As our annual Growth to Watch For series kicks back into gear, we continue our city-wide tour heading west from last week's Entertainment District feature to the trendy west end neighbourhoods outside of the Downtown Core. This edition tours all the development and construction happening in West Queen West, Parkdale, Roncesvalles, King West, Liberty Village, and Fort York. Meandering through these ever-popular and steadily growing districts, we have compiled a list of all developments nearing completion, under construction, moving through the planning process, or simply proposed as grand ideas for the future.
Our tour begins where we left off last week at Richmond and Bathurst Streets. Heading one block north on Bathurst to Queen Street, we turn westward and come to our first project at 717 Queen Street West. First proposed back in 2013, the project would see a pair of two-storey historic storefronts demolished, to be replaced by a four-storey contemporary building with a retail unit at grade and residences above. Featuring a design from Van Elslander Carter Architects, this proposal has been stagnant at City Planning for quite a few years, and given the recent Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study underway for West Queen West, the future of this small-scale project is uncertain.
Continuing westward, we duck one block south on Niagara Street and turn west on Richmond, where we come to a pair of intriguing proposals from TAS that would see two existing three-storey buildings expanded into 5-storey office structures within the quiet neighbourhood just south of Trinity-Bellwoods Park. The first is located at 822-838 Richmond West on the corner of Walnut Avenue, and would see the existing three-storey historic structure maintained with a 5-storey addition constructed immediately to the west. Designed by Giannone Petricone Associates, the new office building is anticipated to house tenants that include artist studios, software design firms, communication and broadcast companies, clinics, and a publisher.
A few doors down, TAS is proposing a second office building at 860-862 Richmond West, which would see the facade of the existing three-storey historic structure maintained with a two-storey addition on top. Featuring an edgy design by Suulin Architects, the office building is anticipated to house tenants that include advertising and design agencies, technology companies, and other creative industries. This building is being grouped together with 822-838 Richmond West as a single development application, and both are currently working their way through the planning process.
Turning south on Stafford Street and west on Adelaide, a small contemporary salon and residential building is proposed on a narrow lot at 852 Adelaide Street West. The four-storey building will house W Lifestyle Salons, the patrons of the project, as well as the owner's private residence, and features a unique design from Thomas Payne Architect, one of the founders of KPMB Architects. The salon will be located on the first and second floors, while the private residence will be situated on the third and fourth floors. The project is currently seeking Site Plan Approval at the City.
Heading west on Adelaide to Shaw Street, we turn north back up to Queen Street and come to one of the slowest-moving construction projects on our list at 940 Queen Street West. The two-storey building on the northwest corner of Queen and Shaw has been under construction for quite some time with little visible progress having been made over the past year. It is unknown who the builders or architects are, or what the uses of the building will actually be, but its prominent location has us all waiting in anticipation for the day that it is finally complete.
A few units westward we come to 952 Queen West, where Hullmark is repurposing the former location of the Museum of Contemporary Art into its own offices as well as offices for advertising agency Sid Lee. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the retrofit of the two existing buildings is now largely complete, however, construction continues on a new two-storey structure along the eastern edge of the property. Retail and restaurant spaces are anticipated in the new building, including a patio and dining area in the courtyard, so look for the building to rise out of the ground throughout the year.
On the south side of Queen Street, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is expanding their campus with two new 7-storey buildings being constructed along the Queen frontage. The Infrastructure Ontario redevelopment will add an acute care building and a complex care building to the campus, while incorporating new retail spaces at grade to activate this open stretch of Queen. The contract was awarded last year to a team led by PCL and Stantec, and excavation is now underway with construction expected to continue through 2018.
Continuing along Queen, another small proposal to demolish a pair of two-storey storefronts and construct a new two-storey restaurant at 1040 Queen Street West is working its way through the planning process. This property was first proposed for redevelopment back in 2013, but original plans were scrapped in favour of the current proposal, which first appeared in 2016. Given the ongoing HCD Study, it is unlikely demolition will proceed in the immediate future, so it is unknown when or if this project might materialize.
