In late October, a revised application for a Downtown condominium tower at 75 The Esplanade was submitted to the City of Toronto. Following an initial submission in early 2015, the proposal was revamped in an attempt to address a number of concerns outlined by both City Planning and members of the local community.

As outlined in our previous story, the new proposal sees the tower height reduced from 34 to 29 storeys, removing new shadowing on the re-imagined—and soon to be officially unveiled—Berczy Park while also slightly tapering the project's density.

The new 29-storey proposal, image courtesy of Harhay

The revised project also features an altered massing strategy, with the body of the formerly rectilinear tower re-shaped as a parallelogram, reflecting the shape of the lot. Designed by architectsAlliance, the project's architecture has been tweaked to create a more horizontal expression, ostensibly enabling a more visual cohesive relationship with the area's older built form.

Meanwhile, the renewed proposal sees a number of changes made to the public realm. Spearheaded by Juhan Marten Landscape Architects, 75 on The Esplanade's landscaping and public space plan has evolved in tandem with the tower above. Along Church Street, the increased setback—which would allow for the eventual construction of a Cooper Street underpass—facilitates a more breathable street-level experience, with the trimmed and reconfigured tower now a somewhat less imposing presence from below.

The street level, image courtesy of Harhay

The revised landscaping plan sheds some light on how the public realm will shape up. While the corner of Church and Esplanade is occupied by a 1,144 m² retail space, a paved walkway wraps the body of the podium, delineating a pedestrian space—which is partially covered by a canopy. 

Along both the Esplanade and Church frontages, meanwhile, rows of deciduous trees—planned as accolade elms and maidenhair trees—will line the significantly widened sidewalks, replacing the existing plantings (most of which are in poor health). Creating a buffer between the paved pedestrian area and the street, both rows of the trees will be placed in a continuous soil trench, a method shown to improve the long-term health of plantings.

The landscaping plan for the corner, click for a closer view, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Past the property line, the two streets will also be fronted by City bicycle parking. Additional bike parking—for both residents and guests—is found inside, with two street-level bike storage spaces accessible via the main residential entrance on Church Street. 

In addition to the public realm improvements, the current proposal also calls for improvements to the neighbouring residential property at 55 The Esplanade, with an upgraded street level and lobby space planned. 

We will keep you updated as the Harhay Developments and Carttera Private Equities project continues to make its way through the planning process. In the meantime, further information is available via our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space below, or join the ongoing conversation in our Forum.

Related Companies:  architects—Alliance, Baker Real Estate Incorporated, Carttera Private Equities, II BY IV DESIGN, McIntosh Perry, Myles Burke Architectural Models