CentreCourt and Spotlight Development are jointly seeking to redevelop a plot in the Old Town area of Downtown Toronto at 85 through 89 Queen Street East and 119 through 127 Church Street (known as the longtime flagship store for Canadian camera chain Henry's). Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Approval applications submitted by Bousfields Inc for a 60-storey, mixed-use building designed by IBI Group with GBCA Architects handling heritage aspects. The redevelopment would provide the neighbourhood with 583m² of ground floor retail, 17 residential rental replacement units, and 701 condominium units totalling 44,354m² if approved.

Proposed aerial rendering of 119 Church Street looking southeast, image from submission to the City of Toronto

Located at the southeast corner of Queen Street East and Church Street, the rectangular 1,594m² plot comprises five low-rise buildings at 119, 121, 123, 125 and 127 Church Street, and 85 through 89 Queen Street East. Ranging from 2 to 4 storeys in height, these brick-built buildings that date as far back as the 1840s have been the subject of numerous alterations to accommodate their current commercial and residential rental uses, with enough change that none of the above properties are listed on the Heritage Register.

Existing building at 119 Church Street looking southeast from the intersection of Queen Street East and Church Street, image retrieved from Apple Maps

The plot is sited along the Church Street corridor in Downtown Toronto and is only 300m east of Yonge Line 1 at Queen Station, which will eventually also be served by Ontario Line 3 running from Exhibition Place through to the Ontario Science Centre. The site is also 500m northeast of King Station, and about that distance from the future Ontario Line 3 station at Moss Park to the east. This site, therefore, falls within the definition of a "Major Transit Station Area" as per the Province's Growth Plan, making it a prime candidate for redevelopment.

Site location of 119 Church Street, image from submission to the City of Toronto

IBI Group have consciously panelized and incorporated the existing brickwork elevations of 89 Queen Street East and 119-123 Church Street into a proposed seven-storey base podium. By recessing the contemporary massing from the historic facades, the architects have been able to preserve the form of some of the original buildings and maintain a somewhat homogenous street frontage.

125-127 Church Street at the Queen and Church intersection would be demolished and replaced with a contemporary clad form that rises to 198.15m. A setback of approximately 2.5m from the northern and western property lines would provide visual relief from the reconstituted facades. The tower element that begins at level 8 is aligned with the outer faces of the newly added podium below. A 10m setback from the centre line of Ditty Lane to the south helps limit shadow impacts on nearby properties and the public realm.

The proposed façade incorporates a combination of three unspecified cladding typologies and extensive clear glazing that are in keeping with the existing and approved high-rise buildings within the east Downtown area. Notably, the northern and southern elevations of the development disrupt the homogenous grid pattern that IBI Group have implemented with a series of chamfered cladding elements that add dynamism to the design as it rises vertically.

Proposed rendering from the intersection of Queen Street East and Church Street looking southeast, image from submission to the City of Toronto

The development includes 17 rental replacement units and 701 new condominium units, found at level 4 upwards. The condominium units are comprised of 500 one-bedrooms (71%), 131 two-bedrooms (19%), and 70 three-bedrooms (10%), representing a residential Gross Floor Area of 44,354m². Level two accounts for most of the scheme's 1804m² of indoor and outdoor amenity space. The limited visitor and accessible vehicle parking spaces are accessed via Ditty Lane to the south of the property line, which leads east off Church Street. A single underground level provides the development with ancillary spaces and 701 bicycle parking spaces that the building requires. A proposed Gross Floor Area of 44,937m² that is inclusive of 583m² of retail space at ground level that predominantly fronts Queen Street East, would give the site a density of 28.2 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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EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story erroneously omitted Spotlight Development Inc. as co-developer of the proposal.

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