Just down the street, another small-scale development is proposed for the parking lot at 1056 Queen West. First surfacing in 2016, no development application for this property has yet to be submitted to the City, but the marketing images depict a one-storey retail building built up to the lot line along Queen Street. It is unknown whether or not this project will materialize, but perhaps 2018 will bring some good news.
The first mid-rise condo building on our list is taking shape at the corner of Queen and Dovercourt, where Ten93 Queen West has topped off as work on the exterior is nearing completion. Led by Pemberton Group and featuring architecture by RAW Design, the 9-storey building will add 134 residential units and retail at-grade to the busy stretch of Queen. As work moves to the interior, look for construction to wrap up by late 2018 or early 2019.
We veer off of Queen again, heading south on Dovercourt Road to Cabin, another RAW Design project that will see a 6-storey wood-framed residential building constructed just north of Sudbury Street. Headed by developers Curated Properties, the building will add 25 two-storey units to the dense neighbourhood. Construction is now underway, with Cabin expected to top off later this year.
Immediately to the south of Cabin, another proposal from Curated Properties along with Windmill Development Group is in the works with The Plant, a 10-storey mid-rise condo building at the corner of Dovercourt and Sudbury Streets. Designed by SMV Architects, The Plant will add 78 new residential units to the area, and is notable for its two floors of ground-level retail spaces designed specifically for smaller-scale retailers. Demolition on the site is already complete, so look for construction to get underway in 2018, with an expected completion date in 2020.
Turning west onto Sudbury Street, we come to 99 Sudbury, a somewhat controversial development designed by Giannone Petricone Associates that went to the OMB last year. The proposal would see a combination condo-hotel tower constructed on the site of a one and two-storey warehouse building that currently houses a popular event venue. Originally proposed at 26 storeys and 190 residential units, the City and developer came to an agreement that saw a reduction of the building to 18 storeys and 121 residential units, and also allocated space for the extension of the West Toronto Railpath into Liberty Village. The settlement was intended to be ratified at an OMB hearing in May of last year, but the hearing has come and gone with no recent news or updated renderings of the proposal. Perhaps the proposal will see some movement over the course of the year.
Turning north on Abell Street, we come back to Queen Street and find the iconic Drake Hotel, whose expansion plans made waves when they first appeared in 2016. The popular boutique hotel is looking to add 32 new rooms to its existing 19 suites with a 4-storey Diamond Schmitt Architects-designed addition on its east side that would replace a pair of existing three-storey storefronts, whose imprints will appear on the new brick facade. There has been no recent news on the development, and given the HCD Study and perceived resistance from the City to the demolition of the two buildings, it may take some time for this building to materialize.
Heading west again on Queen, Skale Developments' 1181 Queen Street West made progress last year after it survived its OMB hearing, albeit with some significant design changes. Designed by Quadrangle, the new iteration rises 15 storeys, only one floor less than the previous design, but the massing has been reorganized in a series of large stepbacks that pushes the bulk of its height away from Queen. Located on a prominent site directly across from the Gladstone Hotel, the new development will replace a strip mall and parking lot, and will add 112 residential units to the dense neighbourhood. The redesigned proposal is now back at City Planning after the OMB hearing, and since the two parties seemed to be in agreement, expect plans for this building to further progress in 2018.
At the corner of Gladstone and Queen Street, construction of Streetcar Developments' Carnaby set of buildings has since been completed, but work on the new public park along Dufferin Street north of the rail corridor is still ongoing. Pessoa Park, voted by local residents to be named after a Portuguese writer and poet, will provide new community and recreation spaces for the local residents, and will also provide a link in the coming extension of the West Toronto Rail Path. Construction is currently ongoing and it is expected that the park will be completed in the near future.
