A proposal to add a new high-rise residential tower and a number of complementary mid- and low-rise buildings to Toronto's St. James Town area has been revised since it was first submitted to the City by Greatwise Developments in April, 2018. The Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw Amendment applications call for a comprehensive revitalization of Wellesley-Parliament Square through the introduction of new public streets, open spaces, and a range of housing typologies.

Looking northeast to Wellesley-Parliament Square, image via submission to the City of Toronto 

The property is large, bounded to the west by Ontario Street, to the south by Wellesley Street East, to the east by Parliament Street, and to the north by neighbouring St. James Town apartment properties. There are currently 2,224 units across four high-rise blocks within the site in a 'Tower-in-the-Park' setting with open spaces, residential amenities, and surface parking lots providing separation between the buildings.

Context plan, image via submission to the City of Toronto 

Greatwise Developments is seeking approvals to introduce six new IBI Group-designed buildings to the property. The original application included a 51-storey tower at the southern end of the site along Rose Avenue. The revised application reduces the height of the tower to 47 storeys, stepping down to 11 and eight storeys at its north end. A four- to five-storey podium containing amenity spaces and retail would wrap the existing building at 240 Wellesley Street East and link to the lower levels of the new tower.

Looking northwest to Wellesley-Parliament Square, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Planning for the site has been undertaken by IBI Group, Bousfields, and NAK Design Group. An approximately 1,210 m² park at the northeastern corner of Wellesley Street East and Rose Avenue—currently a strip of private land owned by Greatwise—would contain several soft and hard landscaping elements, including shade streets and street furniture. A five-storey office building with retail and a community facility was slated for this southeast corner of the site at Wellesley and Parliament in the initial proposal, but has been removed from the revised submission in favour of enhancing the new park.

Area proposed to be given to the City as park space, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Three publicly-accessible private open spaces (POPS) are also proposed within the revitalized Wellesley-Parliament Square. The most prominent would be an 'urban plaza', to be located adjacent to an existing pedestrian mews that would be enhanced to provide a direct connection between Ontario Street and Rose Avenue. The urban plaza will be designed to host a variety of programmed functions and informal gatherings.

West view through the proposed urban square, image via submission to the City of Toronto 

The plaza fronts the extension of Rose Avenue from the south, a new public street that would replace the porte cochères for 240 and 260 Wellesley Street East. This new roadway will link north to St. James Avenue, where an elongated block of four-storey back-to-back townhouses is proposed to the west. The street could be extended north again in the future through adjacent Tower-in-the-Park properties, reconnecting the area back into the surrounding city road network.

South view from St. James Avenue to proposed POPS, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Another street network improvement on the site is the realignment of St. James Avenue to create a normalized intersection with the extended Rose Avenue. The second POPS will be located at the southeast corner of this new intersection. A new private street between the easternmost tower blocks at 650 Parliament and 280 Wellesley would bisect two more four-storey townhouse blocks. An 11-storey mid-rise rental building would front this new roadway to the north.

Aerial view of the proposed mid-rise, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The proposal would add 817 new residential units, 24 percent of which would contain two and three bedrooms. We'll continue to track the development as it makes its way through the approvals process.

North view to Rose Avenue from Wellesley, image via submission to the City of Toronto

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  Bousfields, IBI Group, RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists