In late September, 2020 Freed Developments and Fengate Asset Management submitted a Zoning By-Law Amendment application to the City of Toronto for 175 Wynford Drive, currently home to the Don Valley Hotel and Convention Centre. The latest plan for the site, which sits immediately adjacent to the Don Valley Parkway at the intersection of Wynford Drive and Eglinton Avenue East, calls for four new Quadrangle-designed towers ranging in height from 45 to 54 storeys.

Looking northwest to the massing model for 175 Wynford Drive, image via submission to City of Toronto

To the immediate northwest of the redevelopment site is the Accolade condominium tower (seen in white, above, between the two western towers), while across the road to the southeast is a Delmanor mid-rise retirement home (not shown above so that ground level detail of the street access can be seen). The new application replaces a previous two-tower proposal by Allied Hotel Properties Inc. from before the site was sold to the Freed and Fengate joint venture in January, 2020. 

Looking north to the previous proposal for the site, designed by Quadrangle for Allied Hotel Properties Inc.

The new proposal is laid out around a central courtyard enclosed by two eight storey podia, each of which is topped by two towers. On the west side of the site, towers one and two will rise 54 and 45 storeys, at 176.6m and 141.75m respectively. Towers three and four sit opposite, with heights of 49 storeys (157.2m) and 47 storeys (151.3m).

Site plan, image via submission to City of Toronto

The proposed overall gross floor area (GFA) of 199,695 m² is broken down into 189,863 m² of residential space, 545 m² of retail space, and 9,287 m² representing the new 125-room hotel which will occupy part of tower one and its podium, and will replace the existing Don Valley Hotel.

The residential portion of the proposal is divided into 2,750 units, with a mix of 138 bachelor, 1,869 one-bedroom, 467 two-bedroom, and 276 three-or-more-bedroom units proposed.

East elevation, phase 2, image via submission to City of Toronto

The newly-created central courtyard will be publicly accessible, including via a level pedestrian connection between Wynford Drive and Eglinton Avenue. In its current form, that connection is only navigable by pedestrians by scaling a flight of stairs.

The project’s massing references the nodal arrangement of Toronto’s developing transit hubs by placing the two taller towers along the southern edge, closest to Eglinton Avenue and the nearby Wynford stop on the Crosstown LRT line, targeted for opening in 2022. Proximity to rapid transit is an important part of the planning rationale for such an increase in density.

This massing arrangement has the advantage of stepping down northwards towards the wooded area which separates the site from the former Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, now the Noor Cultural Centre, designed by Raymond Moriyama, which was assessed as a heritage asset in a report by ERA Architects and is a listed heritage structure.

South elevation, image via submission to City of Toronto

Existing structures on the development site, although also designed by Moriyama, were judged not to possess significant heritage value. A previous development scheme for the site had kept the original hotel; the most recent proposal trades its preservation for increased density and a new hotel.

The proposal includes six levels of below-grade parking: 1,375 residential spots, 6 for retail, and 177 for institutional/other. It also includes spaces for 2,757 bicycles. 

Construction is planned to proceed in two phases; more information on the timing and order is not available yet.

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Related Companies:  Claude Cormier + Associés, COUNTERPOINT ENGINEERING, Grounded Engineering Inc., LEA Consulting