Toronto is an urban environment bustling with diverse cultures, condominiums, and offices, but it’s also quite green – there are over 1,500 public parks dispersed across its sprawling map. In the Leslieville neighbourhood, Bousfields has submitted an application on behalf of Percy Ellis for Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments to bring two new buildings just south of Maple Leaf Forever Park. Located southeast of Queen Street East and Leslie Street, the rental buildings proposed for 50 Laing Street would be designed to reconnect the park into the surrounding area.

Looking south from Maple Leaf Forever Park to 50 Laing Street, as designed by Gabriel Fain Architects Inc for Percy Ellis

The site is at the northwest corner of Laing and Sears streets and is an assembly of four properties known municipally as 46R, 50, 52, and 52R Laing. They form an irregular shape about 2,475m² in area. There are detached dwellings at 50 and 52 Laing, while the other two properties are vacant. The site is surrounded by residential units and townhouses, with Maple Leaf Forever Park to the north.

Looking south from Maple Leaf Forever Park to the subject site, image from submission to City of Toronto

The proposal entails the demolition of the two detached homes, to be replaced by seven-storey and four-storey buildings standing 24.46m (Building A) and 14.80m (Building B) respectively. The design by Gabriel Fain Architects Inc would have the smaller of the two front Laing Street, with the other fronting Sears Street and the park. Together, the mid-rise and low-rise structures would result in 130 rental units.

Looking west to the detached homes at the subject site, image from submission to City of Toronto

The proposal for Building A utilizes setbacks from level five upwards to make it compatible with the surrounding area. There would be inset balconies on the north façade from floors two to four, with terraces wrapping the north, west, and south sides on floor five, and terraces facing north on the two top floors. Meanwhile, the proposal for Building B calls for a design with fewer setbacks.

Looking south from Laing Street to Building B, as designed by Gabriel Fain Architects Inc for Percy Ellis

A major goal of the urban design is reconnecting Maple Leaf Forever Park with the urban environment around it. It would remove the fence currently sitting on the north property line and introduce a publicly-accessible walkway connecting to the park’s pathways. The walkway would extend south to Sears Street, as well as an additional path along the south-end of the property leading to Laing Street.

Looking south to the two proposed rental buildings and the park's pathways, as designed by Gabriel Fain Architects Inc for Percy Ellis

The proposal calls for 542m² of amenity space, of which 222m² would be outdoors. These would be found on the rooftops of both buildings, as well as the ground and basement floors of Building A. The sites would share 16 vehicle parking spaces, including three visitor spots, to be found in the parking stackers accessed via the west public lane. In addition, the design includes 117 long-term bicycle parking spaces in Building A’s basement, in addition to 26 short-term spots in the basement and at-grade.

The surrounding area is well-serviced by bicycle and transit routes, encouraging a greater sense of community for the site and public gatherings at Maple Leaf Forever Park. These include tracks along Dundas Street East and bike lanes along Greenwood Avenue, as well as the Queen Street and Kingston Road streetcars. The site is also about 1.4km from the future Leslieville/Riverside Station on the Ontario Line, to be served by the 501 Queen streetcar that passes close to the site.

An aerial view of the subject site and surrounding area, image from submission to City of Toronto

The Leslieville community has evolved to be an increasingly diverse neighbourhood. There have been numerous mid-rise mixed-use developments built along Queen Street East, with many more proposed. The proposed design would be another step in the neighbourhood’s evolution and strengthen Toronto’s identity as “a city within a park.”

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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