We are back for another instalment of our Growth To Watch For, 2018 series. This segment continues on from our Downtown North tour, starting off in the University of Toronto's (U of T) St. George Campus, then going west on College all the way to Dovercourt Road. From there, we head back downtown via Dundas Street and Alexandra Park. From there we check out development in Queen West, and then it's up to the AGO/OCAD area to see what's coming there.
Our first project, a replacement of the McLaughlin Planetarium by the U of T with a new Centre for Civilization and Cultures, has been controversial for the fact that—even 22 years after it was closed—it irrevocably seals the fate of the star show facility. The 1968-built domed building is both a fine example of mid-20th century architecture and a unique structure, but the U of T needs the land.
In the fall of 2014 the school announced plans for a new facility here, which they called a "mega-cultural complex", to include space for a new Jewish Museum of Canada, a new performance hall for the Faculty of Music, and offices for several other departments, about 13 storeys tall. In January 2016, the school announced that Toronto's own architectsAlliance would partner up with New York's Diller Scofidio + Renfro to design the new facility, but with the Jewish Museum no longer part of the program. To date, no design has been released, but the grapevine says one is close to being ready… something which was said last year though, too.
Next up at U of T is the Landscape for Landmark Quality project. A competition to redesign the St. George campus was awarded to KPMB Architects, Michael Van Valkenburg Associates, and Urban Strategies in late 2015 to transform the campus to a car-free, pedestrian only space. Amongst the plans, circling the historic campus with new paths dedicated for cyclists and pedestrians, and moving parking at Kings College Circle underground, an updated Official Plan Amendment (OPA) for the project was submitted to the City in late February, 2018, looking for the enactment of a new St. George Campus Secondary Plan.
The St. George Campus is expansive, and non-exclusive, blending with other institutions like the affiliated colleges, provincial government offices of Queen's Park, and some hospital buildings of University Avenue. Moving through the campus down to 92 College Street, a Victorian house that had been home to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology was demolished in August 2016, and for the time being is an extension of the existing surface parking lot on site. This site is part of U of T's Site 14, reserved for future development in the new Campus Master Plan.
Heading west on College, just across the street from the St. George Campus is the site of Parallax Investment Corporation's Theory Condos, on the southeast corner with Beverley. The 30-storey tower is approved, and demolition of the 5-storey building currently onsite began in early 2018. Designed by IBI Group, the development includes retail and commercial office space in the lower levels, while 243 residential units will be found above. Construction here will continue in 2020.
Heading northbound on St. George Street into the campus, the U of T's Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship has topped off at eight storeys, and the crane seen below is now gone. Designed by the UK's Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios with Toronto's Montgomery Sisam, the designers are aiming to achieve LEED Gold certification through the use of sustainability features such as solar energy, heat recovery technologies, rainwater capture systems, and natural lighting. The building will open later this year.
Further north at Harbord Street, we turn west then north on Huron Street, where construction has started at the iconic Brutalist Robarts Library to add a five-storey, 50,000 square foot expansion called Robarts Common on its west side, to add significant study space to the over-capacity 44-year old Mathers and Haldenby-designed facility. Architectural work is led by Diamond Schmitt Architects.
Arriving at Bloor Street, we turn to the west and head one block to Huron Street. Just on the left, the venerable University of Toronto Schools is about the get a major makeover. The faculty and students will be decamping to an abandoned school in the Queen and Ossington area as of this fall for a few years while the Bloor Street set is rebuilt. UTS is planned to be moved into an expanded eastern third of the building, freeing up the rest of the building for the University to redevelop fo its purposes. Documents for Site Plan Approval (SPA) of a Diamond Schmitt Architects design were submitted to the City early this month. ERA Archtects are overseeing the heritage aspects of the project.
Across Bloor to the north is Bloor Street United Church, where a submission for a 38-storey residential tower was received by the City in January from Collecdev and Northrop Development Inc. The plan is to renovate the heritage church—again, overseen by ERA Architects—while building atop its parking lot to the north. The new work is a KPMB Architects design, and will require the City to approve a Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZBA) to proceed.
Turning west at Bloor Street, on the northwest corner of the next block at Madison Avenue is the site of 316 Bloor West, a condo originally proposed at 42-storeys, as per the image below. The State Building Group and the City settled last year through a mediated settlement led by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Initially proposed with 535 residential units, the building will be allowed 341 units over 29 storeys. Retail space will be found at grade level the Kirkor-designed building. State's website for the development says more information is coming soon as it takes registrations from the interested in purchasing here.
Turning south on Spadina, a block along are a pair of 3-storey buildings at 698 Spadina, and where the Spadina and Sussex Mixed Use Residence is being planned. Developed by the U of T and The Daniels Corporation in partnership, the ZBA proposal was revised in late 2017 as a 24-storey student residence. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the building would add accommodations for 539 students. With retail at ground level, commercial office space would be created in the podium floors. Ten townhomes are planned for the southwest corner of the site. This proposal is part of the university's plan to add 2,300 new student residences by 2020.
