Big changes are coming to a Weston Village parking lot north of Toronto's Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue intersection. The John Street site will soon be home to a 30-storey rental tower, a new public space—housing an enhanced Weston Village Farmer's Market—and a local hub for Artscape. Developed through a partnership of the Rockport Group, the City of Toronto, the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA), and Artscape, the project will officially break ground next week, kicking off a potentially impactful development for the surrounding community. 

Rendering of May 2015 proposal, which has since been refined, image courtesy of Artscape

Located just northeast of Weston Road, the surface lot at 22 John Street is currently managed by the Toronto Parking Authority, with the summertime Weston Village Farmer's market occupying space on Saturdays. Replacing the parking lot, a Graziani + Corazza-designed tower will join a loose cluster of mid-to-late 20th century high-rises, bringing residential density and community amenities to a neighbourhood served GO trains and TTC buses, and now also by UP Express at Weston Station.

The public space and Artscape Hub at ground level (May 2015), image courtesy of Artscape

Alongside the 30-storey, 370-unit rental tower and 7 at-grade townhouses, the site will also be home to a 1,200 m² public space. As part of the project, a rear portion of the existing building at 33 King Street will be repurposed to house the Artscape Weston Hub. The publicly accessible hub will feature 8,200 ft² of indoor programming space, to be used by various community and not-for-profit organizations. Immediately adjacent to the site, 26 affordable housing units will also be added to the base of the existing 33 King Street tower. Managed by Artscape, these homes will be provided to artist-led families. 

A closer look at the public space and Artscape Weston Hub (May 2015), image courtesy of Artscape

With much of 33 King Street's extensive podium space currently underused, an additional 3,897 m² of the space will be reconstructed into a self-storage facility. Replacing the existing parking space at 22 John Street, the neighbouring strip of vacant land at 14 John Street will be developed into a new TPA surface lot, with a capacity of 70 vehicles. 

The concept plan for the site, image courtesy of the Rockport Group

For Weston Village, the development will add significant residential density and community amenities to an underutilized site. Despite the enhanced urban density and cultural presence, the inclusion of new street-level parking and a self-storage facility reflects a lingering suburban character. However, the somewhat economically marginalized area also boasts vibrant street-level retail, with both Weston Road and John Street home to a dense and eclectic array of independent merchants. 

The new facilities within the context of existing built form, image courtesy of Artscape

We will keep you updated as next week's ground breaking launches the construction process. The project targets a 2018 completion. For more information, make sure to check out our associated dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts on the project? Feel free to leave a comment in the space below this page, or join in the discussion on our Forum.

Related Companies:  Artscape, Bousfields, City of Toronto, entro, GCB interior architecture inc., Graziani + Corazza Architects, McIntosh Perry, RJC Engineers, Rockport Group, Terraplan/Studio TLA