This is it! After three months worth of our Growth To Watch For stories, we have arrived at the twenty-first and final instalment in the 2018 series. Having finished up in the Downtown Core in our most recent instalment, we're now going to head south and cover Toronto's Central Waterfront to finish up our city-wide tour. Covering everything south of the rail corridor stretching from Bathurst Street all the way to the Port Lands, this area of the city contains some of the largest, densest, and most high-profile developments in the GTA. The list of projects along the waterfront is remarkable for their sheer scale, comprising some of the tallest towers in Canada to some of the most comprehensive, complete master-planned communities in the city, all of which will completely transform the skyline of Toronto as we know it over the next decade or two. Let's begin on our journey through the transformation of Toronto's industrial brownfield waterfront into the vibrant, lively district envisioned for the future.

The boundary of the Central Waterfront Map, image via Apple Maps

Our tour starts on Bay Street just east of Union Station and south of the Dominion Public Building, where one of the most highly anticipated downtown projects is now under construction. Hines and Ivanhoe Cambridge have teamed up to develop CIBC Square (formerly dubbed Bay Park Centre prior to CIBC being announced as the anchor tenant last year), which is a two-tower office development that straddles the rail corridor and includes an elevated park bridging over the tracks. Designed by Wilkinson Eyre and Adamson Associates Architects, the first phase is currently under construction on the south side of the rail corridor, replacing the surface parking lot directly east of the Air Canada Centre. Phase One involves construction of a 49-storey office tower, a new park on a bridge over the rail corridor, and a new GO Bus Terminal for Metrolinx located along Lake Shore Boulevard. Construction is currently well underway, with work progressing on the below-grade levels.

Phase One of CIBC Square under construction, image by Forum contributor Michael62.

Phase Two of CIBC Square is located on the north side of the rail corridor, and includes a 54-storey tower with frontages on Bay Street to the west and Yonge Street to the east. The second phase will expand the park over the tracks, and will also include a PATH connection across Bay Street directly to Union Station. The Phase Two tower has received all necessary approvals, but since it is located on the site of the current GO bus terminal directly south of the Dominion Public Building, construction will not begin until the bus terminal is relocated to the completed Phase One tower.

Rendering of CIBC Square showing Phase One (right) and Two (left), image courtesy of Hines and Ivanhoe Cambridge.

Passing through the hall on the north side of the Air Canada Centre, we come out on Bremer Boulevard, and head west on it to York Street. Across the intersection, Cadillac Fairview has begun construction on 16 York, a 32-storey office tower on the southwest corner that will fill in the final piece of the South Core neighbourhood here. Designed by architectsAlliance and B+H Architects, the building will add more than 900,000 square feet of office space while aiming for LEED Platinum certification. Cadillac Fairview is taking a bit of a risk on this building by forging ahead with construction without having acquired a lead tenant yet, however, given Toronto's red hot office market, the developer s confident of a quick lease-up. Construction has now reached grade, with a completion date targeted for 2020, so look for the tower to rise out of the ground over the course of the year.

View of 16 York under construction, image by Forum contributor sikandar.

Moving west along Bremner, we arrive at a trio of Toronto landmarks at the Rogers Centre, CN Tower, and Ripley's Aquarium, where upgrades are taking place or are speculated in order to improve the user experience. At the CN Tower, the observation decks are getting a makeover with work having been underway over the past year. New floor-to-ceiling glass is being installed and new food and drink options are coming, with work ongoing through 2018. Meanwhile, next door at the Rogers Centre, renovations are ongoing to refresh the 29-year-old stadium, which range from maintenance upgrades and repairs to the retractable roof and concrete cladding, to as yet unknown changes to the experience of the stadium to make it feel more like a ball park. Rumours are that a design team has determined that new windows cannot easily be cut into the structure, and massive changes would be cost prohibitive. Finally, rounding out the collection of attractions, an expansion to Ripley's Aquarium has been rumoured since it first opened in 2014, but the speculation has not yet led to any concrete plans.

