More development may be coming to Spadina Avenue in the near future, as Knox Presbyterian Church has filed an Official Plan Amendment application with the City of Toronto for the redevelopment of their property on the southwest corner at Harbord. The site is currently home to the 1909-built Knox Church, the 1961-built Knox Fellowship Centre connected to the church on its south side, and the 1890-built Knox House located at the northeast corner of the site. Two options have been presented for the redevelopment, both designed by Kearns Mancini Architects, and both call for significant residential density to be added along with an expansion of the existing church.
Option One would see a 14-storey affordable condominium and student residence tower constructed on the current site of the Fellowship Centre on the south side of the church. With a gross floor area of 13,834 square metres, the tower would contain 6,503 square metres dedicated to affordable housing units and 3,716 square metres dedicated to student residences. To the north, a 6-storey mixed-use residential and commercial building is proposed fronting onto Harbord, containing 3,328 square metres of gross floor area with grade-level retail and affordable housing units on the upper floors. Additionally, the new 6-storey building would be clad with the reconstructed north and east facades of the demolished Knox House. Finally, a one-storey 280-square-metre addition to the church would be constructed on the north side, while a new POPS would be created at the corner of Harbord and Spadina on the former site of the House. The existing Knox Church would be preserved in its entirety.
Option Two would see the same 14-storey affordable condominium and student residence tower constructed on the site of the Fellowship Centre with the same GFA and unit mix stated in Option One. The one-storey 280-square-metre addition on the north side of the church also remains the same, albeit sporting a slightly flashier design. Option Two, however, does not include the 6-storey mixed-use building on Harbord, and instead proposes the complete demolition of the Knox House. The northern portion of the site would then be left as open space, containing a larger POPS than that proposed in Option One at the northeast corner of the site along with an existing surface parking lot that would remain at the northwest corner. As with Option One, the existing Knox Church would be preserved in its entirety.
As this is only an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) application, representing the first step in the long planning process, the proposal is still in the very early stages of design, and all that is known at this point is the massing, height, use, gross floor area, and approximate site plan. All of this, however, is subject to change as the design team continues discussions with the City, the local community, and relevant stakeholders. The OPA is seeking to change the land use designation of the southern portion of the site from Neighbourhood to Mixed Use to allow for the construction of the new tower, and following that, a rezoning application will need to be submitted to approve the proposed height and floor area. It is unknown at this point what the preferred option is.
We will be back with more updates as the project evolves, but in the meantime, you can join in on the discussion by checking out our associated Forum thread, or by leaving a comment in the space provided on this page.