For over a century, Postal Station C has stood at Queen Street West and Abell Street in Toronto's West Queen West area. Canada Post, however, vacated the property and in 2021 opted to sell the 1902-built Beaux Arts-style facility as a potential redevelopment site. The City initially looked to halt the sale, wanting to purchase it as a community facility in the growing neighbourhood, but in early 2022 it was reported that the building was sold by the federal agency to Queen Street Post Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
Within the City's West Queen West Heritage District, the building was listed on Toronto's Heritage Register, but as a federal facility was not designated. Now in private hands, the City sought to designate it under the Section 27 of the Ontario Heritage Act, to provide more protection for its heritage aspects. Designation was achieved on October 12, 2023, and now with an application for Zoning By-law Amendment from Queen Street Post, the site is poised to be transformed into a community centre with a residential tower growing from it.
Designed by Giannone Petricone Associates, with heritage work overseen by ERA Architects, the east, west, north walls (along with sections of the south wall) are to be preserved, and restored or minimally altered, while in contrast, a striking, modern, 29-storey tower would rise above and behind it. Standing on a 1,296.5m² plot between Lisgar Street and Abell Street, the development site is immediately north of Lisgar Park, which was created about a decade ago was new residential buildings to the south of it was built. In the rendering above, a stage is depicted facing the park.
The proposed tower would reaching a height of 102.4m, and have an overall Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 17,384m², of which 16,465m² would be allocated for residential purposes, plus 919m² for community space within the retained Postal Station C building. It would introduce 272 residential units to the area, served by three elevators, resulting in approximately one elevator for every 91 units, indicating better reasonable average wait times.
Above the two-storey heritage building the third-floor would be inset, with a one-storey glazed element separating the podium from the tower that would cantilever over the core. The tower would be set back 7 metres from the front of the postal station to retain that building's primacy from the Queen West sidewalk.
A total of 867.9m² of amenities, including 590m² of indoor and 278m² of outdoor area, would be available to residents. This includes a 3rd-floor amenity area, nestled atop the heritage building's roof, providing both indoor and outdoor spaces. Amenities on the 28th and 29th storeys include a two-storey section labeled as a WinterGarden, and indicated in the rendering above by the trees seen through the windows just below the building's crown.
The developer has opted to eschew motor vehicle parking, as the site is served by the 501 Queen streetcar route and several bus routes. and is withina Major Transit Station Area, being 200m from the soon-to-be-built King-Liberty station on the neighbouring Kitchener GO line. Along with transit, building facilities focus on cycling, with a total of 307 bicycle parking spaces planned, of which 245 would be long-term and 55 short-term residential parking, along with 2 long-term and 5 short-term non-residential spaces. The lack of parking is a move that aligns with the City's push towards sustainable transportation.
The surrounding neighbourhood is witnessing a similar shift towards higher density and height with many new residential buildings completed over the last decade in the immediate surroundings. Further to the west, 1266 Queen Street West is proposed to rise 23 storeys, while to across the rail corridor to the south, XO and XO2 Condos, standing 14 and 19 storeys respectively, are under construction, while Liberty Yard proposes a trio of towers ranging from 32 to 36 storeys to the southeast.
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:||Bousfields, Counterpoint Engineering, Giannone Petricone Associates, Grounded Engineering Inc., Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, o2 Planning and Design, Quasar Consulting Group|