Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Approval applications have recently been submitted to the City of Toronto for a stepped nine-storey mixed-use building at 2491 Lake Shore Boulevard West in the Mimico area of South Etobicoke. The proposal, submitted by MHBC Planning, is designed by architects BDP Quadrangle on behalf of owners 2491 Lakeshore Limited Partnership, and would replace an existing two-storey commercial/residential building.

Proposed aerial view looking northeast of 2491 Lake Shore West designed BDP Quadrangle and ERA Architects. Image from submission to the City of Toronto.

The square-shaped 0.67-acre plot lies southeast of Lake Shore Boulevard West and falls within Precinct E of the Mimico-by-the Lake Secondary Plan (OPA 197), defined by predominately low-density residential buildings. This policy is in place to ensure that "New development will not exceed the physical capacity of the available municipal servicing infrastructure as improved from time to time", which helps to minimize the impact on the existing physical character of the neighbourhood.

Site location at 2491 Lakeshore Boulevard West, Toronto. Image from submission to the City of Toronto.

As previously stated, a two-storey red brick commercial/residential building occupies the subject lands. A significantly staggered western elevation provides existing tenants with ample surface parking fronting Lake Shore and reduces the structure's impact on the street. Off-street parking is supplemented by the existing TTC streetcars on route 501 that connects to the Line 1 subway at both Osgoode and Queen stations.

The Mimico-by-the-Lake Secondary Plan throws caution to the heights and impact that new developments have on the existing neighbourhood stating: 

"New Buildings along Lake Shore Boulevard West will acknowledge the existing building character along the block through an appropriate cornice line. This may be achieved in a number of ways, including façade detail, articulation and step-backs.

Step-backs on buildings taller than 21.5 metres should be required to mitigate the perception of height and create buildings at the street that are of a comfortable scale for pedestrians."

Existing building at 2491 Lakeshore Boulevard West, Toronto. Image from Apple Maps.

Acknowledging the above, BDP Quadrangle has devised a 29m tall scheme that accords with the City Council's Mid-Rise Building Performance Standards and is designed to fit within the 45-degree angular plane from Lake Shore stipulated by the City of Toronto. Built on the limit of the southern property line, a series of notable setbacks to the north and east and a 2.25m recesses from the property line abutting Lake Shore give the building some breathing room, ensuring it remains contextually respectful. The building also seeks to improve the existing street scene with its contemporary architectural form and intricate mix of soft and hard landscaping. 

A distinctive u-shaped layout defines the proposed form from levels two upwards to maximize residential unit aspects and reduce the overall mass of the southern façade. In doing so, an abundance of external amenity space can be provided that utilises the building's south-facing aspect. Incremental setbacks occur as the structure rises vertically to maintain the 45-degree angular plane and provide visual intrigue. 

Proposed view from Lakeshore Boulevard West looking southwest. Image from submission to the City of Toronto.

Two westward-facing retail spaces totalling 420m² maintain the commercial street frontage and encourage pedestrian activity. These entrances are partially covered by the overhanging residential units above. White colonnades seemingly prop up these residential floors, defining the commercial units and designated vehicular access leading from Lake Shore. This is complemented by vertically applied three-tone teal banding that only emphasizes this. Linear white metal panel banding wraps around the north, east, and west elevations, corresponding with the internal levels. This banding is expressed on all projecting balconies from levels five upwards and cohesively ties each floor together. An assortment of white metal bands, dark grey, light teal, teal, and dark teal metal panels arranged in varying horizontal and vertical configurations interspersed with clear glazing define BDP Quadrangle's proposal.

Three levels of underground parking, accessed via a two-way ramp parallel to the east elevation, would provide 167 motor vehicle spaces and 527 bicycle spaces. A covered driveway along the southwestern extent of the site would provide a vehicle turnaround and loading space which leads off Lake Shore.

The proposed development consists of 139 residential units comprising 80 one-bedroom units (58%) and 36 two-bedroom units including eight rental replacement units (26%), and 23 three-bedroom units (16%), which meets the City of Toronto's requirements for percentages of family-size unit types. A proposed Gross Floor Area of 12,069m² would give the site a density of 3.21 FSI.

UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more about it from our Database file, 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:  BDP Quadrangle, Crozier & Associates Consulting Engineers, Egis, LEA Consulting, MHBC Planning