Aerial view of Rogers Centre, CN Tower, and Ripley's Aquarium, image via Google Maps.

Across the street from the Rogers Centre plaza, Toronto Hydro is nearing completion of their new Downtown Toronto substation, to be known as the Clare R. Copeland Transformer Station, on the southeast corner of Bremner and Rees Street. The new facility will alleviate the strain on the current Windsor substation at Wellington and John streets, and allow Hydro to cope with the increased demand in the densifying area. Designed by the IBI Group, the slow-moving project now sports an eye-catching engraved Corten steel facade, and is slated for completion in 2018. Look for crews to begin vacating the site over the coming months.

View of the Clare R. Copeland Transformer Station under construction, image by Forum contributor achender.

Continuing west on Bremner, we come to Spadina Avenue, where Concord Adex is planning to replace their CityPlace presentation centre at the northeast corner of the intersection with a two-tower high-rise development dubbed Concord Canada House, representing the final addition to the CityPlace neighbourhood. Designed by IBI Group, the towers were initially proposed at heights of 79 and 68 storeys, but negotiations between the City and the developer resulted in a decrease to 59 storeys for the east building, and an increase to 69 storeys for the west. The two towers will sit on a shared podium and will add over 1,360 residential units to the dense area. The project is approved and currently in the sales and marketing phase, with construction expected to begin later this year. A demolition permit application has been filed for Concord's sales centre currently on the site.

Rendering of Concord Canada House, image courtesy of Concord Adex.

Crossing Spadina onto Fort York Boulevard, construction is underway on the Canoe Landing Community Centre and Schools to the west of Brunel Court, which will add some critical infrastructure to the Concord CityPlace neighbourhood. The complex will be home to a Public elementary and a Catholic elementary school, each benefitting from the facilities of a conjoined community centre, all designed by ZAS Architects and The Planning Partnership. The pair of connected buildings feature an angular design with a programmed green roof, landscaped to integrate it seamlessly into Canoe Landing Park to the west. Construction is progressing, with the concrete structure now reaching grade. The schools are targeting an ambitious opening date of Fall 2018, so look for construction to progress rapidly over the next few months.

Rendering of Canoe Landing Community Centre and Schools, image courtesy of the City of Toronto, TDSB, and TCDSB.

Continuing west on Fort York Boulevard, Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) has plans for a 9-storey building with 80 affordable rental homes on what is known as Block 36 North in CityPlace, located beside the rail corridor on Queen's Wharf Road. In 2016, Dominus Capital won the contract to build the Zeidler Partnership Architects-designed building, but there has been no activity on the project since. At this point it is unknown if there have been any changes to the design or when construction will begin.

Rendering of Block 36 North, image courtesy of TCHC.

Directly to the west of TCHC's Block 36 North, along Bathurst Street, the City of Toronto has plans for a new community green space to be named Mouth of the Creek Park, recalling the site where Garrison Creek's one entered Lake Ontario. The new park will be designed by Public Work, and will have future interfaces with several other important parks in the rapidly expanding network of nearby green spaces, including Rail Deck Park to the north, Fort York to the west, the Bentway to the southwest, and CtyPlace's North Linear Park along the rail corridor to the east. The project was put on hold for a few years but detailed design development has reportedly started up again, with a target start date for construction in 2019, once rehabilitation work on the Bathurst Street Bridge is complete.

Mouth of the Creek Park on the left, Block 36N on the right, image from Zeidler and Public Work

Heading south on Bathurst Street towards Lake Shore Boulevard, construction on West Block Est. 1928 is well underway, as the concrete structure is now just peaking above grade. Being built by a partnership of LoblawsChoice Properties REITWhittington Properties Limited, and Concord Adex, the project is a mixed-use development of retail and offices with a pair of condominium towers dubbed The Lakeshore and The Lakefront, rising 37 and 41 storeys respectively. The project will include the reconstruction of the four-storey facades of the 1928-built Art Deco Loblaws Building, while adding three additional storeys to create new office space atop it. Designed by IBI GrouparchitectsAlliance, and ERA Architects, the development will add 840 condo units to the area, a 50,000-square-foot Loblaws store, other retailers, and the headquarters for Joe Fresh. Construction is expected to be complete in 2019, so look for the buildings to rise out of the ground over the course of the year.

