Updated materials have been submitted to the City of Toronto in support of the Site Plan Approval application for The HUB, putting the 57-storey office tower at Bay and Harbour a step closer to construction. In response to feedback provided by City staff, several minor revisions to the development have been made, although the height, massing, and density of the Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners-designed building remains substantially unchanged from the previous submission.

The HUB, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The 257.85-metre-tall project by Oxford Properties received Zoning By-law Amendment approval from City Council in the summer of 2019. An application for Site Plan Approval was subsequently filed with the City in December, 2019, which saw the project lose three storeys in height and the spire design revised.

Looking northwest along Bay Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The Site Plan materials include new renderings highlighting the building's lower levels and the proposed interaction with the adjacent Harbour Commission Building at 60 Harbour Street, which would be retained in situ. An internal glass atrium which "lightly touches" the heritage building is proposed.

Looking west along Harbour Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The renderings also depict the updated scheme for the floor-to-ceiling glass lobby and elevator cores, which had originally sported perimeter splashes of colour. The current design envisions colour only on the internal hallways of the elevator cores, with the exterior street-facing walls sporting a more traditional charcoal tone.

Axonometric view of elevator core and lobby, image via submission to the City of Toronto

A POPS (Privately Owned Publicly-accessible Space) is being considered at the corner of Bay and Harbour Streets. Replete with integrated seating and benches, the space may also contain a water feature in the form of a 5mm depth surface scrim, reminding passersby that the site once stood at the shores of Lake Ontario. Flush granite pavers are proposed at all water scrim areas to ensure a consistent paving surface when the water is turned off.

Cross-section of the POPS and water feature, image via submission to the City of Toronto

A trio of mechanical vents—their louvres painted blue—would be positioned between the POPS and the heritage building. Additional red-painted vents will be located along the north elevation facing Lake Shore Boulevard. The features are trademarks of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and can be found animating the public realm outside a number of their projects.

South podium, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The HUB would connect to the PATH system via an upper level link to 1 York Street. Additional knock-out panels for future connections to the north and east will be provided on the B1 level. 

The structural expression of the building is supported by eight super columns. A four-storey podium element floats above the lobby and below the tower. The lobby and tower soffits have been designed to mimic the framing of the building's steel floors.

South podium, image via submission to the City of Toronto

On the tower, diagonal structural hangars extend from the super columns to the floor slabs at three floor intervals and will be painted white to create a strong contrast against the dark grey curtain wall mullions.

North podium, image via submission to the City of Toronto

In discussions with the design team, City staff requested a floor plan demonstrating how a mid-level atrium could be incorporated into the design, as the original plan had contemplated. In response, the design team pointed to "occupant privacy and market acceptance" as reasons why mid-level atria will not be pursued, but noted they "may be explored further with prospective occupants of the project."

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:  Adamson Associates Architects, Peter McCann Architectural Models Inc., RJC Engineers, Urban Strategies Inc.