With construction continuing in Downtown Toronto on first phase of the landmark CIBC SQUARE office complex with its new GO Bus Terminal, design work has been continuing on the second phase across the Union Rail Corridor. A Site Plan Approval application for the 50-storey north tower, which includes a seven-storey podium reaching out toward Yonge Street, was first submitted to the City in September, 2018. Developers Hines and Ivanhoé Cambridge have since submitted revisions to the application in May, 2019, and now again in March, 2020, detailing a number of modifications to the plan following comments from City staff. Design Architect of CIBC SQUARE is WilkinsonEyre Architects and Architect of Record is Adamson Associates Architects.

Looking south towards CIBC SQUARE North, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

The second phase of CIBC SQUARE, addressed as 141 Bay Street, will link to Union Station to the west and to the first phase south of the rail corridor at 81 Bay Street. The proposed Yonge-facing podium will include ancillary retail at grade and on the second and fourth floors, with the remainder of the building containing additional office space. An elevated privately owned publicly accessible space (POPS) above the rail corridor connects the two phases.

Aerial view of the podium, looking west, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

Most of the revisions in the resubmission relate to the more technical aspects of the project, including parking and loading changes. The on-site vehicular parking supply was reduced from 365 to 272 spaces in the first resubmission, and has been further reduced to 264 spaces to reflect design alterations to the parking levels. Another seven parking spaces may be lost at the west end of the P3 level to accommodate a future platform associated with the proposed expansion of the Union Station Streetcar loop, which sits under Bay Street.

Daytime rendering of the proposed seven-storey podium fronting Yonge, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

A Minor Variance application has been submitted to allow these changes. While the proposed number of parking spaces falls far short of the 412 stalls required in the applicable Zoning Bylaw, the proponents point to other recently approved office towers with similar parking ratios, and also recall the site's proximity to Union Station, the country's busiest transit hub.

The Minor Variance application requesting a reduction in parking spaces also asks for an increase in the height of the podium by five metres, an increase in the height of the podium mechanical penthouse by one metre, and an increase of the permitted coverage of the podium mechanical penthouse.

Nighttime rendering of the proposed seven-storey podium fronting Yonge, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

The number of bicycle spaces has jumped from 513 to 530 in the latest submission. A total of 264 short-term spaces are proposed at-grade within exterior landscaped areas close to building entrances and inside the bicycle room on P1. A further 266 long-term spaces are proposed within a separate secured area of the bicycle room. Access to the room will be provided by a bike stair located in the proposed mid-block pedestrian walkway between Yonge and Bay Streets.

Looking southeast from Bay and Front, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

Nine loading spaces are proposed, unchanged from the May 2019 submission. A curvilinear single ramp accessing parking and loading will connect to Yonge Street. The on-site loading facility is designed to accommodate both CIBC SQUARE and the proposed mixed-use redevelopment of the Dominion Public Building at 1 Front Street

Some revisions to the podium facade treatment have been made, referenced in updated renderings and elevations, but the overall exterior expression remains unchanged. 

Mid-block connection up to the elevated POPS, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

The resubmission also includes updated landscape drawings for the elevated POPS, outlining minor modifications to the park, such as a reduction in the extent of timber cladding at the proposed botanical sky garden. A mid-block connection to the sky garden will be offered in the pedestrianized laneway between the north phase—where the current bus terminal is located—and 1 Front Street.

North entrance and Union Station bridge, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

The second phase of CIBC SQUARE also proposes to remove the existing Metrolinx rail bridge structure spanning over Yonge Street. Demolition of the structure and the installation of a new pedestrian bridge linking to Backstage Condominiums—which was construction with a PATH extension ready to be connected—will begin toward the end of construction of the north office tower.

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 below.

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