First submitted to the City in 2018 as a 49-storey residential tower, The Pemberton Group's vision for a string of properties on Church just north of Queen has evolved in several ways. Updated materials for 18 Dalhousie now detail a development with a larger footprint, increased height, and an updated design by Graziani + Corazza Architects.

Comparison between the previous and current designs, images via submission to the City of Toronto

The site is located along the east side of Church Street and the west side of Dalhousie Street between Queen Street East and Shuter Street. It is currently occupied by several three-storey commercial buildings, and neighbours a 57-storey condominium proposal by Bazis to the immediate south.

Looking southwest at 18 Dalhousie, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The original rezoning application for the development, stretching across 18-20 Dalhousie and 139-149 Church Street, contemplated a 49-storey primarily residential building with 414 units and 480 m² of ground-level retail space.

Looking east towards 18 Dalhousie, image via submission to the City of Toronto

In the time since the July, 2018 application, The Pemberton Group acquired the property at 137 Church Street, extending the area of the development from 1,305 to 1,545 m². The expanded frontage along both Church and Dalhousie Streets, combined with feedback from City staff and local residents, has resulted in significant changes to the original proposal.

Looking southeast at 18 Dalhousie, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The floor count of the building has jumped from 49 to 54 storeys, translating to an increase in measured height from 156.2 metres to 173.2 metres, including the six-metre-tall mechanical penthouse. Although the gross floor area of the development has increased to 33,845 m², the overall density has been reduced from 23.6 to 21.9 FSI.

Looking northwest at 18 Dalhousie, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Height restrictions imposed by the St. Michael's Hospital helicopter flight path continue to inform the articulation of the tower volume. The tower is comprised of a lower element from levels eight through 27, a reduced floor plate central portion from levels 28 to 33, and a further reduced upper element from levels 34 to 54, giving the project a stacked and shifted box aesthetic. The central and upper tower components are setback two metres from the flight path to provide an additional buffer, a move not contemplated in the original scheme.

Distinct changes in the materiality of the tower signal transitions between the podium and tower elements. A simple glazed facade is implemented for the upper podium and central tower elements, while a white border design has been applied to frame the lower and upper tower components. The revised proposal eliminates the majority of the projecting balconies originally conceived, with the only projecting balconies remaining located on the west facade of the lower tower facing Church Street.

Looking southeast at the Church Street frontage, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Floor plates have generally increased in size. The lower tower element features plates of 823 square metres between levels eight and 27, compared to the original's 750 m² between levels nine and 28. The central tower element has floor plates measuring 580 m², while the upper tower element has a reduced floor area of only 469 m².

The number of units have increased from 414 to 479, with 33 studios, 260 one-bedrooms, 114 two-bedrooms, and 72 three-bedrooms planned. The proposed development includes 1,105 m² of indoor amenity spaces and 658 m² of outdoor amenities, to be located on the fourth and eighth floors.

The massing of the seven-storey podium has been redesigned to provide a consistent three-storey low-rise expression along Church and Dalhousie. The ground plane of the project has been rearranged to avoid vehicular access conflicts with the proposal at 60 Queen East and to "ensure active uses are incorporated along the Dalhousie Street frontage at-grade."

Looking east towards the western elevation of 18 Dalhousie, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The existing facade at 147-149 Church Street will also be retained and integrated into the podium design, and additional stepbacks employed above the third level are designed to establish a pedestrian-scale built form along Church. The remainder of the three-storey base element now features architectural elements which characterize the retained facade and the other adjacent low-rise buildings.

While the primary residential entrance remains on Dalhousie Street, a secondary lobby entrance has been proposed on Church Street, where a number of grade-related retail units with individual entrances are also envisioned.

Vehicular access to the loading area and parking ramp has been relocated to the north end of the building. The number of vehicular parking spaces has increased slightly from 117 to 121. There would be 48 short-term bicycle spaces compared to the initial 41, and 432 long-term spaces compared to the original 373.

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:  Graziani + Corazza Architects