The stretch of Avenue Road between Lawrence Avenue West and Wilson Avenue serves as the main commercial street for Toronto’s Bedford Park, Ledbury Park, Nortown, and Cricket Club neighbourhoods. Historically lined with one and two-storey retail and commercial properties, the built form on this stretch of Avenue Road has been gradually changing for the past few years, as mid-rise development becomes the standard in this neck of the woods.
Mid-rise development on this stretch isn't a new phenomenon, with the earliest example dating back to the mid 20th century, when the Armour Heights Manor development was constructed on the east side of Avenue Road, just south of Wilson. It was several years before another mid-rise residential development was built on this stretch of Avenue Road, with the completion of Bedford Glen Condos in 1980 just north of Lawrence Avenue. The project's innovative design by Annau Associates Architects was the recipient of a Canadian Architect Award, adding significant residential density and an elaborate public realm that cemented the area's identity as a go-to neighbourhood for luxury residential.
Bedford Glen managed to bring a large boost of density to the quiet neighbourhood, though the subsequent early 1980s recession put a hamper on further development activity in the years that followed. It would be another few decades before the next mid-rise development was built on this stretch, with Tribute Communities and RioCan REIT's project at 1717 Avenue Road. The 6-storey, Turner Fleischer Architects-designed development commenced construction at the end of 2008, and was completed in 2010, adding 80 new homes to the area.
An LCBO location that was cleared to make way for the 1717 Avenue Road development was relocated roughly 250 metres north to Avenue and Deloraine, with a similar mid-rise scale.
1717 Avenue Road set the new standard for development in the area, with a similarly massed plan now underway steps to the south at the site of Brookdale on Avenue Road by Cityzen, Fernbrook Homes, and Fortress RDI. Now under construction on the west side of Avenue Road, between Brookdale and Fairlawn Avenues, the 7-storey building designed by RAW and Rafael + Bigauskas Architects will soon add another 80 condominium units to the neighbourhood. The view below shows the site as it appeared in late July. In the time since it was captured, a second tower crane has been installed at the south end of the pit, and forming activity for below grade levels has begun.
The next target of this slow tide of mid-rise intensification will be the redevelopment of a Beer Store location at 1580 Avenue Road, just north of Lawrence (and on the opposite side of the street from the precedent-setting Bedford Glen development mentioned earlier on). Avenue & Park by Stafford Developments and Greybrook Realty Partners was first proposed in 2016, and has since successfully sold the majority of its units and secured construction financing. Permits are expected to be filed shortly, with a plan to have shovels in the ground for early 2018.
The 7-storey Page + Steele / IBI Group-designed boutique condominium development will bring a limited collection of 36 luxury condo units to the site, with sizes ranging from 1,000 ft² to over 3,000 ft². At street level, the project will enhance the existing retail presence on site with a new Beer Boutique, an upscale off-shoot of The Beer Store.
You can learn more about the more recent developments mentioned in this article by visiting the related database files, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.