In a pivotal report this week, Toronto's skyline view from Lake Ontario is poised for another dramatic height increase with a recommendation from the Planning Department that a request by Pinnacle International to increase the height of the second and third phases at Pinnacle One Yonge be approved by City Council. The Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed towers, already approved for 80 and 90 storeys, would each be granted multi-storey extensions if Council approves the Planning Department's recommendation.

The amendment application was submitted by Pinnacle to the City of Toronto in November, 2022. This report from the Director of Community Planning for the Toronto and East York District has been submitted to the November 15th meeting of the Toronto and East York Community Council. If Community Council also recommends the report, it would go to City Council on December 13 for final approval.

Should the report be approved without amendments, Phase 2, which is already under construction, would now be permitted to ascend to a staggering 105 storeys and 344.58m tall, becoming the first building in Canada to exceed the 100-storey milestone, and the tallest building in Canada. (It would end up the same height as the 360 Restaurant above the main observation level in the CN Tower.) Phase 3 would be permitted to add 12 storeys to a total of 92, and 306m tall. Even without the extensions, Phase 2 is already approved at a 'supertall' height, conferred to buildings over 300m, but the extensions would also make Phase 3 a supertall as well.

3D model of the proposal looking southeast, image from City of Toronto

Located on Yonge Street just a block north of Toronto Harbour, the Pinnacle One Yonge development consists of two blocks of towers on a site that was previously the home to the Toronto Star. Currently one block, it will be subdivided by an easterly extension of Harbour Street through the middle of the site (but with the name Downes Street). While the south block which has not yet started construction will focus on commercial space, work is well underway on the transformation of the north block. While the 65-storey Phase One condo tower is now being occupied, a new City-run community centre in its podium is set to officially open tomorrow. The Phase 2 condo tower, also know as the SkyTower, will include a hotel in its podium levels, and is already under construction. Suites in the Phase 3 condo tower have not gone on the market yet, and its site, formerly a surface parking lot, is being used as a staging area for Phase 2 construction currently. Phase 3 will include affordable rental units in its podium, representing 10% of the suites. Some retail at grade level is also coming to the north block.

The north elevation of the revised proposal, image from City of Toronto

Construction has reached the top of the hotel floors at Phase 2, seen to the right of the completed Phase 1 below, so work is underway on a transfer slab currently to prepare the building for the construction of the condo levels above. Meanwhile, installation of the glass curtainwall has commenced on its second storey.

Looking south a completed Phase 1 with Phase 2 under construction, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor mburrrrr

 

The report endorses not only vertical expansion but also community benefits and affordable housing. As part of the proposed agreement, Pinnacle International would contribute significantly through a Section 37 Agreement, which includes a $3 million indexed cash contribution toward local improvements, which the City could use to enhance nearby parkland, public spaces, and/or community services.

The site plan, image from City of Toronto

Further enriching the neighbourhood, the development will introduce a new corner plaza, situated on the northwest corner of the site once Lake Shore Boulevard is rerouted here following the opening of Downes Street, which will add to the urban fabric. Financial contributions from Pinnacle will also flow into the broader community, enhancing the Lower Yonge Park situated on adjacent LCBO lands, and the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.

Looking southeast to the previously proposed heights of 80 and 95 storeys, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for Pinnacle International

As the towers of Phase 2 and Phase 3 rise, so too does their contribution to the city's residential capacity. Phase 2 is set to see an increase in residential gross floor area by 11,066m², accommodating an additional 116 dwelling units, bringing the new total to 958 units. Additionally, Phase 3 is set to gain an added 6,389m² of residential space, culminating in a total of 995 dwelling units, of which 140 are designated as affordable rental units.

The move to increase the heights of these buildings comes at a time when The One, another supertall development, continues construction at Bloor and Yonge Streets despite entering into receivership. The One is currently 41 storeys into the air.

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:  A&H Tuned Mass Dampers, BVGlazing Systems, Doka Canada Ltd./Ltee, Grounded Engineering Inc., Hariri Pontarini Architects, Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, McIntosh Perry, Motioneering, NAK Design Strategies, Peter McCann Architectural Models Inc., PreCon Real Estate, UCEL Inc.