The Daniels Corporation, in partnership with The Basilian Fathers of Toronto, have resubmitted a proposal to amend the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw of the site of the current Cardinal Flahiff Basilian Centre (CFBC) at 95 St Joseph Street on the edge of the U of T campus in the Bay-Cloverhill neighbourhood. The original proposal involved three different ownerships and occupancies including the Basilian Fathers, an unknown institutional use, and the residential condominium component.

In this revised scheme, there are now just two owners, Daniels and Amica Senior Lifestyles. The Basilian Fathers will no longer be returning to the site and the previously proposed retail space has been removed. Daniels is now looking to redevelop the site with a 316-unit residential tower that would rise to 39 storeys from a 12-storey podium which would house a retirement residence.

Rendering: Northeast view from St. Joseph’s Street. Image by Core Architects.

Originally submitted to the City in February, 2019, the previous design by Brook McIlroy included a second, 15-storey tower standing atop a podium next to a 39-storey tower. The taller, western tower was proposed to contain 502 condo units, starting with two-storey townhomes at its base. The eastern two-thirds of the podium and the L-shaped 15-storey tower were proposed to provide space for undeclared institutional uses – which were speculated to be student residences considering the proximity of the University of Toronto's St Michael's College campus just across the street — but the plans were never confirmed. 

Previous design for the site, designed by Brook McIlroy, facing southeast

Since the initial application, working group meetings have taken place, revisions have been made and new provincial and municipal planning policies have been approved. 

Located within the University of Toronto St George Campus Secondary Plan area between Queens Park Crescent East and Bay Street, the 1.3 acre site currently consists of the Cardinal Flahiff Basilian Centre which was built in 1949 with additions made in 1959 and 1979. On the site there is also an Ernest Cormier-designed chapel that was built in 1949. (This was the original home of the Newman Centre which dates back to 1914, but which moved to )the northeast corner of St George and Hoskin in the 1920s. 

The primary (north) elevation of the Cardinal Flahiff Basilian Centre with its 1979 concrete clad addition. Note the recently completed mixed-use development located immediately to the east. Image by ERA.

While the buildings are not heritage listed, a plan by specialists ERA Architects call for the restoration of the Cardinal Flahiff Basilian Centre's original north facade – which the proposal honours. The new design has been made conjointly by Core Architects and Montgomery Sisam Architects, and retains the front facade of the original 4-storey structure, including the side return walls at the northeast and northwest corners of the original building to emphasize the building’s three-dimensionality. 

In this new design, the perviously proposed 15-storey tower has been removed and the 39-storey tower has been rotated so its massing is oriented centrally in an east-west fashion with a significantly greater setback from St Joseph Street, so that the institutional character of the original building is emphasized and maintained.

The primary entrance to the new retirement residence would be found on the easternmost part of the building's St John Street frontage, while the residential condominium entrance, would be found on the westernmost portion. With respect with the rest of the ground floor, the area would be split between the two tenancies. The historic main entrance and stairs would be preserved in its current configuration. Even if this entrance is no longer the primary entrance, maintaining it would convey information about the building's original design and function. 

Rendering: Northeast view from St. Joseph Street. Image by Core Architects.

The west side yard would include a north/south pedestrian connection which would lead to four proposed townhouse units along the west side wall. This pedestrian connection would also lead to the Cormier-designed chapel, which would be relocated from its current position to the northwest area of the site, and incorporated into the ground floor space of the residential condominium. The former north end of the chapel is proposed to form a rebuilt west wall of the relocated chapel. This newly designed west facade of the chapel would serve as a public-facing exterior wall, thereby allowing the public to view the chapel for the first time. It would extend beyond the west facade of the podium level, affording the chapel significant prominence along the west facade. 

Chapel seen along the pathway, Image by Core Architects

The total number of residential units proposed is now 316 (down from 502) and the unit mix has been revised: 26 studios (8%), 182 one-bedrooms (58%), 78 two-bedrooms (25%), 30 three-bedrooms (10%). There would be 254 institutional suites in the retirement residence: 65 Memory Care, 68 Assisted Living, 95 Independent Living, and 26 Premium Independent Living.

The total gross floor area of the new development would be 46,127m², of which the retirement residence would represent 23,340m² and the condo corp would take 21,718m². There would also be 442m² reserved for commercial space, resulting in a density of 8.72 FSI (reduced from the former 9.31).

Rooftop terrace area, Image by Core Architects

Residents would have access to 1,075m² of indoor amenity spaces and 1,030 m² of outdoor amenity area, while the site would be served by a two-level underground garage containing 119 vehicle spaces (down from 159) and 379 bicycle parking spaces (down from 647).

The total open landscape has been doubled to 1,560m², and would take form both along the proposed laneway to the west as well as on rooftop terraces on various levels throughout the building. 

Rendering: Southwest view from St. Basil’s Lane. Image by Core Architects.

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like, 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:  Core Architects, COUNTERPOINT ENGINEERING, EQ Building Performance Inc., Goldberg Group