This instalment of our Growth to Watch For series heads to the busy neighbourhoods east of Downtown and west of the Don Valley, exploring a diverse range of developments spanning across some of the oldest districts in Toronto. There are several hotspots of development in Downtown East, including the Canary District, the accelerating development of the King-Parliament district, the continued revitalization of Regent Park, and the further densification of St. James Town.
Beginning in the Canary District and Corktown, we zigzag our way northward, staying within the boundaries of the Don Valley to the east, the rail corridor to the south, Sherbourne Street to the west, and Bloor Street to the north. Along the way, we give an overview of all projects about to be completed, all buildings currently under construction, and all proposals working their way through the planning process.
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We left off last time heading south on the Bayview Extension from the Evergreen Brick Works. At the south end, we turn to the west and begin our journey in the West Don Lands, where we stop to stare at the arresting volumes taking shape at Urban Capital's River City Condos Phase 3. The unique 29-storey 333-unit tower is joining its Phase 1 and 2 neighbours, all of which feature contemporary design by renowned Montreal-based firm Saucier + Perrotte Architectes in association with local firm ZAS Architects. The tower has now topped off, with its condo suites appearing as the shifted drawers of a huge dresser. Look for the building cladding to be complete later in the year.
The team of Urban Capital, Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, and ZAS Architects are not done there, as Phase 4 of River City, dubbed Harris Square, has begun construction now too. The 13-storey 150-unit building is being built on the empty lot immediately west of Phase 3, and once again features an edgy design with the architects' signature black finishes. No shifted drawers this time: Harris Square is more like overlaid wedges.
Turning west on Front Street, we enter the Canary District, one of Toronto's newest neighbourhoods, and a legacy of the 2015 Pan Am and ParaPan Am Games. Development of the district is continuing, with DundeeKilmer now constructing a new 12-storey condo at 460 Front East called Canary Block. Designed by KPMB Architects, the building will add 197 new condo units to the growing neighbourhood.
Immediately to the south of Canary Block, the next area condominium from DundeeKilmer to rise here will be Canary Commons, designed by architectsAlliance. Now in sales, the 388-unit, 12-storey building is awaiting Site Plan Approval from the City.
On the second block to the west, the Government of Ontario donated a block of land at the southeast corner of Front and Cherry streets to Anishnawbe Health for the establishment of a Toronto Aboriginal Hub. The new Aboriginal health and community centre will allow the organization to consolidate its three locations onto one site, while also expanding services and providing complementary programs for users and local residents. The complex, now being designed by Quadrangle and Stantec, will also include approximately 250,000 square feet of rental and condo residential space. The development will incorporate the restoration of the old Canary Restaurant building at the corner, with new food and retail offerings to come. Designs for the whole complex are conceptual at this point, but should advance enough this year for there to be an SPA (and ZBA if necessary) submitted to the City before 2019.
Kitty corner from the future Toronto Aboriginal Centre, to the northwest of Front and Cherry, the Rekai Centres and Options for Homes are planning Cherry Place, one half seniors housing with varying degrees of care available, and one half affordable housing. The development is also in a conceptual stage at the moment, and the design team of Montgomery Sisam Architects and Architecture Unfolded are working towards a ZBA and SPA submission to the City. Current plans are for a 10-storey south wing, and a 29-storey tower at the north end on the corner of Cherry and Eastern.
South a block on Cherry to the Distillery District, and then west on Mill, at the northeast corner with Trinity we find Rack House D. One of the last buildings from the Gooderham and Worts Distillery to remain disused, a plan surfaced in 2011 to build the Gansevoort Hotel & Condo, 34-storeys tall, rising out of the Rack House's preserved walls. The proposal fro 60 Mill was appealed to the OMB, and a settlement was worked out between developers Cityscape and Dream and the City, and was approved by the OMB last Spring wth significantly altered massing. The settlement allows a maximum height of 40 metres (131 ft) including the mechanical penthouse, which amounts to a roughly 9-12 storey tower. The zoning by-law was amended to allow office, hotel, retail, restaurant, and/or residential uses, with a maximum hotel or residential gross floor area (GFA) of 12,750 m2, and a maximum office GFA of 10,100 m2. Heritage played an important part of the settlement: the east, south, and west walls of the heritage building must be retained in situ, while the north wall may be dismantled and rebuilt. In addition, space on the ground floor of the building must be set aside for a publicly-accessible heritage interpretation area. Saucier + Perrotte have remained as the architects of the project. An SPA has not yet been submitted to the City.
