A long-dormant proposal in Toronto's upscale Yorkville neighbourhood has been revived, but is now sporting new owners, new architects, and a totally new design. Recently submitted for Site Plan Approval, 89 Avenue Road is located partway between Bloor and Davenport, and proposes to replace the existing 8-storey Hotel 89 with a new 20-storey luxury apartment tower. The revised design is courtesy of Richard Wengle Architect; the owners of the property are not named.

Rendering of the revised design, image courtesy of Richard Wengle Architect.

The history of the site goes back to 2012, when Freed Developments enlisted architectsAlliance to propose a 28-storey hotel and condo tower to replace what was then the aging Howard Johnson Hotel. The development headed to the OMB for its rezoning application, where a settlement scaled it down to 20 storeys and removed the hotel component. The project was then approved for rezoning at its new height, but never progressed beyond that, with Freed putting the property up for sale in 2017.

Previous design by architectsAlliance, image courtesy of Freed Developments.

Last month, the new owners submitted an SPA application for the tower, whose design is now significantly different from the previously approved version. Because it is an SPA submission, the 20-storey height of the tower, its massing, its use, and the unit count have not changed from the OMB-settled design, but the materials and architectural expression have been altered.

Main entrance on west elevation along Avenue Road, image courtesy of Richard Wengle Architect.

Rising 72 metres above Avenue Road, the tower will contain 47 residential units, from 1 to 4 units per floor, ranging in size from one-bedroom to three-bedrooms-plus-den. The tower portion is situated at the west end of the site, with a 3-storey portion stretching to meet the property line at the east. Given the narrow width of the property, the underground parking garage will be an automated mechanical car lift, storing the cars in stacks reaching 4 storeys deep.

Rendering of south elevation, image courtesy of Richard Wengle Architect.

The new design of the building sheds architectsAlliance's glass cladding for a faux-historical look of limestone cladding, featuring grand arches at the base, punched in windows with profiled surrounds, and profiled cornices at each building stepback. The lower floors of the building will have granite and marble embellishments on the facade, while the designers have provided the option of cladding the upper floors of the tower with either limestone or precast concrete (precast presumably being the cheaper option). Expanses of grey brick are used on the upper central portion of the west elevation, and on both the north and south elevations.

West elevation at base of tower, image courtesy of Richard Wengle Architect.

We will keep you updated as 89 Avenue Road works its way through the planning process. In the meantime, you can find the previous design in our database file, linked below, tell us what you think by checking out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  architectsAlliance, Armour Heights Developments, Freed Developments, NAK Design Strategies