In late June, Oxford Properties came to the table with a sneak peak at Union Park, a completely redesigned version of mega-proposal 'Oxford Place' that was originally put forth in 2012. The community consultation meeting unveiled a $3.5 billion, 4.3 million ft², mixed-use complex on a 4-acre site bounded by Blue Jays Way, the John Street bridge, Front Street, and the southern edge of the Union Station rail corridor. Now, a rezoning application has been put forward for the complex, officially advancing the proposal for City Planning to review.
Four towers would be constructed on the site, the highest of which would reach 303 metres to become Canada’s tallest office building if completed as proposed. The remaining office tower in the Pelli Clarke Pelli Architect-designed complex would rise 262 metres, with the two purpose-built rental residential towers rising 210 and 164 metres.
2,716,660 ft² of office space would be housed in the 58 and 48 storey buildings. The towers would be connected by as six-storey podium and Winter Garden. The podium would house mega-plate office floors and a substantial three levels of retail totalling 21,599 m², roughly half the retail gross floor area of The Well. The Winter Garden is designed for programming and installations during special events like TIFF or Nuit Blanche, and would connect the retail and office towers to a new POPS built over the Union rail corridor to the south.
The residential towers lie on the west side of the podium, rising 54 and 44 storeys, and housing 732 units.
Proposed in a mix of 294 one-bedroom, 218 two-bedroom, 72 three-bedroom, and 52 studio units, renters would enjoy 1,883 m² of indoor amenity space. Cladding of the taller 54-storey building is of particular interest, as limestone-coloured accent panels can be seen integrated into the mostly-glass façade.
While the design of the office and residential towers is for Toronto’s architecture-loving community to debate, a benefit to the general public here is the proposed 8,400 m² Union Park Overbuild. The proposed park would operate under Oxford's control as a Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) and could act as an extension of the City's proposed Rail Deck Park. The benefit here is that even if the unfunded Rail Deck Park is never actually built, Toronto residents will at least be getting a portion of the rail corridor covered with parkland. Isabella Valancy Crawford Park, an adjacent public space on th eastern edge of the development site, would continue to be leased to the City until 2028, after which point it would be redesigned and become a POPS.
A second proposed community benefit is a 833 m² daycare, which would be readily accessible to those living and working in the development and in the broader community.
Below grade, the four-level parking garage would house 665 parking spaces and 1,492 bicycle spaces.
Parallel to the development’s physical scale is its potential economic impact. The submitted planning rationale notes that the complex would produce an economic output of roughly $5.8 billion annually and house roughly 18,000 jobs, all while paying the City of Toronto an estimated $243 million in annual tax revenue.
The developer will be taking a phased approach to the construction here, with the two residential towers and the western office building to be constructed in the first phase, followed by the taller eastern office tower in the second.
Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.
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