Application filed with City to build 45-storey condo tower at NE corner of Church & Carlton



Buildings with medical clinic and gay bar sold in 2012

70 Carlton Street is a 2-storey building on the northeast corner of Church and Carlton Streets. It once served as executive office space for Maple Leaf Gardens across the street — back in the days when the Gardens was still hosting NHL hockey games. After the Toronto Maple Leafs moved to the Air Canada Centre, 70 Carlton was leased to Maple Leaf Medical Clinic (a group of doctors not affiliated with the hockey team), a medical laboratory, and a pharmacy.

Last summer, doctors at Maple Leaf Medical began advising patients that their practices would be relocating because 70 Carlton had been sold. Although speculation was rampant that a developer had purchased the property for redevelopment into condos, the doctors were not told who the buyer was, or what its plans actually were.  The doctors and the lab moved two blocks west to 14 College Street last October, but the pharmacy has remained open in its street-level premises.

Around the same time that 70 Carlton was sold, the neighbourhood began buzzing with world that the 2-storey building next door at 72 Carlton — home to a gay bar called Zipperz & Cell Block — had also been purchased by the same buyer. This news convinced many area residents that property was being assembled for a major condominium tower development. Many had long believed the corner sites were ripe for redevelopment, particularly since there is a large surface parking lot directly behind them — plus a Loblaws grocery store and Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre in the revitalized Maple Leaf Gardens on the opposite side of Church Street.


No word if parking lot is part of development site

The condo plan isn’t surprising. At some public meetings I attended in 2011 and 2012, city planners said they fully expected that a development application would be filed for property at the northeast corner of Church & Carlton. However, one planner told me that the parking lot behind the two Carlton Street buildings would not likely be part of the redevelopment site. The development description on the City website doesn’t mention the parking area, but it curiously doesn’t mention 72 Carlton, either. However, the 70 Carlton site, on its own, is not large enough for a tower.

I will update this post with further information once I’m able to obtain more details about the proposal.

Below are several more photos showing 70 & 72 Carlton and the parking lot to their north.


70-72 Carlton Street

A view of 70 Carlton, left, and 72 Carlton. The Main Drug Mart is still open, but the Maple Leaf Medical clinic has relocated to 14 College Street. Zipperz bar is still open for the time being, too. The 12-storey building next door to Zipperz contains rental apartments and Tobias House accommodations for people with disabilities.



70-72 Carlton Street

70 and 72 Carlton, seen from the south side of Carlton Street



SE corner of Church & Wood Streets

A view of the parking lot at the corner of Church & Wood Streets, directly behind 70 and 72 Carlton Street. The brown and green building at left is the Sunrise co-operative at 95 Wood Street, while the blue and beige building is Tobias House at 84 Carlton Street. The brown building at right is the rear of 72 Carlton.



SE corner of Church & Wood Streets

Looking south from Wood Street toward the parking lot, Tobias House (left), 72 and 70 Carlton Street (brown low-rise buildings), and Maple Leaf Gardens (right)



SE corner of Church & Wood Streets

Looking west across the parking lot toward the revitalized Maple Leaf Gardens, which is now home to a Loblaws grocery store, a liquor store, a Joe Fresh clothing shop, and the Mattamy Athletic Centre of Ryerson University


9 thoughts on “Application filed with City to build 45-storey condo tower at NE corner of Church & Carlton

  1. Todd

    One more condo, one less gay bar. What an incredibly exciting city Toronto is turning out to be. Can’t wait until Church and Wellesley turns into Bay and wellesley.

  2. Shawn

    So sad to see the vibrancy of this city being destroyed by these condos. If we are lucky the retail at this event will likely be another Starbucks and Perhaps even a dry cleaner. What a joke this city is becoming.

  3. Steve C

    Can’t understand the comments about what a dull city Toronto is becoming.
    The city has never been so alive, so exciting so hip. 100,000 people have moved in the core in the past three years alone. New bars, restaurants, cafes and shops are opening every day. Office towers going up without major tenants haven’t seen that since the 60’s. 10,000s of new jobs. Yonge street is peeling away the layers of seediness and removing it dowdy face. Up and coming new and newly discovered neighborhoods abound.
    Is the problem that this new spirit is being spurred on by the 30 somethings, are you so old that you use the past as a weapon to not move forward in life. Jealous that younger adults are moving into the future, going places you don’t know about and refuse to find and see. Church Street is in a time warp, sure the shops have changed, but it looks the same as it had when I arrived 25 years ago. So what is the complaint about it changing it has not, and there are enough fuddy duddies to keep it that way for sometime yet
    Stay bitter, you only hurt yourself I am enjoying the renaissance Toronto is going through. There is a l ot more to come.

  4. julian

    I don’t really object to this project or new construction in general. It’s the lack of design distinction that is sad. All these glass boxes look pretty much the same. Scores of towers have gone up in the past decade and the only really amazing one is in…………….Mississauga.

    As for the age of the new residents. You will find that many of them are retirees. And many units are bought on spec by foreign investors and are sitting empty. Younger, poorer people are being displaced, same as in Manhattan.

  5. Torn

    Ok so their is a planned development at this site, great, the developer should be held to a standard that is not just another glass tower. They are ugly, the residents are usually renters who pile their belonging in front of the windows and make the build look worst then something comparable to Regent park or St. James town.( ex. 22 Wellesley E.) The buildings were the head offices for Warner Bros. Films in Canada. It is obvious when you look at the windows across the front and side that it once had a history. How about a building with a decor that might reflect the true history of the building, yes Maple Leaf sports used the build for a few years and let it deteriorate and removed the beautiful 20’s\ 30’s decor, but that does not mean it has to lose it’s history.

  6. Noel McDonagh

    There are a number of problems with this idea, and yes I am old queen!
    One, a good true modern building is beyond the scope of profitability for developers…they are in this to make money, not build something iconic. Two, as mentioned above this is not going to affordable housing either, which further deteriorates the fabric of a mixed neibourhood of young and old, gay, straight and transgender. Third, it removes a historical building that could be revived to its former glory. Fourth, another gay bar disappears due to the lack of affordable buildings in a nieibourhood that once was flush with a wonderful nightlife for all ages. Finally, I am curious what kind of shadow this building will create over the elementary school play ground? This affects the very young and the trees that have survived to date. Given how many condos are being developed at this very moment in Toronoto I believe I can safely say this one is not needed in one of the few city in the world that actual has a long history of having an actual gay village!

    1. Lee

      Well said, Noel. Totally agree with your observations. I am glad somebody has mentioned the tower’s negative impact on the school yard. Not even to mention the poor birds hitting the glass… congestion.

      @Steve C and Ian K, you guys probably have some vested interest in this development otherwise you would see all its negatives and would be against it!

      NO to another ugly glass tower!


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