail, restaurant and gallery space arranged around a large public plaza known as 'The Backlot', a reference to the tv and film studio still in operation on the west side of the site.
North of the Eastern Avenue proposals are many proposals and developments along Queen Street, starting right at the Don Valley Parkway and continuing through The Beach.
Among the larger projects planned for the east end, Streetcar Developments' Riverside Square will revitalize a pair of adjacent properties next to the Don Valley Parkway on the south side of Queen. Currently working its way through the planning and approvals process, the four-building mixed use development designed by RAW Design and Giannone Petricone Associates will feature various improvements to the public realm, including a southerly extension of Munro Street as a woonerf which will terminate in a new public plaza at its south end. The first phase condos here are now registering, and currently aiming for 2018 occupancy.
Just to the east and tied to the Riverside Square proposal, the Romanesque-style 5-storey heritage building that most recently housed called Jilly's strip club on the northwest corner of Queen and Broadview is to be extensively renovated and converted into a new 57-room boutique hotel by Streetcar. Heritage specialists ERA Architects will lead the project which is proposed as a beneficiary of Section 37 funds from Riverside Square. The restoration and expansion would preserve and enhance the area's heritage and act as a new cultural focal point for the Riverside area.
Nearby to the east, a 6-storey mixed-use building was recently proposed for 759-763 Queen Street East. The KAVE Architects-designed development beside the popular Opera House music venue would feature commercial uses on the ground floor, with 29 residential units to be located above. The project would utilize a parking sorter system to serve the building's 11 parking spaces, which would be accessed via June Callwood Way to the rear of the site.
Next up on the south side is a proposal at 875 Queen Street East that's been in the news recently for its planned inclusion of a 92-bed shelter for The Red Door shelter, an emergency temporary housing initiative that has been serving people in need while they find a place to call home. The shelter has been housed on the same site in a building which went into receivership. With concerned local residents responding to Councillor Paula Fletcher's call to save the important service, new property owner Harhay Developments would incorporate The Red Door at one end of the 7-storey condominium they are proposing for the site. 20,000 square feet of the development would be set aside for the City-financed shelter, which Harhay will build. The Red Door would pay $1 a year for the space but will have to raise close to $3 Million to outfit it with furnishings. The project should be at City Council in May.
Continuing east but jumping a major city block north to Dundas and Carlaw, side-by-side properties The Carlaw and The Taylor are being redeveloped by Streetcar, both designed by TACT Architecture. The Carlaw, which will include a new home for Crow's Theatre, is now topped off at 12 storeys and is almost fully clad, with residents expected to begin moving in this Spring.
To its immediate east, The Taylor was most recently photographed sitting just below grade, on its way to a final height of seven storeys. The 96-unit development will feature a unique weathering concrete cladding called Öko Skin, designed to provide the textural finish of wood, but with the greater durability and rigidity of concrete.
Back down on Queen and a short distance east, construction has begun at the site of Oben Flats Leslieville, a six-storey, superkül-designed rental development at Winnifred Avenue. At of the start of February, shoring activity on site was captured by UrbanToronto Forum contributor salsa. Since that time excavation work has taken the pit to about one level deep.
Next to the east at 1130 Queen Street, a Site Plan Control application was submitted in 2014 proposing a new five-storey, mixed-use building containing a restaurant at grade and 14 residential units above. Bicycle parking is being proposed instead of vehicular parking, and the massing of the rear two-storey portion of the existing building would remain. The development is still early on in the planning process, and we hope to learn more about it int he coming months.
At 1327 Queen Street East, located just east of Greenwood, the Rockport Group is planning to build an 8-storey residential and retail development with architecture by RAW Design. The City did not render a decision within the time required for the application last year, so the developers have appealed it to the OMB for a decision. In the meantime, the City is studying what Urban Design Guidelines should be applied to this stretch of Queen Street East between Leslie Street and Coxwell Avenue.
A rezoning application was recently submitted for 1630 Queen Street East, just east of Coxwell, proposing a new 6-storey, Icon Architects-designed building to replace a former KFC fast food restaurant. The building would contain 62 residential units, four of which would be live/work units occupying the ground floor. The 1,289 square metre site is located in an area consisting primarily of low and mid-rise uses. This proposal is still in its earliest stages, and we look forward to hearing more information about the project as it works its way through the planning and approvals process.
The Reidel Group who recently completed a condominium on Queen one block west of Woodbine called The Rainsford. They are looking to recreate their success with it now at Two Hundred The Beach, right at Woodbine Avenue. The 6-storey development is designed by architect Richard Zeigler. There's no word yet on when construction will start.
Immediately across Woodbine Avenue, a former gas station site at 1884 Queen Street East has been fenced off for a few years now. An OMB ruling last year approved a six-storey residential building with 70 suites and 6,500 square feet of retail here, and we hear that a developer is working on a condo with a launch expected mid-2015.
Developer Reserve Properties has teamed up with RAW Design to build a new mid-rise condominium at the corner of Queen and Kenilworth, a short distance east of Woodbine Avenue. Construction of Lakehouse Beach Residences has already begun but has not appeared above the hoarding yet. Only 2 of the total 28 units remain up for grabs.
