Last month, Urban Strategies Inc.—on behalf of Tawse Realco Inc.—submitted a zoning by-law amendment to the City of Toronto for a 10 storey retirement community and 4 storey apartment building at 2494 Danforth Avenue on the northwest corner with Chisholm Avenue. Designed by Sweeny&Co Architects Inc., the redevelopment dubbed Verve, would densify the existing site, which is currently occupied by a 2 storey office building and Shoppers Drug Mart with rooftop parking stalls.

Looking north west at Danforth Avenue and Chrisholm Avenue. Rendering by Sweeny&Co Architects Inc.

The surrounding area features a variety of uses: low-rise residential development, mixed-use commercial storefronts, high-rise apartment towers, a large Sobeys with surface parking lots, and a place of worship. Nearby parks include Stanley G. Grizzle Park, Stephenson Park, and the East Toronto Sports Field. A block west of Main Street, the site is located within both the Danforth GO and Main Street Major Transit Station Areas, as defined in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017. The Site is also within the Danforth-Main Mobility Hub (Gateway Hub), as identified by Metrolinx. Both Main Street Major Transit Station Areas and Gateway Mobility Hubs are identified as areas requiring transit-oriented intensification to meet provincial density targets. The application submitted to the City argues that the redevelopment addresses these policies that support intensification of the Site, and encourages “compact, transit-supportive communities that incorporate housing of all types and tenures.”

The 10-storey retirement community (referred to as the South Building) will be operated by Verve Senior Living—a privately-owned Canadian company that operates seniors’ housing with 35 locations across the country. Verve currently operates 13 residences in the GTA, with an additional 9 projects under development. The program of the building incorporates several uses including retail on floors 1 and 2, senior’s memory care and assisted living on floors 3 to 4, amenity space on floors 2 and 8, and seniors living suites on floors 5 to 10. The 140-unit retirement home has a mix of 90 independent seniors living spaces and 50 assisted-living and memory care suites, ranging in size from studio to two-bedrooms.

Breakdown of the residential retail and amenity spaces within the South Building. Image by Sweeny&Co Architects Inc.

Residents of the Memory Care/Assisted Living suites will eat meals in the kitchen/dining/multipurpose room on their respective floors and will generally not use the dining facilities on the 2nd floor. However, residents will have access to these floors for special events and for visitors. Most of the Independent Seniors Living Suites have their own kitchenettes with small refrigerators. These residents will have a majority of their meals in the dining room on the 2nd floor. Each floor has its own laundry services. The outdoor amenity space on the 8th floor of the South Building will include a BBQ, a lounge area with sofa seating, a garden area, trees and planters, and a shade structure with tables and chairs for the residents’ use. The outdoor and indoor amenity spaces serve as the locations for the variety of community services and uses offered in the South Building such as "community groups coming to the residence to perform, social group meetings, community events, BIA & ratepayer meetings, and reading-buddy activities with students."

Looking southwest at Chisholm Avenue and Harris Avenue. Rendering by Sweeny&Co Architects Inc.

The 4-storey North Building with its main entrance on Harris Avenue includes a 50/50 mix of 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments, totaling 20 units.  The ground floor includes an amenity space, a lobby, dwelling units, and a mailroom. The new apartment building will significantly improve upon the existing site conditions of a blank wall with no windows along Harris.

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available, and the development continues to take shape. In the meantime, you can find more information in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space below this page, or join the conversation in our associated Forum thread.

Related Companies:  Strybos Barron King, Sweeny &Co Architects Inc., Tawse Realco Inc., Urban Strategies Inc., Verve Senior Living