With density trending higher in the Newtonbrook community of North York, a new proposal from the development team of CentreCourt and Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (CAPREIT) could add another seven towers to the mix in the form of an infill development on an existing Tower-in-the-Park site. The project, addressed to 5 and 15 Tangreen Court, proposes the construction of a suite of towers designed by IBI Group of between 25 and 55 storeys, bringing a total of 3,325 new units to an area in the midst of a generational spike in proposed density. 

Proposed design for the 7-tower 5-15 Tangreen development, image courtesy of CentreCourt

Submitted to the City of Toronto in late March, the project has come forward on the heels of a number of high-density proposals surrounding the intersection of Yonge Street and Steeles Avenue, the most notable of which, the 22-tower Centerpoint Mall Redevelopment, is located immediately to the east of the proposal. The forces behind this slew of proposals mainly boil down to Metrolinx’s plan to build a northern extension of the TTC’s Line 1, which include a new station at Yonge and Steeles, quickly making the area a focal point for developers seeking to contribute to the dramatic intensification process set to play out over the next decade. 

Massing diagram of proposed developments surrounding Yonge-Steeles intersection, image courtesy of CenteCourt

"These Tangreen properties are really at the heart of an area that we think is witnessing a pretty incredible transformation," said CAPREIT's Chief Investment Officer, Julian Schonfeldt. "As a proud Canadian business that is deeply invested in providing housing, it was somewhere between an opportunity and a responsibility to A) treat our residents with as much care as possible and then B) add to the housing stock that is so desperately needed across the city."

Looking at the site of 5 and 15 Tangreen as it stands today, the 5.9-acre parcel of land is occupied by a pair of 18-storey apartment buildings arranged in a ‘Tower-in-the-Park’ manner. Constructed in 1969, each tower hosts a total of 214 rental units, with surface parking and greenspace making up the programming of the surrounding streetscape. The northernmost of the two towers, 5 Tangreen is proposed to be demolished, while 15 Tangreen would be retained. As for the current residents of 5 Tangreen, eligible tenants will be offered a replacement unit in one of the new buildings, and a phased development plan has been set up to ensure that tenants will not need to be relocated for the extent of the project's construction. 

Location of site, just west of Yonge-Steeles intersection, image courtesy of CentreCourt

"That was by design and a duty of care to our residents," Schonfeldt explained. "We didn’t take the easy way, from a financial point of view, but just being a responsible provider of rental housing, it was one of the most important considerations. Our residents and their families get to stay in the same schools, they get to stay in the same neighborhood. I think it's going to be well received and we hope we're setting a good precedent in Toronto about how to do it in a responsible way that considers residents first."

Digging into the details of the proposal, the site plan outlines the developers’ strategy for both the siting and the phasing of the seven new buildings. The project's first phase begins at the northeast corner of the site, with the construction of the 55-storey Tower A, and the 40-storey Tower B, both rising from 8-storey podiums, along with the creation of a new east-west road which will bisect the site and enhance access for traffic, parking and services. Moving on to the southeast corner of the site, phase two would see the construction of the identical Towers C and D, both rising to 25 storeys from a shared 6-storey podium. 

Phase three, taking place in the northwest corner of the site, unfolds in two parts; first, the existing 5 Tangreen tower would be demolished. After that, construction would begin to erect Towers E, F, and G, standing at 55, 45, and 35 storeys respectively, creating a terraced formation that peaks in height along the development’s Steeles Avenue frontage. Phase 3 also involves the conveyance of 1,910m² from the southwest corner of the site for the creation of a new public park. Finally, phase four would see the final touches to complete the east-west roadway, connecting it to another planned roadway on the site's eastern border. 

Site plan shows location of each building and phasing plan, image courtesy of CentreCourt

The elevation drawings offer a more thorough perspective of the massing and architectural expression of the proposed towers. Referring to the image below, we can see how the buildings are scaled to transition towards lower heights in a southward direction, in an effort to minimize shadow and siteline impacts on the neighbourhoods to the immediate south. Tower A (far right) also demonstrates one of the prevailing design motifs of the various towers, with an offset square pattern created by white cladding adding a contemporary, geometric character to the exterior expression. The exterior condition does vary across the other towers though, with features like masonry cladding accents on the podiums, or continuous balconies adding some visual diversity to the overall composition.

East elevation drawing shows massing and architectural expression of towers, image courtesy of CentreCourt

While the tenure of each of the buildings has not yet been finalized, the development’s 3,325 new unit total will be mostly made up of condo units, but with a diverse selection of layouts including 30 townhouse-style units and a supply of 3-bedroom suites amounting to 10% of the total; the proposal also ensures the provision of 214 rental replacement units. Plans are to provide 617 motor vehicle parking spaces across two underground levels along with 2,497 bicycle spaces, demonstrating the project’s orientation towards active transportation as well as public transit infrastructure. 

Beyond residential uses, the community would enjoy 8,978m² of total amenity space, with outdoor spaces incorporated into each building on the podium roof. The proposal also details plans for an extensive retail component programmed along Steeles Avenue. Occupying a total of 852m² in the grade levels of Towers A and E, the inclusion of two retail frontages will play a vital role in the pedestrian experience within the community as well as in the urbanization of Steeles Avenue. 

Steeles Avenue frontage would gain new retain programming, image courtesy of CentreCourt

The project’s landscaping plan by Land Art Design Landscape Architects Inc, is also central to the development’s intentions for delivering a vibrant and efficiently organized pedestrian realm. Along with the creation of a new public roadway, offering an east-west connection through the site and improving vehicle circulation, the landscape plan will see the development of a network of pedestrian paths that facilitate movement between buildings. This approach also involves the planting of hundreds of shrubs and trees, as well as the installation of lighting and benches. Finally, the conveyed parkland will add a public element to the development that invites use from the wider community. 

Landscape plan drawing shows location of new road and pedestrian walkways, image courtesy of CentreCourt

The proposal has been submitted with applications for Official Plan Amendment (OPA), Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZBA), Site Plan Approval (SPA), and draft plan of subdivision, and is intended to leverage the demand for new housing and its location along the new transit infrastructure in order to gain approval from the City. With four intensive phases, early estimates suggest that the development process for this property could span between 10 and 15 years. 

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.

* * *

UrbanToronto has a research service, UrbanToronto Pro, that provides comprehensive data on construction projects in the Greater Toronto Area—from proposal through to completion. We also offer Instant Reports, downloadable snapshots based on location, and a daily subscription newsletter, New Development Insider, that tracks projects from initial application.

Related Companies:  Aercoustics Engineering Ltd, Arcadis, Bousfields, EQ Building Performance Inc., Land Art Design Landscape Architects Inc, LEA Consulting