As Toronto's baby boomers move into their senior years, demand is growing for new retirement housing, leading to a handful of new proposals in 2017. Among the latest is an application filed with the City in early November seeking rezoning for a high-rise expansion of the Briton House Retirement Centre at 700 Mt. Pleasant Road on the northwest corner with Soudan Avenue, a block south of Eglinton.

Existing Briton House Retirement Centre, image retrieved via Google Street View

Plans from Gordon Wells Ltd. call for the expansion west of the existing facility with frontages on both Soudan and Brownlow Avenues, currently occupied by a number of single and semi-detached homes. In their place is proposed new buildings with a 1,595 m² footprint, designed by Julian Jacobs Architects. The addition would consist of an 18-storey tower atop a 7-storey podium volume and reaching a height of 88.6 metres, or approximately 291 feet.

Briton House Retirement Centre expansion, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

The podium levels would create a mid-rise presence along Soudan and Brownlow, housing 133 assisted nursing rooms, adding to the existing 62 assisted nursing rooms housed within the current facility to the east. Above, the tower would contain 123 independent and semi-independent retirement units with the option for on-site ownership. Residents of these independent ownership unit will be able to access the existing facility's services and programmes for a fee, made easy via a direct second floor skybridge connecting to the Centre’s resources and amenities.

Facing east at the Briton House Retirement Centre expansion, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

The proposal is situated one block east of Benvenuto Group's proposal for 71 Redpath Avenue, where a different approach has evolved in regard to its massing, density, access, and overall integration with the community. Originally known as 200 Soudan, the 71 Redpath plan has morphed through the planning process since late 2015. Where 71 Redpath is now designed to transition to the low-rise context through a three-storey base, the plans for a seven-storey base at Briton House may trigger opposition from City planning staff. Massing and positioning of the two developments' tower components are also quite different. 71 Redpath meets 60 degree angular plane requirements and features a north/south oriented floorplate that preserves skyline views for the area, while initial the Briton House plan does not. Other differences include a parkland dedication proposed for 71 Redpath, inset balconies for a more streamlined exterior, and sensitive placement of service and loading areas.

71 Redpath Avenue, image courtesy of Benvenuto Group

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the Briton House project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment using the field provided at the bottom of this page.

Related Companies:  CMV Group architects, DTAH, Ferris + Associates Inc., Julian Jacobs Architects, LEA Consulting, NEUF architect(e)s, Patton Design Studio, Reynolds & Associates Landscape Architects, The Benvenuto Group