Across Sussex Avenue to the immediate south, a tower-in-the-park site at 666 Spadina has intensified use planned for it. IBI Group have designed an 11-storey infill rental development to the south of the existing slab tower for owners Cromwell Property Management. The new building terraces on a 45-degree angular plane, transitioning down to the height of the low-rise neighbourhood buildings to the west. Adding an additional 133 rental units to the site, the proposal achieved OPA and ZBA approvals in the Fall of 2017, pending technical reports being acceptable to the City which were submitted this February.
Further south on Spadina, we turn east at Willcocks Street. The U of T has plans for this street that runs between Spadina and St. George, looking to pedestrianize it partly or fully for most of its length in the coming couple of years. You can find out more about the DTAH design for Willcocks Common, here.
At Huron Street we turn south, and in two blocks arrive back at College Street, where from Huron westwards a string of developments are making their way either through the planning process or are already under construction.
Starting off with 231 College on the southeast corner, a new condo by Shiu Pong is ow under construction, site clearing having taken place later last year. 17 storeys, Design Haus is a Kirkor Architects-designed building which will have replicated facades of a demolished heritage building incorporated into its base. There will be retail at grade level, with 142 residential units above, 26 of which will be rental replacement units.
Continuing west, one property north on Spadina, Toronto's legendary Silver Dollar Room will be restored as part of the 484 Spadina development by the Fitzrovia Real Estate. The Kirkor-designed building will bring 303 rental units geared to students over 15 storeys. Construction will start later in 2018.
In the next block to the west on College on the south side, plans are in the works by BRL Realty and Urbacon to redevelop the auto rental site at 333 College with an 11-storey primarily residential building. Designed by RAW, the proposal—which has zoning approval as of October 2017 City Councll, will eventually bring 140 residential units to the site. Retail is included at street level. No SPA has been filed yet, however.
At 357 College Street, plans are advancing to expand the Planet Traveler hostel. A minor variance to the Zoning Bylaw is required, while an SPA application was also filed with the City as of February, 2018. The existing hostel would be expanded to the east and upwards, with two floors added to the top of the building in a design by Suzita+Morita Inc.
Arriving at Bathurst, we detour south for one block to where the Bathurst College Centre is rising. Being built in two halves, the northern half of the Turner Fleischer Architects-designed commercial complex topped off recently, while the ground and second levels are being formed currently on the south half. The RioCan project will have 150,000 square feet on four storeys, split into 70,000 square feet of offices and 80,000 square feet of retail. Confirmed retail tenants include Scotiabank, Winners, and Basil Box. The University Health Network, which runs Toronto Western Hospital across the street, are confirmed office tenants. Completion date is sated as Fall 2018 on RioCan's website.
Back on College westbound again, the 1910-built Classical Revival facade of the former Latvian House and its adjoining surface parking lot at 491 College is currently wrapping up construction. It's to be another new commercial property for RioCan, in partnership here with Allied Properties REIT. Also designed by Turner Fleischer Architects, the building is set to open in Spring 2018, with an LCBO occupying 8,000 square feet on the ground floor. The heritage facade will become the entry to offices on the second and third floors.
Two blocks west, midway between Euclid and Manning Avenues, a third Turner Fleischer designed building will soon rise in the area where RioCan has another project at 555 College. Currently a parking lot and a pair of low-rise commercial buildings, one of the commercial properties is the current local LCBO. Once it has relocated to the 491 College site above, RioCan's new residential division, RioCan Living, will be able to redevelop this site, where they plan Strada, an 8-storey rental apartment building with two retail suites at ground level. Th SPA was updated in January, 2018. Occupancy is foreseen for 2022.
A July 2017 ZBA and SPA application was recently updated for a proposal nine blocks further west at 871-899 College Street, for a seven-storey mixed-use building designed by Studio JCI for the Clifton Blake Group. The development plans include retail at ground level, with 13 replacement rental units and 75 new residential rental units on the next four floors, plus 22 condo 'townhouse' units on the upper two floors.
At Dovercourt Road, we turn south, then turn east again at Dundas Street. On the northeast corner at Lakeview Avenue, the Beer Store is to become a condo with a Beer Store at ground level. 1200 Dundas West is proposed by Fieldgate Homes to be an 8-storey condo with 76 units. The design by TACT Architecture hides the top two floors behind a step-back, decreasing the Dundas frontage to 6 storeys, while the building terraces down to the low-rise neighbourhood to the north. The June 2017 ZBA was updated minor changes in November.
We continue east to the site of the Alexandra Park revitalization past Bathurst Street. A major redevelopment by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) and Tridel of the land south of Dundas between Denison and Cameron streets, the 18-acre site includes new and replaced rent-geared-to income units, about 1,500 market units, new townhouses, public space, reconnected streets, institutional space, Co-ops, and retail space. Once the entire revitalization is complete—likely in over a decade's time—the project will have over 2,300 residential units. An updated application for OPA, ZBA, and Subdvision Approval was submitted to the City in December 2017.
Amongst the first projects to be completed here was SQ Spadina Queen Condos on Cameron Street in 2017. A block to the west of it, forming of the lower levels is underway for the second phase, SQ2—another 14-storey condo. Designed by Teeple Architects, SQ2 will have 169 residential suites. New townhomes for TCHC have already opened on Vanauley Street and the newly built Paul Lane Gardens in association with SQ, and more will come along with the SQ2 work.
