Development firm TAS has submitted an application to develop an irregularly shaped site on the west side of Downtown Toronto, just north of the rail corridor opposite Fort York and the Garrison Landing development. Purchased by the Gupta Group in 2015, the 1.98 hectare site was sold to TAS last year, with the new developers opting for extensive pre-application community consultations to inform the OPA and Zoning By-Law Amendment that was tabled with the City in late November.
As outlined in the submission, the vacant industrial area at 2 Tecumseth—used as an abattoir and cattle market from the late 19th century until 2014—has been re-imagined as a dense, mixed-use "complete" community with ambitious preliminary design by KPMB. Drawing from the historical context of the site, three discrete zones are outlined. At the east end of the lot, the lion's share of the site is demarcated as the "Plateau," while the narrower western side of the lot, hugging the curve of the rail corridor, is known as the "Lowlands." Bridging the two very different contexts, a narrow north-south stretch known as "Creek Bank" spans an area once dominated by Garrison Creek, which was channeled underground in the early 20th century.
Forming a physical and typological divide, the Creek Bank negotiates a palpable change in topography between the flatter and more regularly shaped Plateau, and the Lowlands to the west.
Given the flat elevation and relatively ample open space, the western Plateau houses most of the site's vertical density and open space. Four of the six proposed buildings (numbered 1, 2, 4, and 5 in the table below) would be located on the Plateau, including a 38-storey residential point tower—the site's height peak—and a 13-storey office building, to be topped by a greenhouse. The shorter office building rises above the brick facade of the former abattoir, which will be activated with retail.
The residential tower would feature significant retail uses at grade, as well as two storeys of lower-level office space, with the footprint angled to encourage pedestrian activity through the site. The preliminary Site Plan concept also takes into account the future redevelopment of the adjacent Wellington Destructor (tucked just north of the Lowlands, and immediately west of the Creek Bank) prioritizing a strong pedestrian connection between the two sites.
To the west, the narrow—and somewhat jagged—Lowlands would be occupied by a 15-storey residential building (above, right), also featuring retail at grade. Compensating for its elongated footprint, the building is planned with pedestrian permeability in mind, with at-grade connections weaving through the structure to create a walkable milieu. In fact, the whole of the site would be redeveloped with substantially more open space as compared to the status quo, with the increased density strategically positioned to avoid a sense of encroachment upon the pedestrian realm.
Ranging in height from a single level to the 38-storey height peak, six typologically varied buildings are planned in total. In addition the two mid-rises—both of which would be topped by green roofs and activated with community garden uses—and the residential point tower, a trio of single-storey buildings are planned. All three would be given over to retail (and one would also feature an accessible roof), further enhancing the site's street-level appeal.
Throughout the site, public amenities are a strong focus, complementing the concentration of retail. According to a planning rationale prepared by WND Associates, at-grade amenities include "a boardwalk amphitheatre, indigenous grass plantings, and bleachers along the north side of the rail corridor for trainspotting." Negotiating a change in elevation, the Creek Bank is designed to effectively create two outdoor levels, with levels of public seating lining the change in grade. Appointed by Public Work, the landscaping plan deftly knits together a cohesive pedestrian realm across a very challenging site.
Overall, 651 residential units are planned, with a breakdown of 120 bachelor (18%), 333 one-bedroom (51%), 131 two-bedroom (20%), and 67 three-bedroom (10%) suites. A total of underground 417 parking spots are planned, 218 of which are devoted to residential use, making for an urban ratio of 0.33 parking spots per unit.
While TAS' plans remain at an early stage, the area is already a hotbed for redevelopment. Under construction to the east are Minto's Westside at Front and Bathurst and Fieldgate's 90 Niagara. To the west, Cityzen's Garrison Point and Bentall Kennedy's Novus are under construction. To the south, Concord Adex's The LakeShore and The LakeFront are rising, as is Onni's Fortune at Fort York. Along with the condo crush, new public realm infrastructure is coming to the area with the first part of The Bentway set to open in January, while work progresses on new pedestrian and bike bridges over the rail corridor, helping create a corridor of parks in the area.
You'll find close-up images and more details about the development in our database file, linked below. If you want to get in on the conversation about it, you can visit the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.
|Related Companies:||ERA Architects, KPMB Architects, Public Work, TAS, WND Associates Ltd|