Just north of Harbord Street, the rental tower at 666 Spadina Avenue is a curious relic of Toronto's mid-to-late 20th century planning. Designed by acclaimed Estonian-Canadian architect Uno Prii, the 'Spadina Towers' project would have been located at the southern terminus of the Spadina Expressway. By the time the project was completed in 1972, however, the expressway was cancelled, leaving behind a scattered legacy of contextually awkward built form along its intended route.

Looking south on Spadina Avenue from Sussex, image retrieved via Google Maps

While Le Corbusier-inspired towers in the park were planned for the age of the automobile, Toronto's Downtown has developed as a more transit and pedestrian-oriented milieu. Sparked in part by the cancellation of the controversial expressway in 1971, changes in planning policy—and a new growth pattern—leave some of the city's towers out of place in the urban context. In particular, the fenced-off private 'park' space that surrounds buildings like the Spadina Towers is wasted in today's city. Looking to make more efficient—and more profitable—use of the green spaces, Cromwell Property Management is planning to add an 11-storey residential building to the south of Prii's tower, along with 8 stacked townhouse units to the north.

The 11-storey infill building would rise just south of the existing tower, image courtesy of 666 Spadina Developments

Designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, the project would add a total of 127 units to the property. North of the existing 25-storey tower (with 334 units), a row of 4-storey stacked townhouses would front Sussex Avenue (below). Featuring 8 three-bedroom units, the townhouses would extend the more human-scaled low-rise streetwall that characterizes Sussex Avenue, replacing the under-utilized private green space bordering the existing tower.

Looking south across Sussex Avenue, image courtesy of 666 Spadina Developments

To the south of the existing tower, meanwhile, the mid-rise building would front Spadina Avenue. Meeting Spadina with an 11-storey facade, the massing is incrementally stepped back to the west towards Sussex Mews (below). Extending Spadina's commercial character slightly north, 460 m² of retail is planned at ground level, with 119 residential units above. So far, a unit mix of 58 one-bedroom, 53 two-bedroom, and 8 three-bedroom suites has been tabled. The project's landscaping plan has been developed by Ferris + Associates Inc., with heritage consultation from GCBA Architects

View facing east across Sussex Mews, image courtesy of 666 Spadina Developments

A proposal for the development has yet to be formally submitted to the City, with the design revealed at a Ward 20 pre-application meeting on April 11th. As such, the plan seen here should be considered preliminary, with changes likely as the development makes its way through the planning process. 

The site plan, image courtesy of 666 Spadina Developments

We will keep you updated as the planning process gets underway, and more details of the project unfold. In the meantime, make sure to check out our associated dataBase file for more information. Want to share your thoughts on the development? Feel free to leave a comment in the space below this page, or join in the ongoing conversation on our Forum thread.

Related Companies:  Cromwell Property Management, Ferris + Associates Inc., IBI Group, WND Associates Ltd