For years now, people living across the Greater Toronto Area have been getting used to tall towers not just popping up in Downtown Toronto, but in other places around the GTA like Humber Bay Shores, North York City Centre, Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, Mississauga City Centre, and more as demand for housing continues to put pressure on developers to get the most out of limited pieces of developable land. We want to be able to house new people, but we also want to tread more lightly on the environment when doing it.
Of late, more cities are seeing ever-taller proposals submitted for review, and the recent rounds have added Markham, Richmond Hill, Pickering, Brampton, Oakville, and Hamilton to the tall towers list. Now the push ever-higher into the air has even jumped beyond the GTHA to the Greater Golden Horseshoe city of Kitchener, and over the last months it's arrived here in a big, big way.
Kitchener, along with its tightly-knit neighbour Waterloo, has become a major tech hub over the last few decades, and the area now boasts one of the tightest housing markets and some of the highest rental rates in Canada. It also boasts a recently opened LRT line as well, the ION, and it's along that line in Kitchener's core where a lot of developers are now looking to replace aging low-rise buildings and surface parking lots with thousands of new homes. With the 39-storey DTK Condos recently opened and claiming the new tallest-in-the-city crown, developers are now building or seeking approval for towers in the 40 to 50 storey range, and a few even taller. With a handful of projects in this height class, we have prepared a quick overview of current plans for the tallest new developments in Kitchener.
At 43 storeys, the proposed 200 Victoria Street South just a block away from Kitchener's beloved Victoria Park to the west of Downtown, this development is our starting point. With 436 units it would replace and rise amongst low-rise homes and commercial buildings.
Further from Downtown to the south, but right at an ION station, a redevelopment at 459 Mill Street looks to add another five towers including two tall ones at 40 and 44 storeys. This project, approved by Kitchener City Council, will bring 1,540 new units to the market.
Meanwhile, also in the 40-storey class, the TEK Tower is the next one making a transformational impact on the Kitchener skyline. To stand 45 storeys and 144 metres tall, it is already under construction. With a unit count of 532, the project is right on the ION line in the northwest corner of downtown Kitchener, within walking distance of Kitchener's VIA Rail and GO station.
Breaking into the 50-storey club is the fifth tower of a multi-phase development from the team of VanMar and Kirkor called Station Park. One of the several other projects in Kitchener that is just blocks from the central rail station, the first two towers at 18 and 28 storeys with 583 units are now occupying, while the next two are planned to be 40 storeys each, while the last phase is slated to rise 50 storeys, featuring both residential and commercial uses. We don't have unit counts for the second and third phases yet.
The next jump takes us to 55 storeys at 417 King Street West, a residential project from VanMar Developments. Designed by Kirkor Architects Planners, the development hopes to deliver 622 units practically next door to the TEK Tower, ad therefore also well situated close to Kitchener VIA and GO station and the ION line.
The leader of the pack height-wise though, is a two-tower proposal from Woodhouse Group Inc and Vive Development dubbed 50 Borden Avenue South. To the southeast of Downtown and at Borden station on the ION line, the proposal contemplates the construction of towers of 51 and 57 storeys above a shared podium, seeking to leverage the transit infrastructure to support 1,224 new units here.
While the early renderings are not as detailed as the ones above, the project has already been submitted to the City with applications for both Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Bylaw Amendment. Designed by Edge Architects, the development would also offer grade-level retail space and unspecified institutional uses.
The developments listed here are just a snapshot of the full pipeline of proposed and approved projects slated to bring a wave of density to Kitchener. With a capable network of existing transit and more improvements to come, as well as a thriving Innovation District in the Downtown, Kitchener is carving out a spot in the GTA development conversation.
UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on these developments, but in the meantime, you can learn more about them from their respective Database files, 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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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.
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