After fourteen instalments of the Growth To Watch For series so far this year, we are finally getting back to Downtown Toronto, as the tour from Eglinton brings us down Yonge Street into Toronto's Yorkville and Rosedale neighbourhoods. In this instalment we'll turn off Yonge onto Scollard, then head further west along Davenport to where it crosses Dupont. Returning east via Dupont and Pears, we turn south at Avenue Road, turning east on Yorkville against the flow of traffic to Yonge. From there, we quickly head west via Cumberland, shimmying past the Park Hyatt Hotel and along Prince Arthur to Bedford. From there, we make our way south to Bloor, turn east, and travel to Sherbourne, then head up into Rosedale. Finally, we make our way into the Don Valley, and finish this section by heading south on Bayview to the West Don Lands, where our next instalment will begin.
Our first stop is at 1133 Yonge St, immediately south of Summerhill Station. Construction activity will soon wrap up on the recladding of the existing 6-storey office building, designed by Studio JCI for Old Stonehenge Development Corporation and Clifton Blake Group. Scheduled to reopen later this year, the 120,000 square foot building will bring 6,000 square feet of new retail space to Yonge.
Crossing under the CPR corridor and passing the North Toronto Station (now the flagship LCBO) we soon come to the corner of Yonge and Macpherson Avenue, where a 5-storey office building with retail at grade is under construction. Developed by Urbacon, the Lemay and Hermitage-designed building at 1128 Yonge is expected to be completed partway through the year, as cladding is beginning to wrap on the project.
A block south and across the street at 1027 Yonge, another rebuild of an existing building is underway. The 6-storey, 17-unit mid-rise named Hill and Dale Residences is being developed by Old Stonehenge Development Corporation in partnership with the Clifton Blake Group. Designed by Studio JCI, the project is situated a block north of Rosedale station.
Another block and a half south on the west side is the former home of the Ridpath's Furnishings at 906 Yonge. An application to build a 13-storey condominium tower on Yonge rising behind the Ridpath frontage was approved by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in November 2014, but a 30-storey condo for the west end of the lot on McMurrich Street was denied by the board. Since that time, no new proposal has been presented for the west half of the site, and there has been no movement to develop the east half. Could we see a revival of plans for this development this year? Below, we have an image of an earlier version of the KPMB-designed proposal, also rejected as representing overdevelopment of the site.
Just a few properties to the south, another project is making its way to the OMB. Also KMPB-designed, 1 Scollard was refused by City Staff and Council, citing overdevelopment again. The slim 59-storey luxury condo by Cityzen Development Group was proposed with 194 residential suites. The pre-hearing at the OMB is scheduled for May.
At the west end of this block of Scollard, a Site Plan Approval application (SPA) was submitted to the City last summer for the Foster + Partners-designed Bay + Scollard. The 43-storey tower also features architectural work by RAW Design and heritage specialists ERA Architects, who will oversee a lateral move and restoration of some Victorian homes on the site. Developed by BRL Realty, the development would bring 112 luxury rental suites to the ever-denser neighbourhood.
Another proposal a few steps to the north is looking to the OMB for approval. 100 Davenport by Diamante Developments is set for a pre-hearing on April 25. The project boasts a signature Douglas Cardinal design with Scott Shields Architects. The 39-storey, 53-unit super luxury condominium was deemed too tall for the site by City Staff and Council, leading to the OMB appeal.
Following Davenport Road west, we are soon at the south-west corner with Hazleton Avenue, where City Council has approved a zoning bylaw amendment to allow a 9-storey boutique luxury condominium by Mizrahi Developments. Designed by AUDAX architecture, the 21-unit building named its address at 128 Hazleton Avenue is the final phase of three adjacent mid-rise buildings along Davenport by Mizrahi. Preliminary construction work is set to start imminently.
One project that is expected to wrap up construction within the coming months is Burnac Corporation's 277 Davenport. Cladding installation began on the 6-storey Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed condo last summer, with only final touches to still be applied. Occupancy of the 10-unit building will begin in late Spring.