Rendering of West Block Est. 1928, image courtesy of Concord Adex/Choice Property REIT

On the southeast corner of Bathurst and Lake Shore, Canderel has bought the Art Deco Crosse and Blackwell Building, completed in 1927 and currently in use as a media studio, to convert the site into a condo complex. Nothing is public yet about the proposal, but news is expected shortly as initial plans were presented to Waterfront Toronto's Design Review Panel for the first time last week.

View of the Crosse and Blackwell Building, image via Google Maps.

Continuing south onto Eireann Quay, the City has plans for Bathurst Quay, a revitalization which would see the implementation of a host of building and public realm improvements to the east of Billy Bishop Airport around the Canada Malting Silos. Interventions include the renovation and repurposing of the 3-storey heritage Administration Building to house community or culturally-focused uses; the transformation of much of the underutilized and paved open spaces into a new pedestrian plaza in front of the Canada Malting Silos that will provide easier access to Ireland Park and the water; the rehabilitation of the dock wall; the installation of a new short-term parking lot that will consolidate parking in the area as well as a reduced taxi corral loop; the improvement of the streetscape along Eireann Quay; and finally, the restoration and eventual adaptive reuse of the Canada Malting Silos. The early phases of the initiative are currently in the detailed design phase, with construction tentatively slated to begin Summer 2018, while in the meantime, the City will begin developing long-term strategies for the reuse of the Administration Building and Silos this year.

Rendering of the Bathurst Quay Revitalization, courtesy of the City of Toronto and Forrec Ltd.

Turning east onto Queens Quay and moving just past Spadina Avenue, Retirement Concepts it proposing to add a third tower to their two-tower complex at Maple Leaf Quay dubbed simply The Quay, Tower Three. Designed by Quadrangle, the tower would rise 29 storeys in between its existing 21-storey towers to the east and west and would add 343 new rental units to the complex. The City opposed the development, claiming it was too large and tall and would block important views to the nearby CN Tower, and the project was subsequently appealed to the OMB. A hearing was held last month, but the results have not yet been made public. Stay tuned for news in the coming months as the results of the hearing are due to be posted.

Rendering of The Quay, Tower Three, image courtesy of Retirement Concepts

Just to the east of Maple Leaf Quay, Waterfront Toronto recently issued a Request for Qualifications for a pair of Queens Quay parks, asking for international designers to step forward with bold visions for the two new public spaces. The first of these parks, referred to as Rees Park, will be located on the site of the parking lot bounded by Maple Leaf Quay to the west, the Gardiner to the north, Rees Street to the east, and Queens Quay to the south, converting this gap along the Queens Quay streetscape into a new waterfront public space.

Plan of site for Rees Park, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto.

Further east along Queens Quay, the second of the two new waterfront parks that were part of the Request for Qualifications is located on the former site of the York-Bay-Yonge off-ramp from the Gardiner Expressway, whose demolition is now complete save for the pillars that may remain as a remnant of the past and a piece of public art. The new park is a result of the removal of the off-ramp and installation of a new, shorter exit ramp that links to Harbour Street at Lower Simcoe Street, which has now been completed and opened to vehicles. Streetscape improvements along Harbour Street are continuing as part of the public realm design of the South Core neighbourhood.

View of the new York-Bay-Yonge off-ramp park, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto.

Turning north one block on York Street, and situated kitty corner from the future park, Tridel's Ten York has now topped off, permanently taking its place in the South Core skyline. Designed by Wallman Architects, the wedge-shaped building squeezes itself between the Gardiner Expressway and Harbour Street, and rises 65 storeys comprising a total of 725 condo units. Cladding installation is nearly complete on the exterior, and the pointed crown of the building is now taking shape. Look for construction of this tower to finish up later this year.