A block to the north, on the west side of Dufferin Street, revised plans have been submitted by Fitzrovia for 390-444 Dufferin, where a trio of mid-rises are proposed to replace a one-storey workshop and studio building. Measuring 12, 10, and 9 storeys in height, the three buildings comprise a total of 421 residential units and are designed by Graziani + Corazza Architects. The northernmost building will have five floors of office space at its base, while the two southern buildings will have retail integrated at grade. A Site Plan Approval application was submitted last year, so stay tuned for updates as the planning process continues.
Heading back down to Queen, we pass under the rail corridor into Parkdale and come to 1266 Queen Street West, where a proposal was submitted last year to construct two additional storeys to the existing commercial building. Designed by First Union, the new addition would house office space, complementing the commercial and studio uses of the existing structure. The proposal is currently working its way through the planning process.
Just across the street, and a bit north from Queen, 6 Noble Street has undergone a significant design change since it was first proposed back in 2016. Initially calling for a 14-storey, 172-unit residential building with space for a Performing Arts Studio who currently occupies the site, revisions surfaced late last year that illustrate an 8-storey 101-unit mid-rise building as the latest iteration. Both iterations of the building are designed by Sweeny &Co Architects, but appears that in the most recent redesign, the Performing Arts Studio has been removed from the proposal, and the building now houses only residential uses. Details of how the building will look are sparse at this point in time—it's just a massage model you're looking at below—so stay tuned for updates in the coming year.
Our tour continues along the rail corridor, heading west on Noble Street and then north on Brock Avenue, where we come to 57 Brock Avenue, a proposal for a 7-storey mid-rise building on the current property of the Beer Store. Headed by Block Developments and featuring architecture from RAW Design, the building underwent a redesign after its rezoning applications met with disapproval from City staff. The new iteration has reportedly been approved at the OMB, so expect further progress on this proposal as it works its way through the planning process.
Zig-zagging our way northward, we head west on Seaforth Avenue and north on Macdonnell Avenue to 35 Wabash Avenue, a 4-storey stacked townhouse development from Zinc Developments in Roncesvalles Village. Designed by RAW Design, the building will contain 60 residential units on the narrow brownfield site. Construction began in 2017. Curated is now planning another development next door at 41 Wabash, with a pre-liminary public consultation being set up for later this month.
Heading north on Sorauren Avenue and west on Dundas and Howard Park, we come to Howard Park Residences, a mid-rise development from Triumph Developments featuring architecture from RAW Design. Phase One of the project has been completed and occupied, but construction is continuing on Phase Two, which topped off at its final 8-storey height last year. The second phase will add a further 96 residential units to the area, in addition to the 81 units of the 8-storey Phase One. Cladding is currently being installed on the exterior, so look for construction to wrap up and occupancy to begin later this year.
Heading west on Howard Park Avenue to Roncesvalles, we arrive at The Roncy, a proposal by Worsley Urban Partners for an 8-storey mid-rise at 422-430 Roncesvalles Avenue. Designed by RAW Design, the 89-unit building cleared a hurdle when it was settled for rezoning at the OMB early last year. More recently, updated drawings were submitted to the City for Site Plan Approval at the end of December, so stay tuned for updates as the planning process continues.
Just down the street on the southeast corner of Howard Park and Roncesvalles, a proposal to redevelop an historic bank building at 421 Roncesvalles is currently in the works. The 7-storey office building is designed by superkül for Propeller Developments, and would retain the existing former bank while constructing the new building behind and above it. The proposal is currently at the OMB with a hearing scheduled in March 2018, where the City is preparing to oppose the development.
Heading south along Roncesvalles all the way to King, we turn east to the intersection of King and Dufferin, where a pair of kitty-corner developments at 1182 & 1221 King West are causing quite the stir from local residents. Proposed by Lifetime Developments and designed by Core Architects, the two buildings on the northeast and southwest corners will rise 17 and 14 storeys respectively while adding 701 new residential units to the area. The pair of developments were met with fierce opposition from some Parkdale residents who were apprehensive of the gentrification that the two new buildings could bring. City Council, however, approved the rezoning application in December, so look for design to further progress on these buildings during the coming year.
