A second resubmission of rezoning materials outlines alterations to an April, 2019 proposal that would see two residential towers and a mix of commercial spaces replacing the long-standing Scotiabank Theatre complex at John and Richmond Streets. The height, massing, and number of units are among the biggest changes to the RioCan Hall plan, which features a pair of Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed towers, each with a distinct design.

Aerial view looking southwest, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The initial proposal tabled by RioCan REIT envisioned 39 and 40-storey buildings containing a total of 613 units. The first resubmission in November added two storeys to the 40-storey east volume, with a corresponding increase of units for a total of 685.

Comparison between the initial and resubmitted proposals, images via submission to the City of Toronto

The latest resubmission, made in April, further increases the unit count to 693, but drops the height of the 39-storey west volume to 37 storeys and 130.95 metres to fit within a 45-degree angular plane measured from a height of 13 metres on the south side of Queen Street West. Several stepbacks have also been introduced along the north elevation from floors 31 to 37 to better align within the angular plane prescribed in the Queen Street West Heritage Conservation District Plan. The reduction in height plus the stepbacks minimize shadowing on Queen. The 145.20-metre height of the east tower—which is further from Queen Street—remains untouched.

Looking west along Richmond to RioCan Hall, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The floor plate of the west tower has increased from 830 to 904 m², but the massing remains largely as previously imagined. Although the floor plate as proposed is larger than the 750 m² recommended under the Tall Building Design Guidelines, the proponents contend the floorplate is appropriate given the size and configuration of the site, its separation from neighbouring properties by the rights-of-way of the three abutting streets, and an analysis of the shadow, sky view and wind impacts of the development. It remains to be seen if the City will concur with the reasoning.

Looking south to RioCan Hall, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The total gross floor area has increased from 76,264 m² in the original application and 78,927 m² in the November resubmission to 79,711 m² in the new one. Unchanged from the November revisions, RioCan Hall would contain a total of 17,912 m² of office space and 8,462 m² of retail space held within a seven-storey podium. A 3,283 m² replacement theatre, 781 m² daycare, and a Janet Rosenberg + Studio-designed privately-owned publicly accessible space (POPS) occupying the corner of John and Richmond are also proposed.

A breakdown of the residential component sees 104 studios, 299 one-bedrooms, 220 two-bedrooms, and 70 three-bedroom units planned. There would be 1,386 m² of indoor amenity spaces and an additional 1,093 m² of outdoor spaces for residents.

Looking northwest to RioCan Hall, image via submission to the City of Toronto

A two-level underground parking garage would accommodate a total of 229 vehicular spaces, a reduction from the 304 spaces originally contemplated under the April, 2019 scheme. The total number of bicycle spaces to be provided has increased from 796, to 869, to 871.

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:  Brook Pooni Associates, Hariri Pontarini Architects, RioCan REIT