View of the crown at the top of Ten York, image by Forum contributor NIL OMNI.

Turning east onto Harbour Street, Oxford Properties recently unveiled a completely redesigned proposal for 30 Bay Street, now being marketed as The HUB. Designed by London-based Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners alongside local firm Adamson Associates, the 60-storey office building will feature an exoskeletal structure, the second such tower in Toronto to sport the unique system after The One at Bloor and Yonge. Also located on the site is the heritage-designated Toronto Harbour Commission Building on the southwest corner of the property, which will be fully preserved and restored, with the new tower being constructed just to the east and north, cantilevering high above the historic structure. The building is proposed to reach a height of 280 metres and will hold a prominent spot in the city skyline. As it has just been resubmitted for rezoning, expect some design tweaks to occur as it makes its way through the planning process.

Rendering of The HUB, image courtesy of Oxford Properties.

Turning south onto Bay Street, we come to the revamp of the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Harbour Square Park, whose winning proposal from the team of KPMB Architects, West8, and Greenberg Consultants was selected back in 2015. Since then, the project has been on hold as Waterfront Toronto gathers funding, but construction is now underway on Phase 1A of the development, which involves a remake of the plaza and walkway from Queens Quay to the ferry terminal. As part of the plaza upgrades, wayfinding will be improved, more seating will be provided, the grade level will be flattened (the plaza currently inclines toward the terminal entrance, blocking clear views of the water), and the Jack Layton Memorial Statue will be given a new expanded concrete pad and easier access. Further upgrades to soil and underground systems are also being carried out. Phase 1A will wrap up in Spring 2018, but there has been no timeline provided for subsequent construction phases.

Winning entry for the new Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

Immediately north of the ferry terminal, there has been much speculation about the Westin Harbour Castle properties which span across Queens Quay, with the hotel towers located on the south side of the street and the conference centre on the north. The hotel site was put up for sale in the summer of 2015 at a price in the $350-400 million range, and more recently, the City has declared the land on which the conference centre sits to be surplus (the City apparently owns the land and leases it to Westin). The low-rise conference centre provides fertile ground for redevelopment into either a tower complex or a park, but as nothing has happened yet, it remains to be seen what will come of this important and prominent location.

View of the Westin Harbour Castle and Conference Centre, image via Google Maps.

South of Queens Quay and to the east of the Yonge Street Slip, construction is underway at Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen Development Group's Tower at Pier 27. Representing a second phase of the architectsAlliance-designed Pier 27 development, the tower will rise to 35 storeys and feature 336 condo units plus grade-level retail, along with a signature aesthetic of angled balconies. Construction on the building is now a few storeys above grade, so look for the tower to rise into the sky over the course of the year. Upon completion of the tower, the City can then repurpose the parking lot along the east side of the Yonge Street Slip into a park, adding to Toronto's growing network of waterfront green spaces.

Rendering of the Tower at Pier 27, image courtesy of Fernbrook and Cityzen.

We now arrive at what is known as the Lower Yonge Precinct, an area comprised of three large underused lots along Queens Quay between Yonge Street and Jarvis Street that are slated for redevelopment. The three lots are the Toronto Star lands to the west, the LCBO Lands in the middle, and finally the Loblaws lands to the east. The developments proposed are among the largest in the city, comprising some of the tallest towers in Canada, and once finished will completely redefine the Toronto skyline.

The first property in the Yonge-Jarvis Precinct is the Toronto Star Lands, comprising 1-7 Yonge Street and referred to as Pinnacle One Yonge, which is the site of a 5-tower proposal by Pinnacle International. Zoning has now been approved for the master plan, which would see towers of 22, 35, 65, 80, and 95 storeys constructed on two parcels, north and south of an extended Harbour Street. Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, Phases 1, 2, and 3 have been submitted for Site Plan Approval, all of which are located on the north parcel of the site. Phase 1 includes the 65-storey residential tower in the southeast corner with a new community centre in its podium, Phase 2 comprises the 95-storey residential tower on the western portion of the site, and Phase 3 involves the 80-storey residential tower on the northeast corner of the site. The three towers together will comprise a total of 2,838 residential units. In addition, the 95-storey tower, if approved, will be Toronto's second supertall tower after The One, measuring in at 307 metres.