Continuing east on King, construction is quickly progressing on Kings Club (formerly King HighLine). Built on a wedge-shaped property between King Street and the rail corridor, the First Capital project will add 506 new rental units to the neighbourhood, along with several large-scale retailers at grade. Designed by TACT Architecture, the trio of connected towers rise 18, 14, and 12 storeys, all of which have now topped off. Included in the development are extensions to the local pedestrian and cycling network, with a bridge at the west end slated to cross the rail corridor, landing at 99 Sudbury, while another bridge is to be built at the east end across King Street, connecting the West Toronto Rail Path into the Liberty Village area. Exterior cladding is currently being installed on all three buildings, so look for construction to continue and possibly wrap up this year. The cycling infrastructure will take longer.
Our tour now brings us to the bustling Liberty Village neighbourhood, where a slew of proposals and developments are continuing the transformation of this former industrial area. Turning south on Atlantic Avenue, we come to our first project at 99 Atlantic Avenue, where an existing 5-storey factory building at 40 Hanna Street is being repurposed into an office and retail complex by Kevric. Adjacent to the refurbished 40 Hanna, a new 8-storey office building is proposed at 99 Atlantic, designed by WZMH Architects in a compatible style to the neighbouring historic structure, in addition to a new POPS proposed at the corner of Hanna and Liberty Streets. The development was approved at the OMB, and while Kevric is actively looking for tenants, retail and restaurants have already started occupying the existing spaces, and construction on the new building is starting up now.
Directly across the street is 80 Atlantic Avenue, a 5-storey office building developed by Hullmark and designed by Quadrangle that will replace a surface parking lot and includes retail at grade level. 80 Atlantic is notable as the first commercial wood frame building to be constructed after Ontario rewrote the Building Code to allow for taller timber frame structures a few years ago. Construction is well underway, with crews approaching ground level at the end of 2017. Look for work to be largely complete by the end of this year.
Heading south across Liberty Street, 58 Atlantic underwent a redesign in 2017, as the new office and retail complex by The Fuelling Station has been simplified and slightly scaled down in size. Originally proposed at 12 storeys, the height has been reduced to 10 storeys, while a heritage building at the corner of Liberty and Atlantic will be preserved. The building is designed by Sweeny &Co Architects, and features another set of iconic splayed columns that allow the new building to cantilever over the historic structure. Stay tuned for updates as this proposal works its way through the planning process.
Turning west on Liberty Street and south on Fraser Avenue, we come to 7-15 Fraser Avenue, another office proposal along the Lakeshore rail corridor that would see a new 7-storey building designed by SvN Architects replace a disused industrial building. As part of the development, a heritage structure along the south edge of the site will be preserved and refurbished. First proposed at the end of 2016, there has been no movement on this proposal since, perhaps due to the fact that part of the development would construct a parking garage underneath the right of way that the City has earmarked for a new public street along the rail corridor. There has been no word on if the City would be open to this unusual request, but hopefully there will be movement on this proposal over the course of the year.
Heading back up to Liberty Street and turning east, Lifetime Developments is proposing a mixed-use tower dubbed the Liberty Market Tower at 171 East Liberty Street. Designed by Wallman Architects, the building would rise 28 storeys and add 281 residential units to the densely built area, with grade-level retail and office spaces integrated into the 7-floor podium. Having undergone a redesign early last year, the development is still working its way through the planning process.
Continuing along East Liberty Street, the eastern end of Liberty Village is poised for some intense densificiation over the next few years with several large projects underway. Beginning at 49 East Liberty Street, Phase Two of CanAlfa Group's Liberty Central by the Lake is beginning construction now. The second tower will rise 27 storeys, two storeys higher than its twin neighbour, and is designed by IBI Group Architects. Crews are reportedly already on site, so look for construction to kick into full gear this year.
Just next door, CanAlfa Group is proposing another residential tower at 39 East Liberty Street. Once again enlisting IBI Group for the design of the building, the tower will rise 25 storeys and add 440 new residential units to the area. The proposal is currently working its way through the planning process.
