In the current discourse over the development of South Etobicoke’s Mimico area, all eyes have been fixed firmly on the master-planned redevelopment of the former Mr Christie’s Cookie Factory site, its sheer scale drawing a lot of attention. Just a few hundred metres to the west, at 2256 Lake Shore Boulevard West, a new two-tower residential development is being proposed by 2589727 Ontario Ltd that hopes to deliver another 594 dwelling units and at-grade retail to this area that is seeing some of the highest concentration of tower development in Toronto. 

The design of the project by Core Architects would see a tower of 35 storeys sharing a 6-storey podium with a smaller tower of 18 storeys erected on the northwest corner of Lake Shore Boulevard West and Legion Road, a site currently occupied by a storage facility. The proposal, comprising applications for Official Plan Amendment, (OPA) Zoning By-law Amendment (ZBA), and Site Plan Approval (SPA), argues that the 6,322m² site is under-utilized, and hopes to create a development that can facilitate the evolution of the area by increasing the residential capacity and improving the public realm. 

Looking northeast to the proposed development at 2256 Lake Shore Boulevard West, image from submission to City of Toronto

The proposal makes reference to several policy frameworks that advance the proponent’s case for intensification in an area that is already a considerably deep pool for development. The argument focuses on the transportation connectivity, making reference to the site’s position on a major arterial roadway, Lake Shore Boulevard West, and the dramatic improvements to the public transit servicing the area that are also underway: a new GO station at Park Lawn Road is required by the City before Phase One of the Christie site redevelopment can open. The new station will earn Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) designation for the lands within a 500 metre radius, an invaluable designation for prospective developments from a policy standpoint. Expanded TTC streetcar and bus service is expected in the area in conjunction with the new GO station. The area also boasts an extensive network of cycling infrastructure, as it is tied into the Waterfront Trail.

Map view of transportation infrastructure surrounding subject site, image from submission to City of Toronto

The proposed podium and the towers interact in interesting ways in this proposal as a way of distinguishing the different volumes visually. The podium itself is C-shaped facing west, and is clad with balconies in alternating placement along the south and east elevations beginning at the third storey. The south elevation sees a wave-like treatment of the balconies that are aligned vertically in the same offset pattern  

Northwest facing view of the two towers shows different external finishes, image from submission to City of Toronto

The towers, which emerge at the seventh storey, both deviate from the visual character of the podium. The 35-storey tower takes on a crimped rectangular form, and is clad with semi-continuous balconies that curve around the corners in a fluid manner. The 18-storey tower takes on an irregular shape that is generally rectangular with a notched cutout in the southwest corner, and is clad with orthogonal balconies that are divided vertically, creating an offset square pattern.   

Looking at the massing of the proposal at the pedestrian level, an effort has been made to incorporate the building’s exterior into the proposed improvements to the public realm. Part of the proposal includes a widening of the sidewalk on Lake Shore Boulevard by a noteworthy 5.5m, creating a patio-style piazza along the southern frontage that would greatly benefit the retail tenants occupying those units. Eight storeys up, the tower extends out south over the podium, providing a level of weather protection, further enhanced by a partial canopy above the second storey, while the triangular balconies of the podium add a distinct visual character to the public space. 

Ground realm beside Lake Shore Boulevard West, showing expanded sidewalk and programmed public space, image from submission to City of Toronto

The development provides a total of 2,413m² of total amenity space across both towers and the podium. The spaces are found at the ground level as well as on the podium roof, with access to the outdoor amenities through the indoor amenity spaces. Additionally, a total of 394 vehicle parking spaces and 474 bicycle parking spaces are proposed across three levels of underground parking.  

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:  Core Architects, EQ Building Performance Inc., Ferris + Associates Inc., Gradient Wind Engineers & Scientists, LEA Consulting, WND Associates Ltd