Rendering of Pinnacle One Yonge, image courtesy of Pinnacle International.

The podium of Phase 1 will include a new community centre for the area. The podium of Phase 2 will include a hotel, while the podium of Phase 3 will include affordable housing. All phases include retail at ground level. Phase 1 is currently in sales, for which shoring is about to start.

Phases 4 and 5 are located on the south parcel, and involve the renovation and expansion of the existing Toronto Star tower into a 35-storey office tower, and the construction of a new 22-storey office tower next door, which will both be constructed at a later date. In the meantime, stay tuned for news of the first three towers as they continue working their way through the planning process.

Phasing for Pinnacle One Yonge, image courtesy of Pinnacle International.

Just to the east, Menkes Developments is bringing a 6-tower redevelopment to the LCBO Lands, also to include a new public park and a further eastward extension of Harbour Street. The first tower of the complex has started construction on the southeast corner of the property at 100 Queens Quay East, and will see a 25-storey office building designed by B+H Architects which will be the new headquarters of the LCBO. Shoring is now underway for the tower, with excavation to follow soon after, so look for construction activity to ramp up over the course of the year.

Rendering of 100 Queens Quay East at Sugar Wharf, image courtesy of Menkes Developments.

The remaining three blocks of the site are to be developed in phases as 'Sugar Wharf' by MenkesPhase 1 is located on the northeast corner of the property and would see the construction of a pair of residential towers rising 64 and 70 storeys, while Phase 2 is located on the northwest corner of the property and is proposed to house three residential towers rising 77, 87, and 90 storeys while partially retaining the existing heritage LCBO office building. All buildings are designed by architectsAlliance, and together will comprise a total of 4,369 residential units along with significant retail and a new school. The final piece of the property will be a new public park located in the southwest corner. Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 have been submitted to the City for rezoning, and are currently moving through the planning process.

Rendering of Sugar Wharf Condominiums Phase 2 (left) and 1 (middle), image courtesy of Menkes Developments.

To the east of the Sugar Wharf development is the Loblaws Lands, the final lot in the Lower Yonge Precinct. No proposal has come forward for this site yet and it is expected to remain as is for the time being, but it is certain that this property will eventually see similar density to the adjacent developments both east and west this site.

Directly to the east on the opposite site of Lower Jarvis Street, construction is in full swing on Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, a mixed-use complex headed by The Daniels Corporation and designed by Giannone Petricone AssociatesRAW Design, and Rafael + Bigauskas Architects that consists of two residential towers and two commercial and institutional mid-rises. Construction is nearly complete on the two 11 and 14-storey office complex, located on the south side of the site along Queens Quay, and which will eventually house commercial office space along with institutional spaces for George Brown Collage and OCAD University. 

View of Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, image by Forum contributor Miscreant.

To the north, pouring of the concrete structure has reached grade on two residential towers that will rise 35 and 45 storeys and contain a total of 867 new condo units. Grade-level retail spaces will be integrated throughout the complex, while a pedestrian retail mews separates the north and south portions of the complex.

Rendering of the west tower of Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation.

Across Queens Quay to the south, Menkes Developments is planning to build the Waterfront Innovation Centre, an office complex aimed at attracting high-tech firms that will replace the western portion of the surface parking lot on the Corus Quay. After debuting an angular, eye-catching design from Sweeny &Co Architects a few years ago—one which was reminiscent of the Ryerson Student Learning Centre—redesigns have resulted in a more toned down, boxier massing. A Site Plan Approval application was submitted for the building in January, and Menkes is currently looking for tenants as the project continues through the planning process.