At the corner of Queen and Bellefair, the exterior of the historic Bellefair United Church was incorporated into a new five-storey condominium development, also from the developer/architect combination of Reserve Properties and RAW Design. Bellefair Kew Beach Residences is adding 23 homes to the area, and is already substantially complete, with work wrapping up in the coming months.
That's it for activity along Queen Street East, and we are jogging just a little west again and heading north to Kingston Road to pick up activity along it in the Upper Beach area.
Construction is well under way at the site of developer Zen Homes' Beach Club Lofts. The concrete and rebar for this six-storey, Quadrangle Architects-designed development located on Kingston Road just east of Woodbine at Haslett Avenue is now visible over its hoarding. This one should top off mid Spring.
At 580 Kingston Road, construction is progressing at the site of Kingston Road Development Corporation's The Glen Beach Ravine Residences, with work currently on the third floor of the six-storey condo development. Designed by Karin Kowalski of Kowalski Kowalski Design Inc., The Glen will feature an exterior consisting of brick, stucco, precast and glazing.
Nearby to the east, Streetcar Developments has submitted an application to the City for a six-storey condo at 646 Kingston Road. It would include 51 residential units and retail at grade with a total gross floor area of 5,569 square metres, 1,320 square metres of which would be dedicated to non-residential space.
The famous Dip 'n Sip donut shop at 663 Kingston Road, featured in a number of movies and TV shows, is being redeveloped by Streetcar Developments into a new mid-rise project called The Southwood, which will rise six storeys and offer 45 suites. After a recent community consultation for the project, The Southwood's marketing commenced, with the sales office now open. Both Streetcar buildings in this stretch are designed by TACT Architecture.
Pushing further east, construction is well under way at the site of Aykler Development's Beach Lofthouses at 715 Kingston Road. Work is now progressing on the 3rd and 4th levels of the four-storey development, which will add 8 back-to-back "lofthouses" ranging in size from 1,060 square feet up to 1,525 square feet near Kingston Road and Main Street. Construction of the project is expected to wrap up mid-this year.
Plans are in the works from developer Mitchell & Associates to redevelop the existing YMCA on Kingston Road just west of Balsam, with a new 60,000 square-foot replacement YMCA facility that would be topped by a terraced six-storey condominium development called the Beech House, named after the cross-street the lobby door would face. In addition to replacing the existing YMCA building, the Richard Ziegler-designed redevelopment would also replace the adjacent Sherrin Funeral Home and the homes at 218 and 220 Balsam Avenue. The CIBC branch at the east end of the block would remain.
At 1092 Kingston Road, the site of the former Alpine Hotel is destined to be redeveloped into a new mid-rise condominium development by TAS in partnership with Main and Main Developments Inc.. The Teeple Architects-designed Kingston&Co Condominiums will rise 10 storeys and contain 140 condominium units. New ground floor retail will extend the revitalized Kingston Road Village shopping strip eastwards. Kingston&Co is gearing up to start construction this Summer, with completion of the project currently slated for November 2016.
At 1340 Kingston Road at Queensbury Avenue, Wilkinson Developments' Hunt Club Terrace has recently been reported as 70% sold, with only five units remaining. The presentation was recently closed and the site cleared to make way for construction of the six-storey condominium development designed by RAW Design and JH Rust Architects.
Immediately across Queensbury Avenue to the east, sales are well under way for the Residences at The Hunt Club by Infinity Development. The 8-storey, Onespace-designed condominium residence will contain 73 units, which like its neighbour to the west, will overlook the country club after which both projects are named.
Across from the north end of Queensbury Avenue, a proposal is in the works for 168 through 184 Clonmore Drive. An application was submitted last year for the development of 138 stacked townhouse units within nine four-storey buildings which would replace existing homes on deep lots backing on the rail corridor.
Finally, we will move up to Danforth Avenue and work our way west, ending at the Don River.
A ten-storey project by Diam Developments called On the Danforth Condos is set to rise at 2359 Danforth Avenue at Oak Park Avenue, located between Woodbine Avenue and Main Street. The project, which will feature a design by Onespace Unlimited, is currently in its registration phase and is in the midst of launching.
A redevelopment is in the works for 1030 Danforth Avenue, located between Jones and Greenwood. The proposed 8-storey mixed-use building would put 53 residential units above 616 square metres of ground floor retail.
On the east bank of the Don River, steps from the Prince Edward Viaduct, a proposal was submitted in the final days of 2014 for a a 6 storey mixed-use development at 796 Broadview Avenue, containing 30 residential units above a level of retail on the ground floor. If approved, the development would replace four existing residential buildings that have since been converted to office and retail uses. Another block north an 8-storey development is proposed for 838 Broadview with 46 units and ground level retail replacing an existing single storey retail building.
Though there has been no official Avenue study by the city for the street, Broadview Avenue is designated as an Avenue in the Toronto Official Plan, and these two redevelopments are being designed to meet the criteria set out in the City's Avenues and Mid-Rise Buildings Plan.
There's much more on the way in our Growth to Watch for in 2015 series. In the meantime, if you want to know more about any of the developments mentioned in this article, you can read up on them in our dataBase files, linked below. Want to talk about any of these? Choose their associated Forum thread links to get in on the discussion, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.