Toronto is home to many neighbourhoods of rich character, and The Annex stands out as one with more than most. The sought-after central area is characterized by tree-lined streets of Victorian and Edwardian homes, along with pockets of mid-rise. mid-centiry Modern apartment buildings. A new 11-storey proposal at 171 through 175 Lowther Avenue, near Spadina station, looks to update The Annex’s Modernism while marrying it with architectural homage.

Looking southeast to 171-175 Lowther Avenue, designed by Gabriel Fain Architects Inc for Raleigh Residences

The site is an assembly of three contiguous properties, comprising three-story brick house-form buildings at 171, 173, and 175 Lowther Avenue, spanning a total area of approximately 1,274m². Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment applications have been submitted for their redevelopment. With a height of 44.85m, the new building is designed by Gabriel Fain Architects Inc for Raleigh Residences.

An axonometric view of the site and surrounding area, image from submission to City of Toronto

The new development proposes a total residential gross floor area of 6,203m², and is set to feature 64 residential units. The design includes two elevators, offering efficient accessibility, with one elevator for every 32 units. The ground floor would feature three grade-related three-bedroom units with two storeys, catering to larger households. The podium also includes the repurposing of the existing heritage house at 171 Lowther Avenue into a sizeable unit, overseen by GBCA Architects.

Looking southwest to the existing site, image from Google Maps

Architecturally, the development is a nod to The Annex's dual character. The podium incorporates a three-storey, brick-faced, house-form street-wall along public frontages, topped with eight floors that pay homage to the mid-rise apartment buildings that have reshaped the area's built environment over the last fifty years, with a particular nod to those designed by Uno Prii whose balcony designs typically featured exuberant departures from the humourless geometries of stripped-down Modernism.

The upper and lower level concepts, designed by Gabriel Fain Architects Inc for Raleigh Residences

Situated just 400m from the bustling intersection of Spadina and Bloor, the site is close by a network of transit options. It lies within a mere 250m walk of the Walmer Road entrance to Spadina subway station, where TTC lines 1 and 2 meet, as does the busy 510 Spadina streetcar, plus local bus routes. The site is also close enough to Bathurst and Dupont stations that it kies within three overlapping Major Transit Station Areas.

Aerial view of the site and surrounding developments and transit, image from submission to City of Toronto

The project plans for 501m² of amenity area, split a 312m² indoors and 189m² outdoors. These would be located on the mezzanine level, with the indoor and outdoor areas directly connected to one another. Parking considerations are addressed with 40 parking spaces; 36 for residents and four for visitors, across two levels of underground garage. Additionally, the plan accommodates 62 long-term and 14 short-term bicycle parking spaces.

Site plan, image from submission to City of Toronto

The development is close by other proposals in The Annex neighbourhood. Across Lowther Avenue to the north, significant proposals include 20- and 35-storey developments at 38 and 40 Walmer Road. South of the site, the 35-storey proposal at 350 Bloor Street West at Spadina and 30-storey proposal 425 Bloor Street West at Robert look to add further density nearby. This wave of taller developments reflects the greater densities sought by the Provincial government as it looks to place more homes close to higher-order transit.

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:  Arcadis, MHBC Planning, WND Associates Ltd