A large surface parking lot spanning between Queen East and Shuter Street in Downtown Toronto—yes, that one (below)—looks to be set for high-rise redevelopment, with renderings showing two designs for a tower fronting Shuter Street at the north end of the parking lot. While precise details regarding either potential design—and the treatment of the space to the south—have yet to emerge, the whole development site is provisionally being referred to by its address at 88 Queen

Parking lot aerial, image retrieved via Apple Maps

The most recent rendering available to us shows a 29-storey condominium tower rising from a podium with grade level retail (below). Featuring a fairly distinct balcony pattern and a slightly staggered podium configuration, images of the tower have recently shown up on several realtor sites which cite a 2016 launch date. While the project appears to be headed up by St. Thomas Developments (a subsidiary of the Lee Development Group), details regarding the Page + Steele / IBI Group design have yet to emerge.

Looking southwest from Shuter Street, the rendering removes the existing Jazz rental tower from the sightline, creating a through-view of the Metropolitan United Church in the bottom right corner.

The first rendering of the tower fronting Shuter Street, image retrieved from 88North promotional material

Another set of renderings for a somewhat more minimal design for the same tower have also emerged. Released via Swedish imaging firm Tomorrow, the renderings show what appears to be a public space to the south of the tower (below), although whether this represents landscaping or merely a part of the current empty lot is unclear. According to Tomorrow's website, the 25-storey tower pictured here is "designed by Gensler for a Chinese developer." 

Looking north towards the Gensler version of 88 North, image via Tomorrow

So far, not a great deal is known about this project, though a post in the UrbanToronto Forum by an Urbanization staff member suggests the tower is the first phase of a larger development known as 88 Queen. According to the same post, the Gensler-designed Shuter Street development will be known as 88 North, meaning there could potentially be four phases (N,S,E,W) of the final project, ostensibly with an additional three buildings to the south.

Looking east towards the Gensler version of 88 North, image via Tomorrow

At this point, however, any information about the wider project is highly speculative. Nonetheless, since the site has attracted a great deal of attention over the last few years, we can expect that more details may become available soon. 

A close-up of the Shuter Street podium (looking east), image via Tomorrow

We will keep you updated as details about the site—which remains an exceptionally large plot of underused land in Downtown—continue to emerge. in the meantime, check out our dataBase file for more information. Want to share your thoughts about the project and learn more? Leave a message in the space below, or join in the ongoing discussion on our Forum.

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