A splash of colour is—for the second time—being proposed at the Downtown Toronto corner of Jarvis and Shuter. Following a submission in mid-2016, Manga Hotels have returned with an updated plan for the vacant lot at 203 Jarvis, which is being reimagined as a condo-hotel designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects

Retaining the design language of last year's proposal, the updated plan still calls for a 35-storey tower, characterized by a conspicuously orange cantilevered volume separating the residential and hotel uses. On either side of the prominent extrusion—which would be programmed as an amenity terrace—two aesthetically distinct volumes house 241 hotel rooms below 222 condominium units above.  

The updated project, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Whereas the earlier plan called for a similar configuration of 227 condominiums and 242 hotel rooms, more significant changes come at street level. Along with expanded setbacks to accommodate a more open public realm, the height of the podium has been increased from two to three storeys, with the rhythm of fenestration also reconceptualized to meet the scale of the historic three-storey townhouses to the north.

As part of the new proposal, the seven neighbouring townhouses properties have been purchased by the developer. According to the submission, the developer "will be registering a limiting distance agreement on title to those lands as may be necessary," creating a more complete solution for the site—no longer leaving the historic homes sandwiched between development sites. While the townhomes themselves will not be redeveloped, the revised plan takes the properties into account as part of the site plan. 

The Jarvis Street frontage, image via submission to the City of Toronto

While the general aesthetic of the building remains intact, a number of visible changes have been made to the tower levels. Above the podium, the tower stepback has been increased, while the depth of the 16th floor cantilever has been significantly reduced on the north side. Taken together, the street-level and tower volume changes make for a slightly reduced total GFA, which has shrunk from 24,323 m² to 22,790 m². 

Joining the rapidly developing Shuter Street corridor, the site is subject to a somewhat unusually complex series of planning regulations, even by Toronto's standards. Prior to the 35-storey submission made last year, rezoning for a 20-storey hotel was approved for the site in 2010. However, the construction of a high-rise building was effectively prohibited by a 'Site and Area Specific Policy'—known as OPA 82—for the Garden District, which was enacted by the City in 2015. In 2016, further by-laws (1106-2016, and 1107-2017) set out new tower separation requirements, further complicating the existing zoning approval.

The previous proposal—circa August 2016, image via submission to the City of Toronto

With Manga now pushing for a 35-storey tower, effectively adding a 15-storey condo atop the previous 20-storey hotel concept, both the Official Plan Amendment (OPA 82) and the two by-laws have been appealed to the OMB. Meanwhile, the lack of a Council decision on the August 2016 rezoning plan—which introduced the 35-storey tower—have prompted yet another OMB appeal, with the board considering the new rezoning proposal in tandem with the appeal to OPA 82. With a new submission made to the City, however, negotiations with the Planning Division are ongoing ahead of the hearing, which could produce an OMB-ratified settlement with the City.

Existing site context, image via Google Maps

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available, and the plans continue to take shape. In the meantime, you can learn more by checking out our updated Database file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment on this page, or join the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum thread.

Related Companies:  Bousfields, IBI Group, Land Art Design Landscape Architects Inc, SKYGRiD