Over a decade ago, a proposal was made to redevelop 1540 Bloor Street West—an aging two-storey commercial building at Dundas—as ‘Giraffe Condos’. Although that proposal was rejected at every level by Toronto Planning, the local City Councillor, and the OMB, signs of an impending application for a similar sized redevelopment on the site—now expanded through property acquisition—have recently surfaced.

Rendering of Giraffe Condos, image courtesy of City of Toronto

Originally proposed as a 27-storey condo tower on the northwest corner of Dundas and Bloor streets just next to Dundas West Subway Station, Giraffe Condos received pushback from the community and Ward Councillor Gord Perks, leading City Council to reject the application due to height concerns. The developer was unable to win an appeal at the OMB.

The abandoned Giraffe Condos sales centre in 2018, image by Forum contributor Downtown Toronto

Since the rejection of the Giraffe Condos proposal, a number of changes have come to the area. Most notably, Metrolinx has begun running Union Pearson Express service on the rail corridor adjacent to this site wit a stop at an expanded Bloor GO station, Choice Properties REIT has proposed a massive, master-planned development on the southeast corner at the same intersection, and Toronto planning practices have also evolved over the intervening decade.

2280 Bloor West proposal by Choice Properties REIT, image courtesy of Choice Properties REIT

In March of 2018, Trinity Group paid $35 Million for the Giraffe site and three additional adjacent properties to the west, most assuredly to decrease the Floor-Area Ratio (FAR) of their impending application. FAR is the ratio of the footprint of a development to its total usable floorspace, the city often implements a maximum FAR that is site dependant to allow more dense projects in some areas of the city. The OMB cited the the high floor-area ratio of Giraffe Condos as a key factor in the rejection of the development.

Looking northwest to a concept rendering for 1540 Bloor West, image via of trinity-group.com

Renderings have popped up on developer Trinity Group’s website, indicating that an official submission to the City may be coming soon. According to their website, the proposal will have 236 residential units and 29,250 ft² of retail on the first and second levels of the building.

Looking northeast to a concept rendering for 1540 Bloor West, image via of trinity-group.com

We will keep you updated as this project moves beyond the pre-application phase and into the city planning stages. For more information on this project, including more detailed images, check out the database file, linked below. You can get involved in the discussion in associated forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  Brook Pooni Associates, Choice Properties REIT, Giannone Petricone Associates, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Hatch, NAK Design Strategies, Public Work, Trinity Development Group Inc., Urban Strategies Inc.