Toronto's Yonge-Eglinton area is bursting at the seams with new development as the neighbourhood gears up for the 2021 opening of the Crosstown LRT. Among the many projects currently working their way through the planning and approvals process, Benvenuto Group's proposal for 71 Redpath Avenue—a site currently occupied by 10 single-family houses at the northeast corner of Soudan Avenue and Redpath Avenue—has been in a constant state of evolution since initially being proposed in late 2015, with the plan having been revised twice in the years since in response to concerns from the local community and city planning staff.
The most recent iteration of the Neuf Architect(e)s and SMV Architects-designed development is the product of a lengthy design process that began with the original proposal on November 4, 2015, and continued with a revised two-tower design April, 2016. The original plan—which sought 20 and 25-storey rental towers—faced resistance from City Staff and area residents, resulting in meetings between the design team (which has been expanded to include DTAH and Freedman Urban Solutions), the local City Councillor, City Staff, and area residents lasting from February to April 2016. Over the course of these meetings, six design principles were developed to shape the second iteration. The result was manifested in two 24-storey towers with three-storey podiums and narrow floor plates, as well as a linear Park and Privately Owned, Public Space.
While the plan could be considered a significant improvement over the original, the April 2016 design was again met with pushback from the City, with concerns continuing to focus on the project’s location, size, and public realm component. Responding to the second round of feedback, a revised rezoning application was submitted earlier this summer, which makes major changes to the proposal including a reduction in project scope, and a more well-thought-out approach to respecting the surrounding context.
The previous two-tower plan has been halved, with just a single 24-storey tower rising from a three-storey podium now proposed for a now-reduced subject site, reaching a height of 78.75 m / 258 ft. The reduced size is matched with a drop in unit count from the 2016 submission of 369 down to a new total of 176 units. These units would come in a mix of 86 one bedrooms, 75 two-bedrooms, and 15 three-bedrooms, with over 50% of units proposed as 2 and 3 bedroom suites.
The revised plan also includes revisions to the now-single tower’s positioning—which has been moved slightly to the north and east, enhancing views for tower residents while opening up the corner for new green space. Energy efficiency is another improved feature in the newest iteration, with the project designed to be net zero ready upon completion.
Current plans would see a new public park built at the intersection of Redpath and Soudan Avenues, measuring 15 metres by 15 metres, for a total area of 225 m². This public space would contribute to a new collection of parks that will be built along Soudan Avenue, with new or improved park spaces set to take shape adjacent to other new projects being built in the neighbourhood. Design concepts have not yet been formulated for the park, which is expected to be designed through a participatory public process. The addition of a new public space and the future LRT/subway interchange at Yonge and Eglinton will help to cement the area's already near-perfect Walk Score of 97.
The exterior expression of the now single tower has been subject to some revisions as well, with the articulation and cladding of the podium modified to foster a better interaction between the tower base and the established low-rise housing to the south of the subject site. This has been accomplished by reimagining the podium facades to resemble a block of townhomes that address the street with windows and patios. The tower component includes the integration of balconies to inset configurations for a sleeker overall aesthetic that accentuate the narrowed down floor plates.
Residents of the tower would have access to a selection of amenity spaces housed on the ground and fourth floors, as well as a rooftop amenity terrace overlooking the growing community. This total of 1,193 m2 of amenities—641 m2 of indoor and 552 m2 of outdoor amenity space—is a decrease from the previous plan’s combined 1,955 m2 of amenity space. Despite this, the reduction in project scope means that residents of the remaining tower will actually be treated to a per person increase in amenity space over the previously proposed version.
71 Redpath's most recent iteration is proposed to be served by a 4.5-storey underground parking garage containing 137 parking spaces. This stands as a significant reduction from the 413 parking spaces originally proposed in 2015, and the 289 proposed with the previous two-tower plan in 2016. Residents would access this garage via an independent entrance off of Redpath Avenue.
Though there may still be new concerns raised with the August 2017 resubmission, comparisons with the recently approved Distinction Condos at 11 Lillian Street—one block to the west of the 71 Redpath site—show that Benevenuto's August submission falls closer in line with green-lit projects in the neighbourhood. 71 Redpath's proposed floor space index (FSI) of 6.62 falls well below the approved 9.02 FSI at 11 Lillian, while the former proposes parkland dedication and the latter does not.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available, and the project continues to take shape. In the meantime, you can learn more by checking out our associated database file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space provided on this page, or join the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum thread.
|Related Companies:||CMV Group architects, DTAH, Ferris + Associates Inc., LEA Consulting, NEUF architect(e)s, Patton Design Studio, The Benvenuto Group|