Rendering of the Waterfront Innovation Centre, image courtesy of Menkes Developments.

Immediately east will be The Arbour, the next building to expand George Brown College's Waterfront Campus. The subject of an international design competition, the winning design will be announced on Tuesday April 3, 2018, from a shortlist that includes (clockwise from the upper left in the image below) British Columbia-based Patkau Architects paired with Toronto-based MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, Tokyo-based Shigeru Ban Architects paired with Toronto-based Brook McIlroy, Montreal-based Provencher Roy paired with Toronto-based Turner Fleischer Architects, and finally Toronto-based Moriyama & Teshima paired with British Columbia-based Acton Ostry Architects. The Arbour is to be a 12-storey tall-wood building, designed as an exercise in sustainable building, as a test case, and as a centre to learn about and further experiment with sustainable building technologies.

Collage of four finalist designs for The Arbour at George Brown College

East of the Daniels Waterfront site, and north of the Waterfront Innovation Centre site is the block bounded by Richardson Street, Queens Quay, Lower Sherbourne Street, and Lake Shore Boulevard East. The northern two-thirds of the block is a former FedEx facility, sold following their move east into Toronto's Port Lands last year. Major Chinese developer the Greenland Group has purchased the FedEx site for just over $166 million. To be developed in two phases with multiple buildings in each phase, suites in the first buildings in Lakeside Residences east phase are now for sale. Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, the tallest of the towers is 49 storeys and 515 feet. Redevelopment of the three properties on the southern third of the block fronting Queens Quay will come in the future.

Lakeside Residences, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for the Greenland Group

Hopping to the east side of Sherbourne Common, Monde by Great Gulf Homes has now topped off at its final height of 44 storeys, with installation of the exterior cladding just a few floors short of the top. Designed by Moshe Safdie and Quadrangle, the tower will add 552 new condo units to the waterfront along with retail at grade. Work is progressing quickly on the prominent tower, so expect construction to be complete by the end of 2018.

Looking east to Monde on March 23, 2018, image by Jack Landau

On the south side of Queens Quay and east of Sherbourne Street, a group of five developments are making an impact at the water's edge: Tridel and Hines are creating an entirely new community known as Bayside on the formerly industrial land. The first of the five projects, Aqualina, was completed in 2017, but just next door to it, Aquavista at Bayside is under construction and has now topped off at its full 13-storey height, with installation of the exterior cladding approaching the upper floors. Designed by Arquitectonica with Kirkor Architects, the curving building will add 228 condo units, 80 artist-geared affordable rental units, and grade-level retail to the new waterfront community. The project is anticipating a 2018 completion date.

Looking up at Aquavsta from beside Toronto Harbour on February 26, 2018, image by UT Forum contributor TheSix

Separating the third phase of the Bayside development from Aquavista, a new public park known as Aitken Place Park is now under construction and will provide much-needed green space for the incoming residents. The park was the subject of a design competition, the winning team comprised of landscape architects Scott Torrance of Toronto and Thomas Balsley Associates of New York. Their design brings a programmed space for neighbourhood use. With construction having begun last year, the park is anticipating a 2018 opening.

Rendering of Aitken Place Park, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto.

To the east of Aitken Place Park, the third phase of Tridel and Hines' Bayside community has been dubbed AQUABELLA at Bayside, and is just now beginning construction, with shoring underway on site. Designed by Copenhagen-based architects 3XN, the 14-storey L-shaped condo building will feature 173 condo units and grade-level retail. The project, (located by the water at the centre of the image below) is expecting a 2020 completion date.

Work starting at the site of Aquabella, in context with Aquavista and Aqualina to the east, image by UT Forum contributor Razz

Just to the north of Aquavista and Aquabella, and south of Queens Quay, Hines is marketing a pair of 9-storey office buildings as part of the mixed-use Bayside community, known as Queens Quay Place at Bayside. Designed by Pelli Clark Pelli Architects with Adamson Associates Architects, the office buildings will provide 430,000 square feet of space, lined with retail at ground level. As of now, the images presented are conceptual and detailed design has not yet begun, as the developer is seeking out tenants before the start of construction. However, Hines is ambitiously targeting a construction start date for the westernmost of the two commercial buildings in the fourth quarter of 2018, so some activity may pop up in the coming months regarding this development.

