Plans for a 3-storey addition to the 4-storey converted office buildings at 35 McCaul Street were announced at a pre-application consultation in Toronto's Ward 20 yesterday. The development would expand and modernize the office space currently provided in the converted warehouse buildings on the site, owned by The Commercial Realty Group. Designed by Giancarlo Garofalo, the modern addition would marginally exceed existing zoning regulations, requiring only a minor variance in lieu of the re-zoning applications that typically accompany larger developments.

Looking east on McCaul Street, photo of rendering by Giancarlo Garofalo Architect Inc.

Commercial Realty Group President Clayton Smith identified the success of the site's tenants as a key driving force of the expansion plans. "Some of our biggest tenants are interested in expanding, and we'd like to make that possible" Smith told community members. Smith also noted that two restaurant or cafe spaces of about 3,000 and 1,000 square feet would be created on the ground floor, bringing a more "vibrant presence" to the street.

While current zoning allows for a maximum height of 24 metres, the new building would rise to a height of 26 metres, rising marginally above its neighbours to the north and south. Like the existing building, the expanded office facility would not feature automobile parking or loading space, although a total of 32 bicycle spaces have been earmarked for the development, comfortable surpassing the city's requirement of 15 spaces. Meeting the City's green standards, a green roof would cover 20% of the roof surface area.

The existing four-storey building, image by Stefan Novakovic

If approved, Smith's "dream scenario" for the project would see steel frame construction begin this summer, with an aggressive 5-6 month timeline targeted for completion. Pre-fabricated floor plates would be lifted into place from a staging area in a nearby parking lot, making for an accelerated process. "The really noisy, disruptive work would probably be limited to two Saturdays," Smith assured the community members.

Looking south on McCaul Street, the addition would fill a gap in the street wall, photo of rendering by GG Architect Inc.

"We can put away the fierce, sharp pitchforks," Ward 20 Councillor Joe Cressy joked, "this isn't a 220-storey condo." Nonetheless, Cressy was adamant in ensuring that any concerns from community members would be taken into account, with increased traffic and noise cited as particular points of concern. The councillor assured community members—many of whom were direct neighbours to the development—that the proposal's cumulative impact on the neighbourhood would be diligently studied before a decision is made.

We will make sure to keep you updated as the project continues to take shape. In the meantime, make sure to check out our dataBase file for more information. Want to share your thoughts about the project? Feel free to leave a comment in the space below this page, or join in the ongoing conversation on our associated Forum thread.