Development interest surging in Church-Wellesley area
Although condo construction is booming throughout Toronto, the north downtown Yonge strip has been a particular hotbed of building activity in the past couple of years, and the adjacent Church-Wellesley neighbourhood has recently seen a sudden surge in pressure for even more intense highrise development.
Four major condo highrises are presently under construction either on or close to Yonge Street between Bloor and Wellesley Streets: the 75-storey One Bloor tower on the southeast corner of Yonge & Bloor; the 47-storey ChazYorkville project on Charles Street East; the 35-storey Nicholas Residences on St Mary Street; and the 48-storey FIVE Condos tower on St Joseph Street. Construction is expected to start later this year on the 56-storey Casa2 condo tower on Charles Street, directly across from the ChazYorkville site.
More condo projects are working their way through the city’s planning process, including two towers just a stone’s throw from each side of the 593 Yonge development site. A 34-storey condo has been slated for 2-8 Gloucester Street, while an 18-storey residential highrise has been planned for 17 Dundonald Street.
And, as I reported in a July 16 2012 post, the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood could see up to three more condo towers rising only steps from the 17 Dundonald site.
Further intensification is expected in the Yonge-Wellesley area just one block south of Dundonald Street. As I reported in a May 11 2012 post, a large municipal parking lot at 15 Wellesley East, along with two adjacent properties on Maitland Street, are being marketed as a redevelopment site that could potentially house three towers. Meanwhile, property owned by the Ontario Government at 11 Wellesley West was recently put on the market for potential sale to condo developers, while the city planners and politicians are still considering a proposal for two 58-storey condo towers on the 501 Yonge block between Alexander and Maitland Streets. Area residents fear that city approval for that particular project, along with a 60-storey condo proposed for 460 Yonge, just north of College Street, will have a domino effect resulting in Yonge Street’s full-scale redevelopment into a condo canyon.
Meanwhile, the local rumour mill is rife with speculation that several more large-scale condo developments are in the works for both sides of Yonge between Bloor and Wellesley.
Below are photos showing the 593 Yonge block where the 49-storey tower has just been proposed. Those are followed by recent photos of the other nearby projects — and potential development sites — that I mentioned above.
August 25 2012: Bar Volo on the corner at 587 Yonge has a patio along the Dundonald Street flank of the building. The bar’s blog says Volo is a family-owned operation “specializing in craft beer and everything Ontario since 1985.”
August 25 2012: The Bar Volo patio along Dundonald Street
August 25 201: Businesses at 2 Dundonald Street on the east side of Bar Volo
August 25 2012: Another view of the shops at 2 Dundonald. At far right is the 3-storey house at 4 Dundonald, which also is part of the proposed condo site.
August 27 2012: This house at 4 Dundonald Street was for years the location of a popular neighbourhood pub called Local 4. New business operators acquired the site several months ago and opened Urban House Café in its place.
August 27 2012: James Canning Gardens is a narrow city park that stretches above the Yonge subway line between Dundonald and Gloucester Streets. The Urban House Café at 4 Dundonald is situated on the left side of the park.
August 27 2012: A children’s playground on the middle west side of James Canning Park. The building behind the play area is the Urban House Café on Dundonald Street.
August 27 2012: The site for the proposed 49-storey condo runs along the entire west side of James Canning Gardens. The tower would loom above this play area.
August 27 201: A bench on the west side of James Canning Gardens. At right is the rear of 11 Gloucester Street, which is not part of the development site. But the other buildings visible at rear are all part of the proposed condo property.
August 27 2012: View of James Canning Gardens from Gloucester Street. The 49-storey tower would cast shadows across this park, one of only a few green spaces in the long-established Church-Wellesley residential neighbourhood
August 27 2012: James Canning Gardens, left, and 11 Gloucester Street, right
August 27 201: From left are numbers 11, 9 and 7 Gloucester Street. So far, only the buildings at 9 and 7 Gloucester are part of the condo development property.
August 25 2012: The Diner’s Corner restaurant at 3 Gloucester Street, on the north flank of the condo development site
August 25 2012: There’s no word yet on whether this tree-shaded restaurant patio will be replaced in the condo development. Chances are strong that both the restaurant and the tree will disappear if and when the condo construction starts.
August 25 2012: The north side of the development site, along Gloucester Street
August 25 2012: The northwest corner of the development site, at Yonge & Gloucester
August 25 2012: A Coffee Time franchise occupied the ground floor corner premises until last year, when a shawarma shop took its place. It has sheltered patio seating out front.
August 25 2012: A view of the site from the northwest on Yonge Street
August 25 2012: Many of the street-level businesses are fast food eateries
August 25 2012: Besides restaurants, the block houses retail shops and services
August 25 2012: The retail outlets include small independent businesses as well as chain franchise stores and restaurants
August 25 2012: Three restaurants include Sushi Hana at 591 Yonge, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen at 589 Yonge, and Bar Volo on the corner at 587 Yonge.
August 25 2012: The patio at Bar Volo, right, is one of at least five outdoor restaurant dining areas that could be lost to the condo development
July 16 2012: West view down Dundonald Street toward Yonge Street. The proposed condo tower site is behind the trees on the right side of the photo. The FIVE Condos construction site is directly ahead, behind the 3-storey heritage buildings on the west side of Yonge Street.
April 22 2011: I’ve heard rumours that the southeast corner of Yonge & Dundonald, opposite Bar Volo (left) is also being considered for condo development. The 2-storey grey building at 579-585 Yonge Street currently houses an army surplus store and a private gym.
April 22 2011: Another view of the corner building at 579-585 Yonge Street
August 19 2012: A view of construction progress on the underground parking floors for FIVE Condos at Yonge & St Joseph Streets, directly across from the 593 Yonge condo site
August 19 2012: Foundation building progress at the site of the 35-storey Nicholas Residences tower one block to the northwest of 593 Yonge
August 6 2012: Construction activity at the One Bloor condo site at Yonge & Bloor
August 19 2012: Excavation at the ChazYorkville condo site on Charles East
June 13 2012: Demolition of this building at 42 Charles East is expected to begin later this year. The 56-storey Casa2 condo tower will rise on the site in its place.