A new residential development has been approved at 543-553 Richmond Street West, just east of Bathurst, between Toronto's King West and Alexandra Park neighbourhoods. Initially submitted on behalf of Pemberton Group in the final days of 2014 as a 15-storey, Quadrangle-designed with ground floor commercial and 536 residential units above, the project was eventually appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) following the City’s lack of decision on the proposed zoning by-law amendment. 

Initial design (since revised), image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

In response to the appeal, a five-day OMB hearing commenced on May 29th. In the lead-up to the proceedings, plans were revised heavily to reach a solution that both the City and developer could agree upon. These revisions include an overall height reduction from the previous 56.2 metres down to 54.7 metres, and a drop down to 7 storeys at the north east corner of the site. These height decreases were accomplished by partially sinking the mechanical penthouse level into the uppermost residential floor, leaving just a two-metre height overrun above the 15th floor. The revised design also incorporates increased stepbacks on Richmond Street West and Portland Street, while a portion of the building's common space is to be dedicated to dog-related amenities.

Changes to the project's public realm also factored in to the decision, including a planned 550 m² parkland dedication on the site's Portland Street frontage. In addition, the development would provide $550,000 in Section 37 funding for other public realm improvements.

The now-approved project is set to fill a void in the mid-rise streetwall of Richmond Street West, replacing a two-storey 115,000 m² office building and a commercial parking lot fronting the southeast corner of Richmond and Portland intersection.

Subject site (right), image retrieved from Google Street View

We will be sure to return as new details about the project emerge. In the meantime, you can join the discussion by visiting the project's associated Forum thread, or by leaving a comment using the field provided at the bottom of this page.