Manulife Real Estate's plan to install a 59-storey residential rental tower atop the six-storey Traders Building at 625 Church Street in Toronto's Bloor-Yorkville area has evolved in a recent resubmission. The initial rezoning application was submitted to the City in late 2019, with a number of key revisions now made in the updated proposal filed earlier this month.

Looking southwest at 625 Church Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto

While the original application contained only a single perspective of the proposed development, located one block south of Bloor Street East, the resubmission includes several new images highlighting multiple angles of the project. Featuring architecture by RAW Design, the majority of the renderings showcase how the existing Traders Building will be partially retained to serve as the front door of the project.

Subject site, 625 Church Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Although the Traders Building is not a listed or designated heritage resource, ERA Architects has determined the building qualifies for designation under the Ontario Heritage Act, citing its "design, associative and contextual value."

East and west building elevations, 625 Church Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The project contemplates the preservation of the principal west elevation fronting Church Street, in addition to approximately three metres of the north and south faces. The rebuild of the north and south elevations is envisioned as a "ghost facade" which reinterprets the scale, articulation and massing of the existing elevations using modern materials.

North and south building elevations, 625 Church Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The revised proposal maintains a height of 201.9 metres and would contain a total of 651 units. The unit mix remains unchanged, proposing 66 studios, 319 one-bedrooms, 200 two-bedrooms, and 66 three-bedrooms.

The four-level office component, which will replace the demolished interiors of the Traders Building, has increased slightly from 10,079 m² to 10,101 m². Total residential gross floor area has also experienced a slight boost from 45,742 m² to 46,292 m². The double-height retail program at grade has decreased in size to 559 m² from 593 m².

View of 625 Church Street from Church and Hayden, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The mid-rise residential and amenities element dividing the tower from the podium now features a more seamless design following the removal of north-facing balconies. The series of projecting balconies previously proposed have been replaced by inset balconies.

Proposed Charles Street elevation, 625 Church Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto

A 126.6 m² privately-owned publicly accessible space (POPS) has also been introduced along the south side of the building, a gesture to be coordinated with proposed boulevard improvements along Charles Street East. The space could include a potential patio area to support the proposed retail and restaurant uses.

View of 625 Church Street from Church and Charles, image via submission to the City of Toronto

A 2.1-metre-wide walkway along the east lot line will sport a unique paving pattern. The space will function as a pedestrian connection alongside the vehicular driveway, which provides access to 260 parking spaces across five underground parking levels. The project would also provide 706 parking spaces for bicycles.

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 space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  Colliers Project Leaders, Entuitive, Manulife Investment Management, Real Estate, RAW Design, The Planning Partnership