A newly submitted SPA application to the City of Toronto is providing a look at the latest of a long line of proposals for the southwest corner of Richmond and Peter streets in the Entertainment District: a 39-storey, 374-unit, 132-metre-tall condo tower designed by BDP Quadrangle, this time for Aoyuan International, who bought the site for 70 million dollars in March, 2021.

Looking west at the corner of Richmond and Peter, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The previous owners of the land assembly at 122 Peter Street were Carlyle Communities—who gave the project the name, Carlyle Condos, one which will likely change—but its history goes back much further than that. Development was first envisioned for the site in 2011, when it was owned by Del Terrelonge, designer of the Templar Hotel at Peter and Adelaide. His proposal went nowhere, and the site was sold to Fortress Real Developments in 2014, who took it in a different direction.

The new tower will stand out with its red cladding, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Over the following years schemes were put forward one after the other, yo-yoing between taller and shorter towers, including as many as 435 units, and as few as only 247.

Looking southeast towards the project's Richmond Street facade, 2016 scheme, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Looking southeast towards the project's Richmond Street facade, 2018 scheme, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Looking southeast towards the project's Richmond Street facade, 2020 scheme, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Looking southeast towards the project's Richmond Street facade, 2021 scheme, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The current design is brand-new, but it does take some cues from earlier schemes. Its massing is characterized by a tower cantilevered over a collection of retained heritage facades along Peter and Richmond and a new podium anchoring the corner. This arrangement first emerged in architects—Alliance’s 2016 design, after two earlier—and more conventional—designs.

There were more or less minor changes to the plan between 2016 and 2020: the proposed height continued to move up and down; a hotel was added; the roofline was angled to avoid casting shadows onto Queen Street West; and the arrangement of columns beneath the dramatically over-hanging tower was shifted.

Looking west towards the project's Peter Street facade, 2016 scheme, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Looking west towards the project's Peter Street facade, 2018 scheme, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Looking west towards the project's Peter Street facade, 2020 scheme, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Looking west towards the project's Peter Street facade, 2021 scheme, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The new plan’s most significant departure from the 2016-2020 plans is in its exterior architectural expression, where it trades the black and grey brick of earlier schemes for variegated red cladding in a mix of metal and another material that is yet to be determined (terracotta being one potential option).

Looking up at the newest scheme's variegated red cladding, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The dramatic change came suddenly and surprisingly. Earlier this year it might have seemed like things were falling into place after a long planning process. In January, 2020 the LPAT approved in principle a scheme consisting of a 42-storey mixed-use tower, with an additional order issued in August to allow for a hotel. Demolition of some of the heritage buildings on site began in January. At that point, one might have been forgiven for thinking that it was full steam ahead with the a—A-designed tower.

Then, in March, the site was sold to Aoyuan; now, not many months later, we have our first glimpse at their vision for the property—a 39 storey, 374 unit, 132-metre-tall condo tower. This one will likely be the one to finally move forward.

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:  BDP Quadrangle, NAK Design Strategies