Rendering of Queens Quay Place at Bayside, image courtesy of Hines.

To the east of Aquabella and Queens Quay Place, Tridel and Hines announced the next phase of the Bayside community last year, introducing The Waves at Bayside, a striking pair of 16 and 19-storey towers featuring an undulating pattern of wave-like balconies. Designed by 3XN with Kirkor Architects, the building will be the final phase of market condominiums located on the east side of the quay. The developers are aiming to start construction on the building in early 2019, provided all necessary approvals are received.

Rendering of The Waves at Bayside, image courtesy of Tridel and Hines.

It should be mentioned that there is one more phase of Bayside that has yet to be announced, involving a new affordable rental mid-rise containing approximately 260 units, which will be located on a narrow lot slot in between The Waves to the east, Aquabella to the south, and Queens Quay Place to the west. It is not yet known when this final building will be developed, but with most other phases of Bayside in advanced stages of design or construction, the focus should be shifting to this final piece in the near future. The master plan of the Bayside community is shown below.

Master plan of the Bayside community, image courtesy of Tridel and Hines.

As we move further east, we encounter larger and larger brownfield sites, which hold increasingly fertile potential for implementing complete, dense communities along Toronto's waterfront. Before we enter the Port Lands, a trio of high-profile large-scale developments on the eastern edge of the harbour round out the East Bayfront communities, and while they are still in the very early stages of master planning, each offers an exciting glimpse into the future of the east end of Toronto's harbour.

Diagram showing three master plans in the East Bayfront, image courtesy of Norm Li, diagram by Jack Landau.

Beginning with one of the more intriguing, if not controversial developments in the East Bayfront, it was announced last year that Sidewalk Labs—a sister company to Google—would be partnering with Waterfront Toronto to develop the Quayside neighbourhood, to be known as Sidewalk Toronto. The new 12-acre neighbourhood will be used as a pilot for future city-building, with an emphasis on innovation, sustainability, and technology, using big data to optimize the infrastructure, layout, and construction of the community. Sidewalk Toronto encompasses the lands between Queens Quay and the Gardiner, stretching from the Monde development in the west to just east of Parliament Street, and also includes a plot of land that extends south to the harbour, located just west of the Victory Soya Mills silos. Sidewalk Labs is in the process of engaging in the community, while a master plan for the area is in the works.

Concept art for the Sidewalk Toronto neighbourhood, image courtesy of Sidewalk Labs.

Immediately east of Sidewalk Toronto, the site of the Victory Soya Mills silos also presents the potential for redevelopment on Toronto's waterfront. Referred to by its address 351-369 Lake Shore Boulevard East, the site was originally owned by Castlepoint Numa, who had initially proposed a high-density mixed-use neighbourhood on the site several years ago. The property has since been purchased by Great Gulf and Dream in 2016, and no formal plan has been put forth yet, but the project will likely incorporate the silo into the new development as an architectural feature. While we anticipate news in the near future given the rapid development in the area, in the meantime we only have a concept rendering of the previous proposal from Castlepoint Numa, shown below.

Conceptual rendering of 351 Lakeshore Blvd E, image courtesy of SvN Architects + Planners

Just to the east, rounding out the East Bayfront communities, a massive redevelopment is currently in the works for the remainder of the lands south of Lake Shore Boulevard and west of Cherry Street. The project, with the working title 3C Waterfront, is from a partnership of Castlepoint NumaContinental Ventures Realty, and Cityzen Development Group, the three of them forming 3C Lakeshore Inc. The master plan is still in the early stages of development, but roughly 2.4 million square feet of residential, retail, and office space is proposed, along with new public spaces and a pedestrian-oriented public realm. Architects involved on the project include London's world-renowned Foster + Partners, with Toronto's KPMB Architects and architectsAlliance, and Montréal's Claude Cormier + Associés. Public consultations have continued over the course of the past year, and recently a phasing plan has been released, so check back for updates as the project continues to evolve through the planning process.

