2015 was a year of ongoing proposals of new buildings for Toronto. In another article we cover new complexes proposed for the city last year which will continue through the planning process in 2016; in this article we look at some significant proposals for one-offs, single towers that have the potential to transform their surroundings in big ways. We have covered all of these with front page stories during the year, and each of the summaries below links to the original article as well as our dataBase file and the principals involved.
Let's start with the biggest single tower news of the year: no proposal has grabbed as much attention as The One at 1 Bloor Street West, and it's not hard to see why. The 80-storey residential and retail development, high end in every way, will be the tallest building in Canada if it is built as currently proposed. While there is demolition underway at the site—and this article otherwise covers buildings which are not yet under construction—The One is still going through the planning process and seeking approval for the sky-scraping Foster + Partners and Core Architects design for Mizrahi Developments.
Just over a block to the north of The One, Yorkville has been a hotspot of development over the past few years, and joining the crowd this year was Phantom Development's 8 Cumberland Street. Designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group, the project is now a joint venture with Great Gulf Homes and is sporting a complete redesign; the exclusive rendering below—a low-res slide from the project's most recent Design Review Panel appearance—gives a sneak peek of the new proposal, which will see a 54-storey residential tower built behind two restored heritage buildings. The tower will add to an already changing skyline along the Yonge corridor.
Another nearby recent proposal that we cannot ignore is Diamante Development's 39-storey condominium tower at 100 Davenport. The Douglas Cardinal Architects and Scott Shields Architects design proposes to feature Cardinal's signature organic forms in the very high-end building.
Just south of 100 Davenport on Bay is another Foster + Partners design, this time with Toronto's RAW Design for Urbacon and BRL Realty. Bay + Scollard is a 43-storey tower, also expected to be quite high-end condominiums overlooking Jesse Ketchum Park. The building's tiered form is meant to minimize new shadowing on the park.
A little over a kilometre to the west along Bloor, a proposal for a 42-storey tower at 316 Bloor West for the State Building Group with a Kirkor Architects Planners design ran into strong headwinds from locals and planners who would rather see a much shorter building. We look forward to the seeing the coming revision of this proposal, which is predominantly aimed at housing University of Toronto students.
To the north, Davpart has engaged Hariri Pontarini Architects to design a 65-storey mixed-use condominium and office building at the southeast corner of Yonge and Eglinton. (The original 68-storey version of the proposal is pictured below.) A recent UrbanToronto update on the 1 Eglinton East project brought readers up-to-date on a proposal that would cement Yonge and Eglinton as the third largest cluster of skyscrapers in Toronto. A pair of 50-storey-plus buildings are currently under construction to the north and south of it.
Further north at Yonge and Sheppard, Menkes has proposed a 49-storey residential tower will an office and retail commercial podium at Sheppard Avenue. The building at 4800 Yonge is designed by Arquitectonica's New York office. The proposal is new and it remains to be seen how City Planning will respond to it.
Returning south along Yonge—several blocks beyond Bloor—heritage buffs rejoiced at KingSett Capital's proposal for 484 Yonge, which sees an important heritage clock tower restored and included as part of a new public plaza in front of a 45-storey Quadrangle Architects-designed residential tower. The clock tower dates back to the 1800s when it was part of Fire Hall No. 3; it was later incorporated as part of the St. Charles Tavern, a popular LGBT bar that was influential in the civil rights movements of the 1960s and 70s. Today, it is part of a long stretch of Yonge Street in the downtown core that is seeing a flurry of development. The clock tower will be brought back to prominence by a podium design that pulls back to embrace it, all while furthering the revitalization of Yonge Street.
To the east is 411 Church Street by CentreCourt Developments. The height of the 45-storey proposal for the south end of the Church-Wellesley Village is contentious, but the "honeycomb" design by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects was otherwise well received at a recent community meeting. More meetings are coming in early 2016.
Moving southeast, a pair of towers are looking to transform the intersection of Dundas and Jarvis in the city's Garden District. Grid Condos, located on the southeast corner of the intersection, was introduced by CentreCourt Developments back in May, and proposed a 47-storey Page + Steele / IBI Group-designed condo tower, aimed primarily at the student population. While the first proposal was kiboshed at the OMB, a redesign is in the works which we expect to hear more about fairly early in the new year.
Situated immediately to its south, the Grand Hotel could be redeveloped by Amexon, who hope to add a 45-storey tower—designed by Core Architects—onto the existing 13-storey hotel. Both the Grand redevelopment and Grid will contribute to a densifying corridor along Jarvis. Tower separation issues between the two proposals are driving the Grid Condos redesign, but all parties involved are currently in talks.
Where Jarvis hits the lake at Queens Quay East, Waterfront Toronto is continuing the build-out of the East Bayfront area with plans for an office-commercial building immediately north of Corus Quay. To be built by Menkes with a design by Sweeny &Co Architects, the Waterfront Innovation Centre recently ran into choppy waters at Waterfront TO's Design Review Panel where panelists were looking for something more uniformly innovative, on par with the cantilevered west end of the structure. We are looking forward to the next iteration of this design.
Turning back towards downtown, in the new South Core area, a bit more than a hint of a new skyscraper for the southwest corner of Bay Street and Lake Shore Boulevard popped up in January 2015. An Oxford Properties project, the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed 30 Bay Street will wrap around the historic Toronto Harbour Commissioners building on Queens Quay. We look forward to a fuller look at the proposal for this development in 2016.
Crossing to the west of Downtown, we come into the Entertainment District where several proposals are in play.
One proposal in the area has been rejected by City Council for 217 Adelaide Street West, a design by Kirkor Architects Planners for Humbold Properties. The 56-storey proposal with the striking brutalist base has been deemed an overdevelopment of the site, but the decision has now been appealed to the OMB, with no hearing dates scheduled yet. We'll report on the next steps for this building in 2016.
Just to the west of this proposal is 19 Duncan at Adelaide. It's a joint venture by Westbank and Allied Properties REIT with a design by Hariri Pontarini Architects. A heritage component is being overseen by ERA Architects who will restore the warehouse which will become the podium for the 57-storey rental tower rising from it.
Madison Homes surprised us with Teeple Architects' impressive design for 15-35 Mercer Street in Toronto's Entertainment District early in 2015. The 0-shaped building appears 67 storeys tall in the original rendering below, but the proposal has since been scaled down to 57 storeys. We look forward to seeing the revised proposal!
Finally, another story published earlier today highlights two more Entertainment District Proposals. You'll find our story about 350 Adelaide Street West and 122 Peter Street here.
You can find out more about all of the developments in our dataBase files for each project, or in the associated discussion threads, all linked below. You can join in on the discussion in the threads, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.