A number of mid-rise, mixed-use developments on a stretch of Toronto's Dupont Street are preparing to go ahead thanks to mediated settlements at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The once primarily industrial street paralleling the CPR rail corridor to the north had gradually shifted towards a mix of mostly low-rise industrial and suburban-style retail uses over the years, but several recent proposals for larger mixed-use residential retail buildings spurred on Toronto's planning department to prepare a Dupont Street Study for the stretch between Kendal and Ossington Avenues.
Following public consultations, City Council adopted the Dupont Street Study in August 2014, but developers looking to build here appealed the plan to the OMB. The agency directed the City and the developers to mediation, and most of the proposals now have settlements in place. A fuller description of the timeline of events can be found in a open letter from Councillors Mike Layton and Joe Cressy. While at least one development remains to be argued separately at an OMB hearing, three developments along this stretch have updated their plans based on the settlement and will soon introduce a more urban-minded typology to the area.
At 500 Dupont, just west of Bathurst, is the first of three projects currently seeking Site Plan Approval along this stretch. To replace a Beer Store, this Lifetime Developments project designed by Core Architects sets 146 residential suites above a main floor laid out with three retail units facing Dupont. The suites would be a mix of 90 one bedrooms and one bedroom+dens, 28 two bedrooms and two bedroom+dens, and 15 three bedrooms and three bedrooms+dens. Of 128 parking spaces, 93 are for residents, 17 for visitors, and 16 for retail.
500 Dupont's initial plans, like the two following were initially proposed a few floors higher. All of the projects include a two or three storey podium that takes up most of the site. At the back of the sites, a 20 metre-wide buffer has been left between the rail corridor and buildings' crash barriers. Residential suites are typically another 10 metres back and found in a mid-rise component rising over the podium. At 500 Dupont, the initial plans for an L-shaped mis-rise as high as 12 storeys was reduced by three storeys and altered to form a U-shape.
The proposal for 740 Dupont Street—submitted by developer RioCan—has been extensively revised since it was initially submitted back in 2014. The site in question—situated mid-block between Shaw and Christie Streets—is currently home to a one-storey structure occupied by luxury automobile distributor Grand Touring Automobiles.
Following the settlement, a revised plan was submitted to the City of Toronto in April. The development will replace the car dealership and parking with an 8-storey, Turner Fleischer Architects-designed mixed-use building with two storeys of retail, then 122 condominium units and series of green roofs above. The standout feature of this proposal is a sculptural sheltered porte-cochère and vehicular entrance fronting onto Dupont. Planning documents reveal the exterior finishing materials to be used for the structure, which include a mix of unitized curtain wall and window wall glazing, Alpolic® metal panels, and glass fiber reinforced concrete panels.
The project's unit mix calls for 42 one-bedroom, 42 one-bedroom+den, 20 two-bedroom, 5 two-bedroom+den, 7 three-bedroom, and 6 three-bedroom+den layouts. The parking mix calls for 102 resident spaces, 18 visitor spaces, and another 203 spaces for the project's retail space.
A block to the west at 840 Dupont Street, the current Sobeys supermarket and associated surface parking lot is also slated for redevelopment. Since being settled the OMB at a height of 9 storeys, the Turner Fleischer Architects-designed development for Tridel in partnership with Sobeys Developments Limited Partnership, was re-submitted to the City in May for site plan approval.
The rendering attached with the project's May resubmission still depicts the previous 11-storey design for the site. Now two storeys shorter, the new plan shares many elements with the nearby 740 Dupont redevelopment, most notably a retail base with terraced massing above. In addition to filling a pedestrian dead zone with street-fronting retail (including a replacement store for the Sobeys), the project would boost residential density with 331 condominium units. The public realm would be further enhanced by the inclusion of an approximately 700 square-metre park occupying the southwest corner of the site.
Units within the development would come in a mix of 11 one-bedroom, 203 one-bedroom+den, 14 two-bedroom, 70 two-bedroom+den, and 33 three-bedroom units. A below-grade garage would contain 247 parking spaces to serve the retail component, with 293 residential spaces and an additional 28 visitor spots. The project, like all new developments in the city, will also serve Toronto's growing cycling culture, with 388 parking spots for bikes.
A revisions to massing and height of the buildings are meant to make the designs less overwhelming and a better fit for the area, considering the low-rise nature of the residential neighbourhoods to the south
We will keep an eye on these new mid-rise developments. In the meanwhile, you can learn about 500, 740 and 840 Dupont Street by checking out the projects' dataBase files, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment using the field provided at the bottom of this page.