If the last decade has given any lessons for predicting Toronto's growth and development, it's that not unreasonable to expect the unexpected. Projects have been proposed and approved in parts of the city that—at the time at least—seemed surprising, and they have been built. For instance, both the Festival Tower in the Entertainment District, and Spire Condos in the eastern part of the Downtown core, have set new precedents for height and density within their respective neighbourhoods, while a series of recent proposals could soon do the same to Cherry Street. 

On Jarvis Street meanwhile, a street remembered by older generations for its once-opulent mansions is undergoing a dramatic metamorphosis with a cluster of high-rise towers concentrated near Dundas. A long block to the north, however, the high-rise character could be extended to what is currently a quieter stretch of the street. 

Rendering of 319-323 Jarvis Street, by Page + Steele / IBI Group

A new proposal at 319-323 Jarvis Street has been submitted to the City's planning department in the past week, asking for a zoning bylaw amendment to allow a 50-storey mixed-use condominium with retail at grade, three levels of underground parking, and 506 residential units. Designed by Page+Steele/IBI Group, the project would replace the existing Comfort Inn, as well as the building immediately to the north. The mixed-use component of the project includes a 226 m² retail space at ground level. 

Street view of 319-323 Jarvis Street, image courtesy of Google Maps

This particular stretch of Jarvis just south of Gerrard features lower mid-rise buildings on the west, and smaller 3-storey buildings on the east side. As such, the 4-storey podium aims to reflect the height of this area's built form. Above, however, the proposed tower height is 156.9 metres, or 515 feet. This is far taller than any other building in its immediate vicinity, proposed or built.

Rendering of 319-323 Jarvis Street, by Page + Steele / IBI Group

The next tallest proposed building in the area is half the height of 319 Jarvis; only 25 storeys a few steps north and across the street at 280 Jarvis (the so-called "Hooker Harvey's" site). A block east, meanwhile, the site is right in line with the 9-storey Seaton House, which has recently filed for a redevelopment. Given the lack of local precedent, the planning rationale is using the ongoing development at Dudnas and Jarvis—Grid CondosDundas Square GardensPace—to justify the project's 50-storey height, although the 319-323 site is located some 300 metres north of Dundas.

The unit mix includes 184 one-bedroom units, 138 one-bedroom + den, 133 two-bedroom, and 51 three-bedroom suites. There would be equal amounts of indoor and outdoor amenity space, each providing just shy of 11,000 ft², spread across three of the four podium levels. A total of 47 vehicular parking spaces would be provided throughout the three underground levels, accessed through the garage along Jarvis. Additionally, 507 bicycle parking spaces would be provided, with storage facilities situated in the mezzanine level on the first floor. 

The design features a combination of differing elements; a diagrid pattern with metal or precast cladding on half of the east and west faces, while the north and south faces of the building would feature inset balconies. The podium is proposed to have either metal, brick, or stone cladding.

Shadows casting study on Allan Gardens, December 21, image via submission to the City of Toronto

One aspect that may pose a threat to the development is Allan Gardens, located roughly 130 metres north of the site. Although the proposed floorplate is only 729 m², (less than the 750 m² maximum encouraged by the City), the shadow study does show that shadows would be cast on the park throughout parts of the year. The strongest shadows would be cast directly on the greenhouse of Allan Gardens on December 21. This proved a contentious issue for the 43-storey proposal at 308 Jarvis, which is currently awaiting an OMB hearing.

As this application—submitted days ago—is still very recent, we will make sure to track the early planning process closely. With the proposal submitted on behalf of Jarvis Residences Inc., the developer(s) have not yet been announced. Given that this could represent a preliminary design and proposal, we can expect changes to the overall vision as planning continues. Want to share your thoughts of this new proposal? Feel free to comment using the space provided below, or join in the ongoing conversation in the project's associated Forum thread.

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