Just to the east of Alexandra Park is Spadina Avenue, and in the block north of Queen Street, a proposal to redevelop 170 Spadina with a 17-storey condo was turned down by the OMB in early 2017. The OMB ruled—in agreement with the City—that the proposal is out of line with the character of the neighbourhood, and that it would not accept anything over 12 storeys, equal to the width of Spadina. Plazacorp could begin marketing the building anytime, but hasn't yet, nor have hey submitted an SPA for the site. We do not know what the building will look like, nor the architect.
Continuing eastbound on Queen, a proposal by The Pearl Group was approved by the OMB in February 2017 to build a four-storey commercial retail and office building on the section of wide sidewalks on north side east of Spadina. Designed by Turner Fleischer Architects, the project, in scale with its neighbours, will replace the existing single-storey retail building at 336 Queen West.
Just a stone's throw east of this, a Mountain Equipment Coop store is under construction where a surface parking lot persisted for years at the east end of this same block. The three-storey mixed-use building designed by Sweeny &Co Architects will be the new location of the MEC store now a couple of blocks to the south on King Street. Along with the two level store, a daycare will be located on the third floor, taking advantage of a roof deck. Fencing went up a couple months ago, and the start of shoring began shortly after.
Continuing east, we turn north at McCaul to get a look at a couple of projects. The first is on the east side at 35 McCaul, where a three-storey addition s being added to the existing four-storey brick office building. Designed by Giancarlo Garofolo Architect Inc for The Commercial Realty Group, the project will bring increased office space to the site, along with new retail at grade level.
Slightly north and across the street at 36 McCaul, Tridel is now constructing Form Condos. Designed by architectsAlliance, the 14-storey building will bring neo-modernist flare with its shifted drawers design, varied-width vertical fins playing with light on two floor-blocks of the building. A recent front page story showed that forming of the lowest levels of the building is now underway at the bottom of the excavation pit.
Returning to Queen, we turn east again and see across the street to where the striking red balconies of Smart House by Urban Capital and Malibu Investments now makes an impression, and will complete over the coming months. Topped off at 25 storeys and mostly clad, the project designed by architectsAlliance with interiors by ll By lV DESIGN features special micro-suites with custom built-ins. The smallest units in this building will start at 289 square feet, with the largest units at 778 square feet. New retail at street level should knit Queen West in better with the Downtown area to the east.
Turning north on St. Patrick Street, we soon arrive at the site where Artists' Alley is set to be built. Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, this ambitious Lanterra Developments project—which includes properties at 121 St. Patrick and 234 Simcoe—is working its way through the planning process. The ZBA was revised in February with tweaks to the project. The taller towers on Simcoe now 39 storeys and 364 residential units, and 35 storeys with 321 units.The shorter high-rise on St. Patrick is still planned at 17 storeys and 217 units. The project includes park ad POPS space at ground level, along with new retail. Offices are proposed on levels 2 through 4 of the south tower on Simcoe. The first two towers at the site are in sales.
Across from Artists' Alley, we walk through an entrance to Village by the Grange, and emerge on McCaul Street again opposite OCAD University, with two projects here currently in planning. First, OCAD is proposing a major $60 million addition and renovation to their main building at 100 McCaul St. The renovation encompasses about 95,000 square feet, while an addition (concept shown in pink below) would bring about 50,000 square feet of new space to the building. With architectural work led by renowned Los Angeles-based Thom Mayne of Morphosis, the new facility could become a new landmark to Toronto. With no final plans to reveal yet, a rendering of a massing study appears below. OCAD has not yet submitted plans to the City.
Across the street at the southeast corner with Dundas, reconstruction has begun on the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion. The Bortolotto-designed project will totally remake the existing OCAD building onsite, featuring a curved perforated scrim that will sweep across the west and north facades, relating the building to Gehry's AGO to the west. OCAD intends for this project to act as a gateway into its campus.
On the northeast corner at 292 Dundas West, a proposal for a 38-storey condominium tower from Tribute Communities was submitted to the City in August, 2017. Designed by Graziani + Corazza Architects, the building would sit back from the corner, bringing St. Patrick's Church—the building is proposed for part of the church's site—into more of a connection with the corner, and creating a public plaza at the corner. Janet Rosenberg + Studio are the designers of the public realm here. Retail would be found at ground level facing Dundas, while church offices and a daycare would be found on the second and third floors. 382 residential suites are proposed in the 127.3-metre-tall tower above.
Further north on McCaul, the former Silverstein's Bakery is now owned by Lamb Dev Corp who plan to build a 266-suite condo here called The Bread Company. The 19-storey design by architectsAlliance was submitted to the City for ZBA in August, 2017. A public consultation was held earlier this week.
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That completes the tour of the U of T area and West of Downtown for our Growth To Watch For 2018 series. We only have two more segments to cover this year: the core itself, and the waterfront. Additional information and renderings can be found in each project's dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts on any of these developments? Feel free to comment in the space provided below, or join in the conversation in the Forum thread associated with each project.