Proceeding south on Trinity Street through the Distillery District, we come to a trio of towers which are looking to transform what is known as the Triangle Lands, a sliver of underdeveloped land at the southwest corner of the Distillery bordered by Parliament Street, Distillery Lane, and the rail corridor.
First up is a development site at 31R Parliament Street, initially proposed by Cityscape and Dream, but put up for sale last year after an OMB ruling to allow a 47-storey, 165.7 m tall tower, with a 23.5 m tall building to extend to the east towards Cheery Street along the southern edge of the Distillery District. The "Ribbon Building", as it is referred to, would shield the Distillery District from the noise of the rail corridor. Office, hotel, retail, and residential uses are all permitted. There has been no word on the fate of the commercial property sale.
The second proposal tower in the Triangle Lands has been appealed by The Goldberg Group to the OMB. Proposing a 49-storey, 167 metre-high, 495-unit condo tower at 31 Parliament Street at the southwest corner of the block, the tower designed by the New York office of Arquitectonica with staggered top floors has faced opposition from the City's Planning Department, been harshly received by Toronto's Design Review Panel, and raised the ire of local residents. The developer appealed to the OMB, with the hearing scheduled to start in June 2018.
The third tower was a new proposal in 2017, submitted to the City in August by Graywood Developments, immediately to the north of the 31 Parliament at 33 Parliament Street. The 39-storey tower with a 15-storey podium is designed by architectsAlliance and would add 622 residential units to the area, with retail at ground level. The development was refused by City Council on January 31, 2018, essentially being regarded as overdevelopment of the site. The developer appealed to the OMB, but no hearings been scheduled yet.
Proceeding north on Parliament, after passing Front we arrive at King Street, and turn east. A couple short blocks along on King we come to a small-scale infill project at Virgin Place, where popular restaurateurs Gusto are planning to open a new location for another Italian eatery with Gusto 501. The announcement of the new restaurant was made a few years ago and was put on hold, but recent site clearance means that construction activity is about to begin. Renderings posted on PARTISANS' website, the designers for the project, show several eye-catching designs for a central feature staircase in the building.
Following Virgin Place to Sumach and then Eastern, we turn west and arrive at 18 Eastern Avenue, where a development is proposed to take the entire north side of the block between Sackville Street and Gilead Place. Here, Alterra has enlisted Teeple Architects to design a 12-storey mid-rise in the heart of Corktown. Looking to add 331 new condo units to the area with ground floor retail, the proposal was appealed to the OMB in 2017. The first pre-hearing conference occurred in January, establishing parties and participants; the second in June will set the hearing date.
We now come to three potentially intriguing development sites huddled around Front and Parliament Streets that are currently lying dormant. At the southeast corner of the intersection, demolition was carried out in 2016 on the former library buildings at 281 Front Street East. The site was obtained by BRL Realty via a land swap with the City for the 'First Parliament Site' on the opposite side of the street, and they are soliciting interest in a data centre for the property, to be built and run by Urbacon. It was BRL and Urbacon who built the architecturally acclaimed Parliament Street Data Centre to the immediate south a few years ago.
Across Parliament at the First Parliament Site—currently occupied by a car wash and auto dealership—the City intends to begin planning this year a mixed-use project that will include a relocated library branch, public space, and some form of commemoration for the site of Upper Canada's first parliament buildings. To redevelopment is tentatively scheduled to open in 2025.
Finally in this immediate vicinity, across Front from the First Parliament site is 250 Front East at the corner of Berkeley Street, currently occupied by a Staples store. It was purchased by Greenpark Homes in 2011, with a ZBA application submitted to the City for a 19-storey U-shaped building in December 2017.
This area—King-Parliament—is one of two 'shoulder' areas of Downtown Toronto, along with King-Spadina, targeted for growth in the City's 2006 Official Plan. While not quite experiencing the explosion of height and density currently happening in the Entertainment District, King-Parliament has had a steady stream of development over the past decade, and is now seeing an increase in interest with taller, larger, and denser proposals popping up in greater numbers.