Directly across the street, plans are moving ahead with the intensification of a property at 250 Davenport. The western portion of a TCHC tower-in-the-park property was sold to provide funds to upgrade the existing building. The halved-off portion will bring 315 new homes to the area in 3-storey townhomes and a 28-storey tower designed by TACT Architecture. Dubbed AYC Condos for 'Annex Yorkville Connection', it is being developed by Metropia and Diamond Corp.
Continuing west of Bedford, a Hariri Pontarini Architects (HPA) design for at 314 Davenport is making its way though the planning process. The proposed 10-storey mixed-use condo would add 84 residential units, while also providing ground level retail.
Next up on our radar across the street is 321 Davenport, by Alterra Group of Companies. The 8-storey condo designed by Giannone Petricone Associates is currently in the preliminary stages of the planning process. If approved, the project would contain 21 suites.
Crossing the street back to the north side again, marketing is well underway for 346 Davenport. A joint venture by Freed Development and Trolleybus Urban Development, the 10-storey condo by RAW Design will feature 35 residential units, slated for a Spring 2019 completion. Demolition recently began on the existing buildings on site.
Next up at 350 Davenport, a super-slim 7-metre-wide proposal here is still working its way through the planning process. The application calls for a BBB Architects-designed project that would be 7 storeys tall with retail at grade and 5 residential units above. A rendering of an earlier 8-storey version of the development looked at it from the south.
In behind 346 and 350, a laneway infill development has been proposed at 115 Dupont by Zinc Developments. A Site Plan Approval application was submitted in December 2015 and revised in December 2016 to allow a 5-storey office building situated within Designers Walk Lane. Designed by Cumulus Architects, the timber-frame building would be 10,000 square feet with four total units, with one office unit per workable floor.
Moving east through the lane we return to Bedford Road, and shift onto Pears Street where The Perry Condos is beginning to rise above its surroundings. Developed by Mansouri Living, the Young + Wright / IBI Group-designed project is currently setting up framing for the fourth level of the eventual 11-storey condo. Once complete in 2018, the building will house 45 residential units.
Arriving at Avenue Road, a proposal was filed with the City in December 2016 to allow the construction of an 11-storey condo at the southeast corner with Pears. Addressed as 183 Avenue Road, the architects of the 23-unit residential building are BBB, with ERA Architects overseeing the retention of a Victorian frontage at the south end.
Just south of Davenport on Avenue, registration is now underway for a development named Avenue 151 to be built on the vacant lot. After initially being proposed in 2012, the project moved slowly through the planning process and was eventually appealed to the OMB, where a settlement with the City was ratified. Led by Dash Developments, the 10-storey condo boasts an architectural design by Teeple, and would feature retail at ground level, with 72 residential units above.
Continuing south, a proposal at 121 Avenue Road by Urbancorp is on hold following the developer's implosion. The 14-storey condo designed by Webster Architects would have featured 14 residential units.
Next up, a redevelopment of the Howard Johnson Hotel site at 89 Avenue was initially proposed as a 28 and 6-storey hotel and condo combo by Freed Developments, who eventually settled with the City for 20 and 3 storeys, then ratified at the OMB. Following obtaining rezoning, however, Freed put the building up for sale in October, signed with a buyer on February 24, with the sale closing this September. There is no word yet on who the buyer is, or what plans they may have for the site, which is approved for 104,000 sq ft of space, 17,222 sq ft of which is zoned commercial use.
Just a few steps south, work is wrapping up on First Capital Realty's Yorkville Village revitalization. Previously known as Hazelton Lanes, the $125 million expansion and renovation included a more space for Whole Foods, wider halls with longer sightlines, a reshuffle of retailers, an upgraded food court, a rebuilt private fitness facility, and new entrances on Avenue Road and Yorkville Avenue. Stores are continuing to open this year. The architectural work is by Kasian.
Immediately to the south, a proposal by Empire Communities and Greybrook Realty Partners to replace York Square with a new shopping and 30-storey condominium complex at 33 Avenue Road was heard at the OMB in mid-January. The design by Zeidler Partnership and Richmond Architects calls for 74 residential units in a "vertical forest" tower which would feature copper slat cladding. At ground level, the facades of Victorian homes modified by Diamond and Myers in 1968 would be preserved at the corner of Avenue Road and Yorkville Avenue, while a sheltered piazza would be built to the east. The Toronto Preservation Board voted unanimously in December to refuse demolition of the York Square buildings, saying that façadism was not the city's heritage preservation policy. The OMB decision has not yet been handed down.