Concept massing of 3C Waterfront, image courtesy of 3C Lakeshore.

As we reach Cherry Street and turn south into the Port Lands, we come to the next great frontier in the development of Toronto, where several major infrastructure and planning initiatives will define the future of this derelict industrial district. The naturalization of the mouth of the Don River began construction earlier this year, and the 7-year project to reroute the man-made mouth of the river southward into a delta and wetland is expected to unlock the development potential of the surrounding lands while greatly reducing the flood risk in the area. Meanwhile, the City has been developing a planning framework for the redevelopment of the Port Lands, which would see an entirely new mixed-use residential, commercial, industrial, and cultural neighbourhood constructed on the many acres of underutilized land, complete with plenty of new public space and the integration of landmarks such as the Hearn Generating Station. The first phase of this master plan will be the creation of Villiers Island in the northwest of the Port Lands, bordered by the Keating Channel and the new path of the Don River, which will be home to a new mixed-use residential community along with a series of large public spaces. Community consultations for the planning framework are ongoing, and in the meantime, check back for updates on these major planning and infrastructure projects as they progress throughout the year.

Conceptual image of Villiers Island and the naturalized Don River mouth, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto.

Continuing south on Cherry Street into the Port Lands, Castlepoint Numa submitted an application in 2016 to redevelop 309 Cherry, located on the northeast corner of Cherry and Commissioners Streets. Designed by SvN Architects + Planners, the development would see 11 and 52-storey condo towers constructed on the site, comprising a total of 1,013 residential units with grade-level retail. The City has stated that they consider the proposal premature, and that its massing and density are not in line with what is foreseen by the Port Lands Planning Framework study, the Villiers Island Precinct Plan, and the Lower Don Lands Environmental Assessment. As well, the City does not believe that detailed planning should proceed here until the flood plain issue is dealt with by Waterfront Toronto. However, despite the diverging visions for the use of this land between the City and the developer, Castlepoint Numa has appealed the development to the OMB, with a pre-hearing scheduled in September 2018.

Rendering of 309 Cherry Street, image courtesy of Castlepoint Numa.

Turning east onto Commissioners Street, we end our tour with a pair of low-scale commercial developments which happen to be in line with the City's land use vision for the future of the Port Lands. First, one of the busiest sites in this area in recent years is Pinewood Studios Toronto at 101 Commissioners, formerly known as Filmport. The UK-based company is expanding again with a new three-storey 6,700-square-metre production support facility designed by HOK, which would allow Pinewood to host major movie and TV productions concurrently. The new facility is expected to open in May. More development is expected to follow, as an announcement today that Bell Media Studios Inc. has purchased a 50% stake in the operation came with the promise that "One of our first actions will be to add a further 170,000 square feet (51,793 square metres) of sound stages and support space, maintaining Pinewood Toronto Studios as a best-in-class film and TV studio."

Pinewood Production Support Facility, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Further east, the final building on our tour is a five-storey self-storage facility proposed at 300 Commissioners Street. Designed by Quadrangle, the building is proposed to be clad in metal siding with brightly coloured windows punched into the building's skin. The project continues to work its way through the planning process, with a resubmission of the Site Plan Approval application submitted late last year.

Storage facility at 300 Commissioners Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto

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That brings us to the end of our Growth To Watch For series for 2018. After reporting on hundreds of projects across the City, our 2019 edition is a mere nine months away from getting going—it feels just around the corner! During the year, it will be fun to see how all the plans play out, and especially fun when we're surprised by something new. All that said and done, additional information and renderings can be found in our associated dataBases, linked below. Want to share your thoughts on the projects discussed in this instalment? Feel free to leave a comment in the space provided below, or join in the ongoing conversations in the associated Forum threads.

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