A development plan in Toronto's West Don Lands by Dream UnlimitedKilmer Group, and Tricon Residential for a site east of Cherry Street was last updated in a submission for Site Plan Approval to the City of Toronto in October. Referred to as Block 20, the West Don Lands site has an address of 125R Mill Street. The proposal is designed by Henning Larsen Architects of Copenhagen and Toronto's architects—Alliance, and as it already has Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment approval, will intensify a surface parking lot with a mixed-use development that includes a 6-storey office podium and two residential towers. It will deliver the first major office development in the West Don Lands. 

Block 20 in the West Don Lands, designed by Henning Larsen Architects and architects—Alliance for  Dream Unlimited, Kilmer Group, and Tricon Residential, Urban Strategies Inc.

The West Don Lands is an 80-acre area within the central Waterfront, east of Downtown, and west of the Don River. Immediately east of the Cherry Street streetcar loop, the Block 20 site is also bounded by the three buildings of Block 8, currently under construction to the north, Block 32 to the east which will have an extension of Tannery Road, and the rail corridor to the south.

Block 8 construction so far, image by UT Forum contributor DavidCapizzzano

Other West Don Land blocks are in various stages of the redevelopment process, most now complete, while new residential and mixed-use buildings are under construction or planned to be on several. To the immediate east of the Tannery Road extension is Block 9 where a new school is planned to be built in a few years time. Across the rail corridor and Gardiner Expressway to the south, there are blocks within Waterfront Toronto's Lower Don Lands precinct close to the Keating Channel where towers of comparable size to Block 20 are also planned. 

Surrounding development - note: this image is out of date as the approval process has moved along since, but the building context remains correct

The West Don Lands is intended to be a truly mixed use neighbourhood with residential, retail, recreation, education, and employment space. The proposed Block 20 development will be the first new development in this neighbourhood that includes substantial office space, while also having ground-floor retail and a wide variety of housing types, including both market and affordable rental housing.

View of office space, image from submission to the City

The base building will accommodate 23,872m² of office space, plus 481m² of retail space at grade. In addition, housing diversity is coming in the form of 661 rental units in a range of sizes, 198 units of which are to be affordable rental. Families will be accommodated with 32.8% of units being 2-bedroom and 12.3% having 3 or more bedrooms. The West tower is to be 45 storeys, while the East tower steps down to 32.

Mixed uses, image from submission to the City

Residents will have access to 1,927m² of outdoor amenity space, including roof terraces and a pool. Outdoor residential amenity space will be provided on the 7th floor, as will 474m² of exterior amenity space for office tenants. The design also includes 2,013m² of indoor amenity space, 1,233m² of which is located on the 7th floor, adjacent to the outdoor amenity spaces, and a 387m² Skylounge that wraps the mechanical penthouse.

Amenities, image from submission to the City

The application proposes to improve the pedestrian experience of the area by providing a publicly accessible urban plaza and passageway that extends from Cherry Street and the transit loop to the planned Tannery Road extension, and sites beyond. This passageway will connect to the walkways between the buildings on Block 8 to link the site with Mill Street. The design is also intended to animate the expanded public realm along Cherry Street and East Tankhouse Lane with active uses including retail and lobby access.

View from Cherry Street, image from submission to the City

The development will provide parking in an underground garage shared with the Block 8 buildings. This garage will provide 306 parking spaces, with a further 38 spaces to be provided off-site. 124 spaces will be provided in the Block 20 portion of the garage, of which 38 are residential and 86 are visitor and commercial parking spaces. Access to these spaces will be provided through the Block 8 garage, with a ramp from the Tannery Road extension cul-de-sac. Bicycle parking will be provided on the mezzanine level of the development, with space for 784 bicycles in total, of which 656 are long-term spaces and 128 are short-term spaces for commercial users.

View from Cooperage Street, image from submission to the City

Multiple bus and streetcar routes pas by, with stops on Cherry and Mill streets, but in the coming years, the West Don Lands will become increasingly accessible via transit and active transportation routes: two new transit projects have been announced that will have stations within walking distance of the site: GO at East Harbour station just across the Don, and the Ontario Line's Corktown station a few blocks to the northwest.

The site is situated just east of the Cherry Street loop, image from submission to the City

More information on the development will come soon, but in the meantime, 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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EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been republished with more up-to-date images.

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Related Companies:  architects—Alliance, CCxA, Dream Unlimited, EllisDon, Entuitive, Mulvey & Banani, RWDI Climate and Performance Engineering, Snaile Inc., Tricon Residential, Urban Strategies Inc.