Across Yorkville Avenue from 33 Avenue Road is Camrost-Felcorp's Yorkville Plaza complex, which is a continuing rebuild of the previous Four Seasons hotel site. The first component, a conversion of the the hotel tower into condominium suites, has been completed save for some stores which are still moving into the base. East of the tower, 135 Yorkville is coming ever closer to completion. Designed by WZHM Architects, the 11-storey office condo building has topped-off, with the majority of its high-finish glazing installed. The project is adding 50,000 square feet of office space in an area where there are relatively few office buildings.
Earlier this year it was announced that 102 through 108 Yorkville Avenue, another component of First Capital Realty's Yorkville Village retail holdings, would be redeveloped. This project, designed by Audax Architecture and Kearns Mancini Architects would redevelop the existing Victorian-conversion low-rise retail buildings on the site, replacing the accessibility-challenging half-height floors with ground level entry, and two more levels of above ground in addition to a basement level space.
Just a few units to the east and across the road, the owners of Trattoria Nervosa have hired audacious Toronto firm PARTISANS to design an expansion of the restaurant. Submitted on February 13, the plan is to demolish the existing 2-storey building to the south, and have the new addition build from that footprint, then cantilever over (and virtually hug) the existing Victorian restaurant building.
Proceeding across Bay Street all the way east to Yonge, we come to the construction site of 1 Yorkville. Here, workers are busy on the underground garage levels for Bazis and Plaza's joint venture condominium tower. While it will likely be the summer before the project makes an impact at ground level, the 58-storey development designed by Rosario Varacalli will eventually feature 577 residential units. Along Yonge Street, ERA Architects are in charge of the heritage restoration of heritage Victorian stores—more than the facades of which have been saved—and which will eventually be reopened as new retail spaces.
Just across the street, Menkes' 771 Yonge St development has been appealed to the OMB owing to a lack of a decision within the required timeframe by the City. The narrow 48-storey mixed-use condo designed by Wallman Architects would be built above the designated heritage building at 771 and 773 Yonge, providing retail at ground level, while the tower would have 257 residential units.
Back across the street, Great Gulf Homes and Phantom Developments' 51-storey Eight Cumberland was submitted to the City for Site Plan Approval in late December. Designed by architectsAlliance, the building sports vertical fins along its western face, while inside, a proposed 371 condo units would fill the residential floors. Retail will feature at ground level in restored Victorian buildings front Yonge.
The full block to the south of Eight Cumberland—bounded by Yonge, Bloor, Bay, and Cumberland—plus the west half of the block that Eight Cumberland and 1 Yorkville are on, have recently been assembled over the last year, with Kingsett Capital now owning at least a 50% stake in each property—if not owning the properties outright. These blocks have seen a number of proposals submitted to the City of Toronto over the last several years, with the City informing the various landowners that the proposals were bunched too closely together to allow them to proceed individually. As such, the solution to redeveloping the area is coming via the consolidation of ownership. While we wait an announcement of the new proposal, we do know that Kingsett held a competition in 2016 to find a architect to design the comprehensive redevelopment, that they have picked a winning firm, that a design is being finalized for submission to the City, and that it is to be named 'Yorkville Square.'
Until the announcement of the combined redevelopment of the Yorkville Square properties is made, we can remind you of what was proposed and/or approved for the individual sites previously.
At 2 Bloor West, which currently includes an office tower and the Cumberland Terrace shopping centre, redevelopment plans by Oxford Properties changed several times, most recently including rebuilt and expanded retail, plus an architectsAlliance and B+H Architects-designed rental apartment tower that would rise 54 storeys tall, containing 575 suites. Last year, Oxford sold a 50% stake in the site to Kingsett Capital and Greystone Managed Investments Inc. for $262 million.
