Fourth time's the charm for a colourful tower proposal in the heart of Toronto's historic St Lawrence district, as updated documents for 33 Sherbourne were submitted for Zoning By-law Amendments and Site Plan Approval in July, and have received a favourable response from the City. First submitted in March, 2019, the 37-storey tower from Menkes Developments is slated to replace the gas station and adjacent properties at the northeast corner of Front and Sherbourne, and has gone through several iterations over the past year and a half, and have now been recommended for rezoning approval by Community Council this month, in advance of a final vote at the upcoming City Council starting September 30.

Rendering of 33 Sherbourne, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

The statistics of the building have shifted slightly since the last resubmission. The unit count remains the same at 439 condos, but the breakdown has been adjusted to include more two-bedroom units, and is now comprised of 43 studios (9.8%), 282 one-bedrooms (64.3%), 69 two-bedrooms (15.7%), and 45 three-bedrooms (10.3%). While the overall residential GFA decreased slightly to 28,542.3 m², the retail GFA located on the ground and second floors has now increased to 1,383.2 m².

Comparison of design changes since the last resubmission, images vis submissions to the City of Toronto.

The most notable changes are to the design of the building from architects Giannone Petricone Associates. The tower portion is similar to previous submissions and features vertical brick fins running the full height of the building which accentuate the rounded corners. The renderings show a darker shade of reddish-brown brick-embedded precast panels.

Rendering of the podium, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

The podium is where the design has shifted more drastically. Previous versions had continued the vertical fins onto the 8-storey podium, pulling them down to meet the two-storey storefronts at grade. The current version has scrapped the vertical podium fins in favour of horizontal bands of brick that wrap around the perimeter of each floor slab. The horizontal bands follow the curves of the podium and provide a more noticeable distinction between the base of the building and the tower above.

Rendering of the Sherbourne Street frontage, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

The street frontage has proven difficult to solve for the designers, who have revised the two-storey base in each resubmission of the project. This version has once again adjusted the ground level facades, this time incorporating retained heritage buildings at 33 Sherbourne and 178 Front. The south facade of 178 Front will be incorporated into the podium but slightly modified to accommodate the residential entrance, while the north, west, and partial south facades of 33 Sherbourne will be preserved. Both buildings are identified as contributing properties under the St Lawrence Heritage Conservation District, and though they are simple in appearance, they have been deemed to contribute to the overall heritage character of the neighbourhood.

Rendering of the Front Street frontage, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

Following its favourable recommendation at Community Council, the project will head to City Council for a formal vote for rezoning approval, and will then continue through the site plan approval stage, which is already under review. We will keep you updated as 33 Sherbourne continues to progress, but in the meantime, 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:  Giannone Petricone Associates, Goldberg Group, Janet Rosenberg & Studio, Menkes Developments