When The Guvernment and Kool Haus first opened at the foot of Jarvis Street in 1996, the nightclub and music venue brought late-night revelers to what was then an overlooked part of the city. Though the area had long been populated by workplaces and industry, the mid-20th century saw relatively little in the way of development and new economic activity. In the last two decades, however, the area has continued to witness fast-paced transformation, as new development and invigorated public spaces have extended the urban realm across the post-industrial stretch of the waterfront.
Now, with excavation underway at Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, the new development is bringing a strong dose of mixed-use density to the site of the erstwhile clubbing venues. The Daniels Corporation's 1,320,000 square foot complex will bring two Gianonne Petriconne Associates-designed highrise condominium towers to the waterfront skyline above a college arts campus. On the south half of the site, meanwhile, the development's first two buildings by RAW Design will add 280,000 square feet of offices and retail to an area already featuring some of the city's most attractive new workplaces (below).
The first condominium building, known as the Lighthouse Tower, is currently in the registration phase. Rising to 48 storeys, many of the suites will boast unobstructed views of the lake to the south, and the growing Downtown skyline to the west.
To the south and east of the site, Corus Entertainment, the George Brown Waterfront Campus, and new parkland have changed the face of the eastern waterfront, introducing a recreational ambiance—and pedestrian activity—to the area. At the foot of Richardson Street, Canada's Sugar Beach has also brought a popular public space to the area, situating the City of the Arts amidst one of the city's nascent recreational destinations.
As part of the development, the popular beach will be extended, creating a larger and more prominent public space. Claude Cormier + Associés' Sugar Beach North is set to neighbour the new commercial buildings, which will look out over the pink umbrellas and the water beyond.
In addition to the new beach, the 'City of the Arts' features a number of public realm improvements focused on nurturing Toronto's arts community. The project will house a new headquarters for Arstcape, while a 'Creative Industries Hub' (above) will provide space for musically-oriented organizations in a nod to the site's past as a popular venue. Manifesto, a community and culture festival aimed at youth empowerment through arts and culture, and The Remix Project, a non-profit organization helping disadvantaged youth find a foothold in creative industries, will be among the first tenants.
At ground level, Daniels is collaborating with George Brown College and OCAD University to bring creatively-oriented post-secondary education to the site, in a facility designed by Giannone Petriconne Associates Inc (above, right). Adjacent to the school, retail, cafe, and restaurants are planned at ground level. The office, retail, and post-secondary campus all face out to pedestrian promenade known as 'The Yard' (above), which provides a relaxing communal space at the heart of the development.
As excavation progresses, we will return with updates on construction progress. In the meantime, additional information and renderings can be found in our dataBase file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment using the space provided at the bottom of this page.