Fitting into the elbow of 2 Bloor West's L-shaped lot, Morgaurd Corporation's project at 50 Bloor West is now part of the Kingsett Yorkville Square assembly too. In 2014, Morguard obtained permission from Toronto City Council for a 71-storey, Pellow + Associates-designed tower with 600 residential units. A rebuilt Holt Renfrew was to be a part of the redevelopment, and it is assumed that a new "Holts" will be a part of Yorkville Square as well.
On the north side of Cumberland Avenue, Toronto City Council gave the green light in 2014 to redevelopment plans for the Yorkville parking garage by the Minto Group. Known as 27-37 Yorkville, plans for a two-tower development had morphed several times before conjoined 40 and 62-storey Wallman Architects-designed towers got zoning approval. The design included new retail and a rebuilt parking garage, along with 1,166 residential units. Minto sold to KingSett for approximately $90 million in 2015. The earliest version of the Minto proposal, now part of the Yorkville Square assembly, is shown below.
UrbanToronto will stay on top of, ahem, developments here. For now though, we will carry on with the tour westbound along Cumberland past Bay Street, where an excavation site on the northeast corner at Bellair will one day be home to Minto Yorkville Park Condos. Developed by the Minto Group and North Drive Investments Inc, the 25-storey condo designed by Page +Steele / IBI Group Architects will be home to 200 residential units, while providing retail at grade. The project should reach ground level this fall, and begin to rise during the winter months.
Where Cumberland meets Avenue Road, we come across the construction site of the remaining phase at Camrost-Felcorp's Yorkville Plaza development. Designed by WMZH Architects and P+S / IBI Group, the 40-storey Cumberland at Yorkville Plaza condo had a slow start to construction. Breaking ground in mid-2014, it finally reached grade in the early months of 2016. A year later, they have reached the 7th level, and construction has begun to move more quickly, with the builder now forming the repetitive floorplates of the tower. The building should top out this year.
Crossing Avenue Road, we jog over to Prince Arthur Avenue where at number 10 there was once a proposal for a 9-storey mid-rise condo designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects to replace a pair of two-storey Victorian homes.The rezoning application was appealed by developer Castlepoint Numa to the OMB, but later dropped. It is not known when this property may come into play again.
Turning south at Bedford Road and then east again at Bloor, we see the nearly finished Exhibit Residences rising mid-block. Developed by Bazis, Metropia, and Plaza in partnership, the finishing touches are being applied. Designed by Rosario Varacalli, the 32-storey condo of shifting cubes will very shortly be home to 204 residential units, while at ground level, a McDonalds will be returning to the site, occupying one of the retail spaces opposite the Royal Ontario Museum.
Three properties to the east at Avenue Road, we arrive at Toronto's Park Hyatt Hotel. In mid-2016 it was announced that Oxford Properties would be investing in a renovation of the complex, converting the 18-storey south tower to luxury rental units, and renovating the hotel rooms in the north tower. With new architectural work by KPMB Architects and heritage work by ERA Architects, the plan would also see a new covered podium above where the current driveway is, forming a porte cochère and filling in the street wall in the process.
A block and a half east, Krugarand Corporation's plans for 80 Bloor St West have gone quiet. The 66-storey architectsAlliance-designed tower was proposed to rise 735 feet and have 565 residential units, with high-end retail at ground level. Currently an 18-storey office building, the building would have to be rezoned for residential, something the City has a general policy against. With little in terms of office leasing activity in the Bloor-Bay-Yonge area, the developer argued there would be few negative implications with the conversion. There has been no indication when the proposal may become active again.
Detouring south on St. Thomas Street briefly, we see two projects under construction. The first, on the west side, is Kingsett and Bentall Kennedy's 2 St. Thomas. Construction of the 26-storey Hariri Pontarini-designed luxury rental tower is currently at the 20th floor, with cladding—including stone—slowly wrapping around the building's lower levels. This project should reach substantial completion by the Fall.
The second project is directly across the street at 7 St. Thomas. Another Hariri Pontarini design, this 9-storey office condo building has received much praise from the UrbanToronto community, as its uniquely curved upper floors—finished with high quality curtain wall—rise above restored Victorian mansions at ground level. Developed by St. Thomas Commercial Developments, the building began turnover to owners in December, with each floor individually built for the tenants.