Across the street from 39 East Liberty, CentreCourt Developments has just started to build ZEN King West, a 32-storey condo building also designed by IBI Group. The tower will sit atop a 5-storey podium and will add 481 new residential units to the area.
Just across Strachan Avenue to the east, five new towers are coming to the triangular plot of land squeezed between the two rail corridors to the north and south. The first two, located in the southwest corner of the site, are headed by Bentall Kennedy and are dubbed Novus at Garrison Point. Originally part of the Garrison Point master plan (see below), Bentall Kennedy acquired these two plots along with a third one from Cityzen, Fernbrook, and Diamond Corp back in 2015. Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, the two towers will rise 34 and 25 storeys and contain rental units. Several retail spaces are included in the podium levels. Excavation of the site is currently underway, so expect construction to get into full swing during 2018.
The next two towers in the area are part of Cityzen, Fernbrook, and Diamond Corp's original Garrison Point master plan, and construction has begun. Hugging the northeast corner of Ordinance Street, the pair of towers are designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects and rise 35 and 29 storeys. Construction on the south tower has now reached the podium levels, with the pouring of the concrete structure now at the second and fourth floors. Construction of the north tower, at ground level, will be held to podium levels, with the tower proceeding later. Once complete, the pair of towers will house a combined 746 condo units with a single retail space located at grade.
Rounding out the Garrison Point community, a fifth tower is proposed for the northeast corner of Strachan and Ordnance by Bentall Kennedy, but rumours have circulated for a 49 or 39-storey tower, suggesting that the design is still evolving.
The eastern portion of the Garrison Point triangle is earmarked for a new public park, through which will pass Garrison Crossing, a new pedestrian and cycling bridge across the two rail corridors that will connect an expanded Stanley Park to the north to Garrison Common and Fort York to the south. Overseen by DTAH, Pedelta, and AECOM, construction of the bridge foundations began last year, and off-site assembly of the bridge components is currently underway, with an estimated completion date of Summer 2018 for the new bridge. It is unknown whether the new park will be completed along with the bridge, or if it will come at a later date once the adjacent towers are complete.
Following Wellington Street east of Strachan, we arrive at one of the more interesting areas on our list. The former Quality Meats abattoir at 2 Tecumseth Street is the site of a recent redevelopment proposal from TAS to construct one tower and two mid-rise buildings on the site. The oddly-shaped property stretches westward along the rail corridor, and would see most of the abattoir demolished save for the heritage structure at its core, still intact, which was subsumed by many additions over the years. Designed by KPMB Architects, the proposal would see a 13-storey office building constructed on top of the heritage podium at the east end of the site, a 38-storey residential tower located at the centre of the site, and a 15-storey residential mid-rise constructed along the rail corridor to the south and west. A total of 651 residential units are proposed, with retail integrated throughout the ground level and an enhanced public realm. The proposal was just submitted for rezoning at the end of last year, so stay tuned for updates as it makes its way through the planning process.
Also noteworthy in the vicinity is the Wellington Destructor, adjacent to the abattoir site, which is an historic abandoned garbage incinerator that the City has earmarked to be transformed into a community hub as part of the local planning context. The City is currently exploring options on what to do with the building, so stay tuned for possible announcements later on the year regarding the future of this site.
Across the street from 2 Tecumseth, a proposal was recently submitted for Site Plan Approval for West Condos at 89-109 Niagara Street. The property is currently occupied by the historic National Casket Company factory, known locally as the Coffin Factory, a 4-6 storey former industrial building. The proposal from Aspen Ridge Homes would see the existing building retained, with a pair of 12 and 14-storey mid-rise towers constructed in behind. The two Core Architects-designed towers would sit on a 6-storey podium, matching the height of the factory, and would contain 320 condo units, while the historic factory building would be repurposed to house primarily commercial spaces. The project is in sales, its Site Plan Approval making its way through the planning process.