For the former Sobey's site at 177 Front Street East, the Pemberton Group has both zoning approval and demolition permits to start work at their Time and Space Condos site. The complex, with 1,586 condo units and ground-level retail, is designed by Wallman Architects in a U-shape surrounding a Privately Owned Publicly accessible Space (POPS) fronting onto The Esplanade. The two tallest volumes measure in at 29 storeys and are located along Front Street, while the volumes drop to 18 storeys at the centre of the site before stepping down again to 10 storeys along The Esplanade.
A block west on the north side at 158 Front East, construction started recently on St. Lawrence Condos from developers Cityzen and Fernbrook Homes. The pair of 26-storey towers will replace a surface parking lot that stretches the full block between Sherbourne and Frederick. Designed by architectsAlliance, the project will add 490 new condo units to the neighbourhood.
Heading north on Frederick and then east on Adelaide Street, Greenpark Homes and Fieldgate Homes' Axiom Condos has topped off alongside the busy thoroughfare. The pair of towers designed by Kirkor Architects now rise 19 and 21 storeys and will add a total of 527 new condo units to the growing neighbourhood. Look for the towers to complete later in the year.
On the south side of the street across from Axiom, a massive redevelopment was proposed in October 2016 by ODC Holdings for 254 King Street East, encompassing the entire block bordered by Adelaide, Ontario, King, and Princess Streets. A pair of 32-storey towers designed by IBI Group would replace most of the buildings on the site save for a pair of heritage facades. They would include a total of 938 residential units with grade-level retail and a pair of bridges connecting them. The project hit a major setback, however, when City Council rejected the application in January, 2017 citing "excessive height, excessively large tower floor plates, insufficient tower separation, and insufficient tower step-backs" leading to an overall incompatibility with the existing context, in addition to the proposal not providing enough office space to replace the existing on site. The development was appealed to the OMB and had its first pre-hearing meeting in October 2017, but a follow-up scheduled for March 1, 2018 did not happen.
Immediately across Ontario Street at Adelaide, First Gulf is following up the success of their nearby Globe and Mail Centre with another office tower at 25 Ontario Street called The Shift. Featuring an angular design from Sweeny &Co Architects, the 22-storey tower will preserve the entire facade of the heritage-designated Drug Trading Company Building while incorporating retail into the ground floor. The building has zoning approval and is being marketed to potential tenants.
On the same block, just to the south and one property east at 284 King, Lamb Development Corp submitted a ZBA in late March, 2017, for a 30-storey condominium tower called Bauhaus Condos. Toronto Planning issued a rejection report in October, 2017, citing overdevelopment of the site, and the developer subsequently appealed the proposal for the architectsAlliance-designed building to the OMB. Its first pre-hearing meeting is scheduled for June of this year.
A block further east, one property north of Adelaide, and running through from Berkeley to Parliament, construction is well underway at East United Condos, a 24-storey 279-unit condo building by SigNature Communities, Berkshire Axis Developments, and Andiel Homes. Designed by Giannone Petricone Associates, the tower will from ton Parliament, while a shorter arm to the west will rise from the preserved walls of a heritage building. Retail and office uses will be found in the podium. Look for the building to top off later this year.
Across Parliament from East United is where Great Gulf and Hullmark's home: Power and Adelaide will be built. The condo project will take the entire block bounded by Adelaide, Power, Richmond, and Parliament Streets. Designed by Core Architects, the City and developer have recently reached a settlement on the plans, and ratification by the OMB is close, pending a couple of technical matters being taken care of. Joined towers of 19 and 22 storeys will sit atop a 5-storey podium. Retail will be found on the first two storeys, with 520 residential units above. Building permits have been applied for.
Turning west onto Richmond Street, a block along at Berkeley Street, construction has begun for East FiftyFive, a 25-storey condo. Developed by Lamb Developments and Hyde Park Homes and designed by architectsAlliance, the building is located just south of Richmond at 55 Ontario Street, and will add 274 new condo units to the growing area. According to the developer, construction is scheduled to wrap up in 2020.
