​Yonge Street is seeing remarkable intensification through the heart of Downtown Toronto, with the famous street being reshaped by developers looking to maximze new heights and densities. A revised submission for 619 Yonge Street emerges as a part of this tale, with the latest proposal ambitiously stretching to 70 storeys. This development, designed by Core Architects for YI Developments Ltd, reflects the trend towards responding to housing demand through ever taller structures.

Looking south to 619 Yonge Street, 70-storey version, designed by Core Architects for YI Developments Ltd

The site, spanning an area of approximately 2,430m², is currently occupied by three low-rise commercial retail buildings dating back to the period between 1905 and 1923 at the southeast corner of Yonge and Isabella streets. Characterized by their Edwardian Classicist style, these buildings have played host to a chapter of Toronto's LGBTQ2S+ history, notably serving as venues for clubs that were central to the community from the late 1970s through the late 1990s.

Looking northeast to the existing site, image from Google Maps

Development applications at 619 Yonge Street have adapted and evolved over multiple versions since an initial one in 2012 looking for 40 storeys on a portion of the site (625-637 Yonge Street and 1-9 Isabella Street). In the Spring of 2014 the proposal grew to bcome a 46-storey mixed-use building, and this received approval the Ontario Municipal Board (since replaced by the Ontario Land Tribunal) in early 2015. However, with the subsequent acquisition of adjacent properties to the south (619-623 Yonge Street), the vision for the site expanded. This led to a revised proposal for a 57-storey building in November, 2021, which was appealed to the OLT in 2022.  

Previous 57-storey plan, designed by Core Architects for YI Developments Ltd

During ongoing talks with the City, the density and height ask has now been updated to the current 70-storey proposal. This latest version increases the Gross Floor Area (GFA) to 64,728m², a substantial larger than the previous total of 49,248m².

Looking up to the podium and tower for 619 Yonge Street, 70-storey version, designed by Core Architects for YI Developments Ltd

The current 70-storey proposal delineates a mixed-use condominium tower reaching a height of 237.99 meters. It is poised to house 803 units, supported by six elevators, resulting in approximately one elevator for every 134 units, indicating long wait times. The proposal accommodates retail space totalling 2,534m² on the first and second floors to animate the street level with commercial activity. There would be 2,170m² of indoor and 2,055m² of outdoor amenities, situated on the third and fourth levels, including a fourth-floor terrace.

Site plan, designed by Core Architects for YI Developments Ltd

Below ground, four levels of underground parking would provide 87 residential and 40 commercial parking spots, with 52 spaces equipped for electric vehicle charging. Additionally, the development is designed to be cyclist-friendly, offering 723 long-term and 80 short-term bicycle parking spaces, with 15 dedicated spots for retail.

Ground floor plan, designed by Core Architects for YI Developments Ltd

Situated just 200m north of Wellesley station on Yonge Line 1 and 500m south of Bloor-Yonge interchange station with Bloor-Danforth Line 2, it is within the designated Major Transit Station Areas of both. This location is also bolstered by an accessible bus route running along Yonge Street. The proponents point to the proposal aligning with provincial policies encouraging intensification around major transit hubs, to leverage the site's location to contribute to a denser, more transit-oriented urban landscape.

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

The ambition of this proposal is contextualized by the surrounding developments, which mirror the area's vertical trajectory. South of the site, the 34-storey The Ivy is nearing the end construction, while The Gloucester on Yonge was completed in 2022 and stands at 44 storeys. West of the site, 646 Yonge Street’s application calls for a 75-storey tower. To the north, 10 St Mary and 645 Yonge Street are proposed at 60 and 76 storeys respectively.

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, Colliers Strategy & Consulting, Core Architects, Counterpoint Engineering, Grounded Engineering Inc., STUDIO tla