Back up on Bloor Street at the southeast corner at Bay, Manulife Real Estate announced plans to renew the streetscape and redesign the 2-storey podium of the Manulife Centre. Designed by B+H and Moed de Armas & Shannon Architects, the project will see a new glass-dominated facade with new ground and second floor retail space, totalling 38,000 square feet. The Italian restaurant and food experience emporium 'Eataly' will open its first Canadian location here, slated for 2019. To be 50,000 square feet in size, initial work for the Giannone Petricone Associates-designed interior is expected to begin this month.
One block east across Balmuto Street lies a single-storey Scotiabank. It was reported in February that Belgium-based Mappro Realty had purchased the bank property, municipally addressed as 17-19 Bloor West, for $74 million. The property does not include the 2-storey H&M clothing store to the east, separating the site from Mizrahi's The One development, (coming up next). We will watch for any redevelopment activity regarding this site.
At Yonge and Bloor streets, one of Canada's tallest buildings is in the last stages of construction, while another even taller one is awaiting approval. The latter, at 1 Bloor West, is dubbed "The One". Mizrahi Developments first proposed it in March 2015, the proposal evolving along the way to the version we know today. Designed by renowned London-based Foster + Partners with Toronto's Core the Architect of Record, the 80-storey condo-retail mixed-use development is one of five supertalls (over 300m) proposed for the city. Providing 416 residential units up top, the first 8 levels of the tower plus 1 below-grade level are meant, according to Sam Mizrahi, to aimed at world class retailers, offering high column-free spaces. Having settled with the City, the development awaits an April 18th hearing at the OMB, mostly to sort out issues regarding laneway traffic issues with adjacent landowners.
Directly across the street at One Bloor East, construction will wrap up later this year on Great Gulf's highly-praised Hariri Pontarini-designed 76-storey tower. Now 257 metres tall, this is Toronto's (and Canada's) second tallest condominium, having recently begun occupancy of the building's lower residential levels. Construction continues above, with 789 units the eventual total when complete. On the exterior, less than a dozen floors remain to be clad with the fritted glass balcony guards. For the podium's retail levels, occupancy is expected to begin in late 2017, while Nordstrom Rack has announced it will open a 38,600 square foot store on two floors in the first half of 2018.
Moving a couple blocks past the hustle and bustle of Yonge and Bloor, we arrive to the future site of the Rosedale on Bloor. Developed by the Gupta Group, the Page +Steele / IBI Group Architects-designed project has filed for SPA, while rezoning is already approved. The 52-storey condo will feature 487 residential units, with retail at ground level and a 188-room Canopy by the Hilton Hotel in the podium levels. Currently in sales, we will follow this closely as construction progresses.
Turning north on Sherbourne Street and following some twisting roads, we head into Toronto's upscale Rosedale neighbourhood where a project has triggered significant NIMBYism since being proposed. The Dale, named for its Dale Avenue address and developed by Platinum Vista Inc, is a 4-storey upscale condo-townhouse development designed by Hariri Pontarini which would feature 26 residential units. 16 metres tall, the development is stepped back to not overwhelm neighbourhood, with the appearance of a 3-storey building from the street. If built, The Dale will replace three 1940s-50s bungalows that currently offset the more upscale houses in the neighbourhood.
Following more twists through the neighbourhood, we eventually find ourselves at the bottom of the Don Valley and at our final stop in this instalment, the Evergreen Brick Works. It was announced just over a year ago that the Brick Works and the east end of the Prince Edward Viaduct (walking distance from Broadview subway station) could bookend a proposed gondola across the Don Valley. The $20-25 million, privately-funded project would provide people with much easier access to the Brick Works and the valley floor, while providing scenic views of the city and the areas' natural landscape. Though still preliminary, it is estimated the fare would cost about $10 roundtrip for the 1 kilometre journey, and would be a boost to Toronto's tourism scene. While a website is still active, it has been just over a year since any new word came about the proposal.
That does it for another instalment of Growth To Watch For: 2017. We will return shortly with the tour having headed down the Bayview Extension, and recommencing in the West Don Lands. More information can be found for various projects in the dataBase files linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment in the space provided on this page, or you can join in the conversation in the projects' associated Forum threads.