Another block west at Ontario Street, we run into a huge proposal to redevelop the block bordered by Richmond, Ontario, Queen, and McFarrens Lane. Designed by Arquitectonica, S9 Architecture, and Sweeny &Co Architects, the 245 Queen East project by ONE Properties was initially proposed in 2015 as a trio of towers rising 39, 39, and 45 storeys atop a podium rising as high as 11 storeys. Following the identification of Sherbourne and Queen as a likely station on the future 'Relief Line' subway, the proposal was tweaked in late 2016/early 2017, with the heights increasing to 47, 52, and 56 storeys, while the number of residential units has jumped from 1,645 up to 1,820. Also included in the revised proposal is a new 150-room hotel component, and a greater proportion of the heritage buildings retained on the site. The substantial retail and office space incorporated in the podium still remains, while the height of the base building increased slightly to 12 and 14 storeys.
Since last year's updated submission, the application has not advanced on the City's website. It is possible that ONE Properties are waiting for confirmation of a subway station here before proceeding.
One block east, another tower is proposed at 301 Queen Street East on the southwest corner of Queen and Berkeley Streets, where Berkeley Events is planning a 25-storey residential tower constructed adjacent to the heritage-designated Berkeley Church. The church would be preserved in its entirety, and would continue to operate as an event space. The Quadrangle-designed tower would contain 206 new condo units, with grade-level retail incorporated into the 4-storey podium. After the City failed to render a decision in the specified time frame, the proposal was appealed to the OMB last year. An OMB-led mediation took place in February, 2018, but the results of that have not yet been made public.
On the southeast corner of Queen and Parliament, ONE Properties has another land assembly proposed for redevelopment. To fill the northern two thirds of the block bordered by Queen, Power, Richmond, and Parliament, the site at 351 Queen East, currently filled with low-rise buildings, would be replaced with two residential towers rising from a retail podium. Not yet submitted to the City, the preliminary massing concept below shows towers of 24 and 27 storeys plus mechanical penthouses.
Just north of Queen and Parliament, the Downing Street Group is proposing a mixed-use mid-rise at 191 Parliament. Designed by Kohn Partnership Architects, the 11-storey building would house retail on the ground floor, with office spaces provided on the four floors above. The upper storeys of the tower would be home to 30 live-work units, with amenities and a medical penthouse on the top level. The application, for OPA, ZBA, and SPA, resubmitted in February 2018, awaits approvals from the City.
Returning to Queen to continue eastward, we turn north at River Street and come to 28 River, a site currently occupied by The Beer Store, where Rosewater Capital is proposing to construct a 15-storey condo. Featuring architecture from RAW Design, the building would house 162 new condo units, with retail integrated into the ground floor of the podium. The proposal was appealed to the OMB, and two pre-hearings have already taken place. A third is scheduled in July.
Across the street to the north, a five-storey residential project is being planned at 41 River Street, just south of Shuter. Featuring 26 units, the Studio JCI design would introduce comparatively gentle density to the area, while fronting River Street with a trio of art studio suites at ground level. Initially submitted for Site Plan Approval in May of 2016, an updated SPA was tabled in late December of last year, advancing the submission.
Further north, another tower is planned for 77 River, on the southeast corner at Labatt Street, where TAS Developments is proposing a 38-storey residential tower designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects. The tower comprises 584 new residential units and would sit atop an 11-storey podium with retail integrated into the ground floor. The project has zoning approval, but no SPA has been submitted yet, and no word on when marketing might begin.
East on Labatt, at the northeast corner with Defries is a proposal that backs of the Don Valley. A former industrial site, Marlin Spring Developments is proposing a 36-storey condo tower designed by Graziani + Corazza Architects at 5 Defries Street. With 570 suites, the proposal, submitted on December 1, 2017, seeks OPA and ZBA approval.
Returning on Labatt Avenue to River, at the northeast corner, Broccolini is proposing a 38-storey condo with a 7-storey podium, and a total of 410 suites. Submitted for OPA and ZBA in May 2017, the IBI Group-designed 83 River Street, was refused by City Council in October, 2017, essentially considered overdevelopment of the lot. The proposal has subsequently been appealed to the OMB, but no hearings have been scheduled yet.
We're now at the southeast corner of the high-profile Regent Park neighbourhood, a complete reconstruction of which began in 2005. Phases 1 and 2 are all but complete now, and the majority of blocks in Phase 3 are either under construction or submitted for site plan approval at the City. Phases 4 and 5 are still to start at an undetermined date in the future.