On the north side of Niagara, Fieldgate Homes is building a 5-storey mid-rise at 90 Niagara Street that will add 45 new residential units to quiet neighbourhood. Designed by Giannone Petricone, the building is currently under construction, with pouring of the concrete structure now having reached grade level. The owners are aiming for a December 2018 occupancy date, so watch for the building to rise out of the ground in the coming months.
Heading east on Niagara to Bathurst Street and turning one block north, news has reached us of an intriguing upcoming proposal for 64-86 Bathurst. No images have surfaced yet, but rumour has it that Hines has enlisted Danish architecture firm 3XN to design a mixed use mid-rise building at this location. Given 3XN's knack for trendy eye-catching designs, this proposal has grabbed our attention; hopefully news will surface in the coming months!
Turning back south on Bathurst Street, the vacant lot on the west side of the road at the intersection with Front Street was designated as future parkland by City Council in Spring 2017. In the interim, however, an even more exciting proposal will come to fruition this year with Stackt, a temporary market and cultural hub constructed of shipping containers that will occupy the site for the next two and a half years. The brainchild of Matt Rubinoff and Tyler Keenan, Stackt will be comprised of public space, retail, and cultural spaces, with both long-term and flexible-term leases to allow for pop-ups and temporary uses to occupy the sprawling complex alongside permanent tenants. Roughly 15% of the available space will be for retail, while the other 85% will be earmarked for culture and programming. An unnamed craft brewery is a confirmed tenant, while other potentials include fitness providers, urban farm companies, artists, event curators, non-profits and social enterprises. Stackt is slated to open in Summer 2018, so stay tuned for the arrival of Toronto's newest public space.
Hopping across the rail corridor, we come to Toronto's hottest new public space with The Bentway, the linear park located underneath the Gardiner Expressway. The skate trail opened earlier this month to huge crowds and fanfare, but this represents only one small portion of the eventual 1.75km-long public space stretching from Bathurst to west of Strachan. Designed by PUBLIC WORK and Greenberg Consultants, construction is continuing throughout the year on subsequent phases, so look for more exciting openings coming up in 2018.
Walking through the Bentway to Fort York Boulevard, we come to the final tower under construction in the Fort York neighbourhood, where excavation is well underway for Fortune at Fort York at 19 Grand Magazine Street. Led by The Onni Group and designed by IBI Group, the 24-storey tower will add 459 new condo units to the dense neighbourhood, completing the master-planned district. Look for the tower to rise out of the ground before the end of the year.
Heading south to Lake Shore Boulevard and east into Exhibition Grounds, Hotel X is making its annual appearance on our Growth to Watch For list, hopefully for the last time. Designed by NORR Architects, the finishing touches are now being put on the 27-storey hotel, which is slated for a 2018 opening. The project has been marred with delays and set backs, but now seems poised to finally open its doors in the coming months.
Heading south from the Exhibition Grounds, we arrive at the final project on our list, the ongoing efforts to revitalize Ontario Place. Last year, the new Trillium Park opened along the waterfront at Ontario Place to much fanfare, adding to Toronto's continuous network of green spaces along the lakeshore. The Province of Ontario then issued a call for development proposals for the revitalization and reuse of the Eb Zeidler-designed theme park that has fallen into disuse and disrepair over the years. It was revealed that PARTISANS along with Janet Rosenberg + Studio won the commission to provide a master plan and vision for the site, which began with the reopening of the Cinesphere last year. No announcements have come since, but a series of events are planned to be hosted there over the next year, and hopefully plans will surface soon as to what will come of this historic Toronto landmark.
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That's it for all the development happening in Toronto's trendy west end neighbourhoods, so come back next week as we continue moving west to explore all the development activity in South Etobicoke and Humber Bay Shores. If you would like to learn more about a specific project, click on the project databases, linked below. Want to share your thoughts on this list? Drop a comment in the space below, or feel free to join in the ongoing conversations in the associated Forum threads.