Westbank Corp's extensive plans for the redevelopment of the massive Mirvish Village site in Toronto, which includes an area bounded by Bloor, Bathurst, Lennox, and Markham Streets, continue to evolve. Since the sale of the properties in 2013 and the subsequent announcement of the redevelopment Westbank has addressed the diverse interests of the local community, engaging the neighbourhood by opening Markham House, a "city building lab" at 610 Markham Street.
The latest iteration of the evolving plan involves a reconfiguration of density and height for the tallest structures on the site. The new arrangement pushes much of the massing away from Bloor in an attempt to reduce the impact to the local scale and pedestrian character of the surrounding area, while potentially reducing future development pressure. The towers are now proposed to stand at heights of 29, 24, 21, 13, and 9 storeys, set behind a collection of comparatively low-rise retail volumes fronting onto both Bloor and Bathurst Streets. The new structures would also be complemented by 21 retained heritage structures throughout the site, as opposed to the 15 restoration projects initially planned.
Fronting onto Bloor Street West, the northern boundary of the site will now feature a series of stepbacks for the taller towers, along with the retention of the 1911-built commercial structure on the corner of Bloor and Markham, which at one time may have been used as a post office.
Notable in the revised Bathurst Street elevation, the streetwall has been reduced somewhat in height, and features more articulation in its street-fronting volumes. In addition to these changes, historic properties including 738-740 Bathurst Street (seen in more detail below), and an 1899-built commercial buildings on the corner of Bathurst and Lennox.
The latest plans for the Lennox Street portion of the site include further reductions in the height of the streetwall, along with the aforementioned retention of 738-740 Bathurst Street. Further alterations include the widening of the pedestrian alleyway seen to the right of the image above, along with a significant increase in the amount of heritage retention on both sides of Markham Street.
In particular, the entirety of 581-583 Markham—a large 1892-built Victorian home that currently houses the Victory Cafe—will be retained in full, straying from previous plans that involved the structure's partial demolition to accommodate an adjacent overhang. In addition to this, at least two more Victorian homes towards the north end of Mirvish Village will be retained, furthering the heritage character of the site deeper into the development.
Moving into the heart of Mirvish Village, the addition of an expanded public green space and park will add pedestrian activity to the new development. Outfitted with green space, seating, and a sizeable public art installation, the park will become a central feature of the redeveloped Mirvish Village.
Spurred on in large part by the high level of civic engagement with this development, the host of aforementioned changes to the Mirvish Village proposal have been a direct result of an active dialogue between the developer and local community. Coming up later this month, interested members of the public will be welcome to attend yet another community consultation presentation, where the latest plans for the development will be shared in full. Those interested are encouraged to attend at the Bickford Centre Auditorium at 777 Bloor Street West, on Monday, June 13, 2016, from 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM.
UrbanToronto will be sure to follow-up on this transformative project as progress continues. For more information, check out the associated dataBase file linked below. You can join the conversation by visiting the associated Forum thread, or leaving a comment in the section below.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was republished with updated renderings on June 3rd, 2016.
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