Across the street from the 77 and 83 River proposals is Regent Park Block 30. Here, The Daniels Corporation has begun construction of a mixed-use tower and townhouse complex designed by the IBI Group. The southern portion of the site will house a 28-storey tower with 4 and 6-storey podium arms, comprising a total of 346 rental units with retail integrated into the ground floor along River and Shuter Streets. The northern portion of the site will house two blocks of 3-storey townhouses, totalling 24 condo units. Shoring and excavation were underway as of February, 2018.
Across the Regent Park Athletic Grounds from Block 30 is where The Daniels Corporation is constructing a 12-storey seniors building designed by SvN Architects. The building, called The Sumach for the street it fronts, will have 332 units and be operated by Chartwell. The photo below from artificial-turf-level in late February, 2018, shows that the building is within a couple floors of topping off, and that midway through the year it will appear complete on the exterior.
We follow Sumach north to Wyatt Avenue, then turn east. Along the north side of the street, The Wyatt now rises a half dozen storeys, but will be a 27-storey condo when complete next year. To be the next Regent Park market condo from The Daniels Corporation to occupy, the building will front on Dundas Street. Designed by KPMB Architects with the IBI Group, the development will add 342 new condo units to the neighbourhood, with retail spaces planned for the ground floor.
On the south side of Wyatt past a line of townhomes, a small but important building is awaiting SPA from the City. The Dixon Hall Youth Centre is looking to construct a new 4-storey home on the southwest corner of Wyatt and Nicholas avenues, housing community services and social spaces for local youth. Designed by LGA Architectural Partners, the site is cleared and ready for construction to begin once approvals are received, hopefully this year.
We now turn north onto Tubman Avenue, another of the new streets added to reintroduce a fine-grained road network to the area. To our right, on the southeast corner with Dundas, are the 10 and 29-storey buildings of Block 27. Now topped off, (the image below is from mid-February 2018), the affordable housing complex is designed by RAW for TCHC. The 29-storey tower will house 181 rental units while the 10-storey building contains 95 units. Retail is integrated on the ground floor, while amenity spaces are shared between the two buildings. Occupancy will begin later this year.
Crossing to the north side of Dundas on Tubman, to our left is the site of Daniels DuEast, where shoring and excavation started a couple of months ago. A market condo by The Daniels Corporation, the complex is designed by Core Architects. To the west will be a 29-storey 318-unit condo tower, while an 11-storey boutique 126-unit condo will rise at Dundas and Tubman. The two buildings will be connected by a 5-storey podium with retail and commercial spaces fronting Dundas Street.
Across Tubman to the east is Regent Park's 'Block 17 South', the most recent site to be subject to an SPA submission, filed with the City in February. Here, The Daniels Corporation is proposing a residential complex with 10 and 33-storey towers rising from a two and three-storey podium. Designed by Quadrangle, the complex would bring 451 residential units to the block along wth street-level retail.
To the northwest across Tubman, Block 16 North is slated for a 12-storey affordable housing development from TCHC, stepping down to 7 and 3 storeys along Oak and Tubman streets respectively. Designed by RAW, the building would add 181 new rental units to the neighbourhood, and with the set cleared in preparation, is currently awaiting SPA from the City.
Across Tubman on the southeast corner at Oak Street is Block 17 North. To be a market rental building 11 storeys-high along River Street, it steps down to 6 and 3 storeys along Oak and Tubman Streets respectively. Designed by Wallman Architects, the colourfully clad TCHC building will provide 158 rental and townhouse suites. It is now three storeys above ground, will top off later this year, and open in 2019.
That's it for active projects in the Regent Park Revitalization. Turning east on Oak Street, we arrive back at River Street. On the east side of River, Linwood Management wants to expand its Oak Heights rental community with a 32-storey rental tower at 230 Oak Street. Proposed to be constructed adjacent to the existing 22-storey tower on underused land overlooking the Don Valley in the Tower-in-the-Park complex, the Sweeny &Co Architects-designed building would add 330 new units to the area. The proposal has been appealed to the OMB for the failure of the City to come to a decision regarding its OPA and ZBA within the required time. A first pre-hearing conference has taken place, with a second scheduled for November, 2018.
