With about 20 projects proposed or under construction south of the Gardiner Expressway between Yonge and Cherry streets, Toronto's waterfront is seeing a wave of development. A series of ambitious projects are set to redefine the city's iconic skyline and create a vibrant new neighbourhood. One of the major developments proposed is the Quayside development, a project of massive scale that aims to reshape its portion of what's called the 'East Bayfront' area.

Looking northwest to Quayside, designed by Urban Strategies for Dream Unlimited, Great Gulf, and Waterfront Toronto

Co-developers Dream Unlimited and Great Gulf, who won the RFP to develop the area from Waterfront Toronto, have submitted Zoning By-law Amendment applications for all five blocks of the project. As a whole, it is envisioned as a mixed-use community that aims to integrate innovative design and sustainability.

To the immediate south is the Bayside project with a number of buildings already completed, while the 17- and 18-storey towers of Aqualuna at Bayside, and the first 10-storey office and retail building of T3 Bayside area under construction. Two more buildings will eventually complete the Bayside area. 

Block plan of the Quayside project, image from submission to City of Toronto

Site Plan Approval applications have been submitted for buildings on the first two blocks as well. Located north of Queens Quay East between Bonnycastle and Small streets, the first phases of the Quayside Lands collectively refer to 257 and 259 Lake Shore Boulevard East, 200 Queens Quay East, and 2 Small Street.

Building plan of the Quayside project, image from submission to City of Toronto

The blocks are currently populated with low-rise commercial buildings now mostly in use as office spaces, holdovers from the area's previous use as an active port area.

Looking northeast from Bonnycastle Street and Queens Quay East, image retrieved from Google Street View

Looking west from Small Street and Queens Quay East, image retrieved from Google Street View

Blocks 1 and 2 of the Quayside development are to feature three key buildings.

(1) on the plan above, The Western Curve, is proposed as a 68-storey, 234.7 metre-high mixed-use building designed by Alison Brooks Architects. The Western Curve will house 910 residential units, including 158 affordable rental units, plus 9,035m² of institutional use dedicated to George Brown College's Waterfront Campus. With seven elevators, the building would have approximately 130 units per elevator, which is well above the threshold of 1 elevator per 100 units.

Looking southeast to The Western Curve, designed by Alison Brooks Architects for Dream Unlimited, Great Gulf, and Waterfront Toronto

(3) on the plan above, The Overstory, would be a 61-storey, 213 metre-high mixed-use building designed by Henning Larsen Architects. This building would feature 756 condo units and a four-storey Community Hub in its podium. The Overstory will be equipped with one parking garage elevator, two commercial elevators up to the fourth floor, and six residential elevators. The residential elevators would each service 126 suites, well past the 1 elevator per 100 suite threshold. Vehicle and bicycle parking would be located in the below-grade parking garage consolidated under Blocks 1 and 2.

Looking north to The Overstory, designed by Henning Larsen Architects for Dream Unlimited, Great Gulf, and Waterfront Toronto

(2) on the plan above, the 12-storey, 44.5 metre-tall Timber House, designed by David Adjaye Associates, is set to be one of the largest mass timber buildings in Canada. The Timber House would feature ground level retail and unique portals to enhance the public realm and connect Queens Quay to the Community Forest. The Timber House is proposed with 299 condo units and 149 affordable units, and have six elevators in it for its 448 total suites, giving a very good ratio of about 75 suites per elevator.

Looking northeast to Timber House, designed by David Adjaye Associates for Dream Unlimited, Great Gulf, and Waterfront Toronto

In total with future phases included, the Quayside development will eventually feature 299,209m² of residential area and 22,562m² of non-residential area, including commercial, retail, and institutional. The development would house a total of 4,634 residential units, including 869 affordable rental housing units, more than half being family-sized (2+ bedrooms).

An aerial view of the Timber House's rooftop urban farm, image from submission to City of Toronto

Looking east through Quayside's community forest, image from submission to City of Toronto

Significant public realm features totalling 14,350m² would include a Community Forest with winding pedestrian pathways, children’s play areas, and an amphitheatre space. An urban farm over the rooftops of the Timber House would provide residents and visitors the rare opportunity to connect with the agricultural system and to learn about growing local food, an experience not often found in the city.

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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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:  Arcadis, architects—Alliance, Dream Unlimited, Great Gulf, Grounded Engineering Inc., RWDI Climate and Performance Engineering, Urban Strategies Inc., VIP Condos Toronto