Our last progress update on Lanterra Developments' North St. James Town proposal to the southeast of Sherbourne subway station in Toronto documented a number of details and revisions to the original 2010 proposal. The 2013 revision showed slightly more modest heights with four towers ranging from 12-50 storeys in comparison to the 46-56 storey towers which were originally proposed. Concerns with the contextual appropriateness of scale, height, and density were somewhat addressed, as were the shadowing impacts on Rosedale Valley.
The 2013 update also included details on the restoration of many of the late nineteenth-century Victorian homes which populate portions of the site. Ten of the eleven heritage structures on the site would be retained in the most recent proposal, while the 2010 proposal included only seven. The original proposal incorporated the Anson Jones House at 603 Sherbourne Street (Constructed 1894) and the six semi-detatched row houses from 6-16 Glen Road (Constructed 1883 to 1888). The listed homes at 605 Sherbourne Street, 607 Sherbourne Street, and the William Whitehead House at 76 Howard Street will now be retained after being slated for demolition in the 2010 proposal. Neither proposal incorporated the heritage home at 4 Howard Street.
Site plan for the 2013 North St. James Town proposal, image from City of Toronto
The North St. James Town proposal will span three separate development blocks. The more compact Block One and Block Two which are on the western portion of the site will contain the heritage structures. The William Whitehead House heritage structure on Block Three will be relocated from its current site 76 Howard Street west to 32-34 Howard Street.
Preparing the William Whitehead House for relocation, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Hanlansboy
The relocation of this solitary structure will clear Block Three of the North St. James Town proposal, making way for three residential towers (12, 37, and 45 storeys), amenity building, 713m² public park, and other uses. It will re-situate the heritage structure in a more architecturally contextual location, neighbouring other Victorian-era homes rather than the arterial roads and tower blocks which surround its original location. The house was the sole survivor one its block of the demolitions that had taken place in the 1960s when the St. James Town tower blocks seen below were being built.
William Whitehead Home with St. James Town tower blocks in the background, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Lenser
Throughout the spring and early summer this year, workers have been preparing the William Whitehead Home for its move down Howard Street. After cutting openings into the foundation walls, steel beams have been inserted to bear the weight of the house during the relocation.
Preparing the William Whitehead Home for relocation, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Edward Skira
A unified hydraulic jack system will then be used to lift the building from its foundation. The steel beams will then be attached to a truck bed and the house will be moved 150m to the west.
Support beams will be used to lift the home from it's foundation, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor stjames2queenwest
Heritage work has also progressed on Block Two of the North St. James Town proposal at 6-16 Glen Road. The six semi-detatched town homes on this block are being restored. Before restoration began, this townhouse block had become derelict.
6-16 Glen Road townhouses before restoration, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor androiduk
After over a year of work behind scaffolding and wraps, the restored facades of 6-16 Glen Road have now been revealed.
The restored facades of 6-16 Glen Road, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor salsa
The brickwork and detail closely resembles the original appearance of the row houses which were built between 1883 and 1888.
10-12 Glen Road circa 1913, image from UrbanToronto Forum contributor thedeepend
It should be noted that the backs of these buildings which face Redrocket Lane have not been restored to their original form. Portions of the rear were demolished to provide space for a new three-storey townhome row planned for the east side of Redrocket Lane. The City of Toronto re-wrote the heritage designations for 6-16 Glen Road with language which allowed for demolition of additions at the rear of the homes.
Rear view of 6-16 Glen Road, image by Urban Toronto Forum contributor salsa
As progress on the North St. James Town development continues, UrbanToronto will keep you updated. This development will continue to stitch this overlooked area of the city back into Toronto's urban fabric. For more information on this project, visit the dataBase file linked below. To get involved in the discussion, you can visit the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.
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