Heading west on Gerrard Street from River, we cross Parliament before coming to another Beer Store site that will give way to a development, as Rosewater Capital is planning a 7-storey mixed-use project at 227 Gerrard Street East, running the block between Ontario and Seaton streets. Designed by Architecture Unfolded, the project will add 93 residential units with grade-level retail to the relatively low-rise neighbourhood. Resubmitted to the City in November 2017, it has since been appealed to the OMB for failure of the City to respond within the required time. The proposal's first pre-hearing is scheduled for August, 2018.
Two blocks west at the southeast corner of Gerrard and Sherbourne Streets, Oben Flats is planning to add another mid-rise to their collection of rental buildings. Addressed to 307 Sherbourne Street and designed by superkül, the 13-storey building would add 94 condo units to the area and would replace a vacant lot at the busy intersection. Requiring OPA and ZBA, the proposal has been appealed to the OMB, and has had two pre-hearings so far. The hearing is scheduled for November, 2018.
Heading north on Sherbourne, we come to 159SW Condos at the southwest corner of Sherbourne and Wellesley Streets, where Alterra is building a 36-storey tower in the busy neighbourhood. Designed by Richmond Architects, the tower will add 360 new condo units and grade-level retail to the area, across the street from the dense forest of towers in St. James Town. 159SW is currently excavated to 2 storeys below ground level, and will be under construction through the year.
Turning east on Wellesley, immediately on the left is the Wellesley Community Centre. Opened a few years ago, it's now being expanded with an Aquatic Centre along the Bleecker Street side. Designed by recreation centre specialists MJMA, construction will continue through 2018.
Following Wellesley east, we arrive at Parliament. Just to the south of the intersection, a proposal at 595 Parliament would rework a two-storey commercial building, adding three storeys of residential atop while improving the street realm. The design, submitted to the City in November 2017 for ZBA, by Keith Loffler McAlpine Architects, would bring 11 3-storey, 3-bedroom condo suites to the property.
We head north on Parliament and arrive at Howard Street, just south of Bloor. Here on the west side of Parliament, sandwiched between Howard and Bloor is a long-vacant lot, now being redeveloped as Via Bloor. A two-tower development by Tridel, it will rise 38 and 46 storeys from a shared podium. The architectsAlliance-designed development will 769 up-market condominiums to an area with high rental density, while looking to draw Bloor Street retail further east. Shoring for the excavation began this month.
Heading west on Howard Street, we pass Victorian homes on both Howard and Glen Road which have been restored, one of them moved, as part of the Via Bloor development and the next development to the west, dubbed for the time being as North St. James Town. Taken through the rezoning process by Lanterra, (also with an architectsAlliance design), it was reported in December, 2017 that the development site is now up for sale. At the northeast corner of Sherbourne and Howard Streets, zoning approvals allow a 45-storey tower atop a two-storey retail base, along with a row of 4-storey townhouses on Redrocket Lane to the east of the tower.
Directly across Sherbourne from the end of Howard, The Selby has topped off. MOD Developments and Tricon Capital are constructing a 50-storey 441-unit luxury rental tower on the site of a shifted and restored historic mansion. Designed by bKL Architecture, cladding is working its way to the top while interior work is underway on the lower floors. In the image from March 1, 2018, below, the Gooderham Mansion at the tower's base is currently surrounded in wraps as the heritage structure undergoes restoration.
Across the street from both The Selby and the North St. James Town project, Medallion Corporation has proposed a 51-storey rental tower at 591 Sherbourne Street, at the southeast corner at Howard. Designed by the IBI Group, the building comprises 525 units, retail on the ground floor, a restored heritage component at the corner, and an expanded park on the southern portion of the site. The project is currently awaiting ZBA approval.
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Just to the south, Medallion is wrapping up interior work at 561 Sherbourne Street, a 43-storey rental tower with retail at the base. Designed by the IBI Group, it will fully open over the course of the year. We're going to turn west onto Isabella, however, where we'll pick up wth our next Growth to Watch For instalment. It will head south on Jarvis to The Esplanade, then north on Church, exploring development along two of the fastest-growing corridors in the city. In the meantime, make sure to check out the dataBase files and associated Forum threads for each of the projects mentioned in this instalment for more information. You can tell us what you think of all the developments happening in the city by joining the discussions in the threads, or by leaving a comment in the space provided on this page.