June 21 2012: Striking hues of orange and blue created a dramatic backdrop for Yonge & Bloor-area office and condo towers at sunset today. Below are several more shots of the Yorkville skyline at sunset.
This building illustration appears on promotional signage at the corner site of the proposed 133 Hazelton Residences luxury condo project
Another promotional sign for 133 Hazelton Residences
Launch date approaching: A former high-end office interior design showroom on Davenport Road is being transformed into a sales centre for a high-end luxury condominium development proposed for the Yorkville neighbourhood.
Mizrahi Khalili Developments of Toronto has planned a 9-storey, 38-suite luxury condominium building for the southeast corner of Davenport Road and Hazelton Avenue, the former Yorkville location of plan b office (now situated at 380 King Street East). The 1-storey plan b building at 195 Davenport Road is currently under renovation for a September reincarnation as a condo showroom, while security fencing around the property is draped with signs advertising the exclusive 133 Hazelton Residences project.
According to the developer’s May 16 2011 rezoning application, 133 Hazelton will offer 130 square meters of ground-level retail space with 38 condominium residences on the floors above. The building will rise 31.5 meters (not including the mechanical penthouse), and will have an underground garage with 79 parking spots. Residences will be priced from $1 million to more than $7 million. The building is a design of Page + Steele IBI Group Architects, with interiors by Gluckstein Design.
With its September sales debut, 133 Hazelton will be the second posh condo project launched this year on Hazelton Avenue , a quiet leafy street lined with expensive brick mansions, townhouses, apartments, galleries and shops. Earlier this year, Alterra Group and Zinc Developments opened a sales centre for 36 Hazelton, a 7-storey, 18-suite boutique condo being built on the site of the historic St Basil’s Catholic School. That project was designed by Quadrangle Architects Limited, with interiors by Chapman Design Group Ltd. 36 Hazelton made international headlines in June when the project’s publicity firm announced that Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg had just purchased the 4,600-square-foot penthouse for $12 million. Will 133 Hazelton have similar star-drawing success? Stay tuned.
In the meantime, below are recent photos of the 133 Hazelton project site, along with some pics of the 36 Hazelton property. Additional information and photos of 36 Hazelton are available in my March 26 2011 post.
133 Hazelton Residences development proposal sign
133 Hazelton building illustration from the development proposal sign
133 Hazelton Residences condo development site plan
Google maps image of 195 Davenport Road when it was the showroom for plan b office, before the 133 Hazelton project was announced
July 13 2011: Promotional signage for 133 Hazelton Residences surrounds the condo site at 195 Davenport Road, just blocks from the new Four Seasons Hotel + Private Residences Toronto (left rear).
July 13 2011: Another view of the 133 Hazelton Residences project site at the southeast corner of Davenport Road and Hazelton Avenue
July 17 2011: A view of the site from the north side of Davenport Road
July 13 2011: The former plan b office showroom is being converted into a sales centre for the new condo project
July 17 2011: Looking west along Davenport Road toward the condo site and office/retail buildings at the SW corner of Hazelton Avenue
July 13 2011: Looking southeast along Davenport Road toward the 133 Hazelton Residences location
July 13 2011: Hazelton Avenue view of the condo development site
July 13 2011: Northeasterly view of the site from Hazelton Avenue
July 13 2011: 133 Hazelton’s immediate neighbour to the south, this brown brick office building at 131 Hazelton Avenue, used to be a cosmetic surgery institute
August 14 2011: Promotional signs for 133 Hazelton cover the security fencing around the development site
August 14 2011: Renovation work underway to transform the former showroom at 195 Davenport Road into the condo sales centre
August 14 2011: The developer anticipates a September launch for its new condo showroom, seen here from the west side of Hazelton Avenue
July 13 2011: The 36 Hazelton condo presentation centre on the project development site, the former St Basil’s Catholic School in Yorkville
July 13 2011: A 36 Hazelton building illustration on a billboard outside the presentation centre. Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg has purchased the 4,600-square-foot penthouse for $12 million.
July 13 2011: Billboard outside the 36 Hazelton development site
July 13 2011: Window and brickwork details on the former St Basil’s School building that will be incorporated into the condo development
July 13 2011 The northeast corner of the St Basil’s School building
April 23 2011: 36 Hazelton Avenue seen prior to the opening of the condominium presentation centre
From the Hariri Pontarini Architects website, a rendering of the terraced condo building to be built at 10 to 14 Prince Arthur Avenue
Legal battles resolved: I don’t think W.C. Fields had condo development in mind when he cautioned: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” But people who saw great real estate potential in two prime East Annex properties seem to have heeded his sage advice. And despite more than a decade of rigorous and strong opposition, they’ve finally succeeded at winning approval to redevelop the site into condos. The lands in question are located near the edge of Toronto’s tony Yorkville district: 10 Prince Arthur Avenue, a 2-storey historic house that has sat vacant for more than two decades, and 14 Prince Arthur Avenue, a 4-storey office building with an Indian fine dining restaurant occupying the ground floor.
From 1998 to 2008, various applications to expand, alter and redevelop the adjacent properties were unsuccessful, for reasons outlined in detail in an April 23 2009 city planning department report. But in early 2008 a developer tried yet again, proposing a 19-storey mixed-use building for the site. City staff and area residents strongly the scale and other important elements of the building proposal, so the developer went back to the drawing boards and modified its plans. It returned with a new proposal for a 9-storey mixed-use building that would retain the historic house, but require demolition of the office and restaurant next door. Area residents and the city still objected with numerous planning concerns, while the Toronto Preservation Board recommended that the City refuse the developer’s application for non-compliance with East Annex Heritage Conservation District Plan guidelines. The developer appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, but the dispute settled during mediation in February of this year.
The end result is that the developer, Castlepoint, will be permitted to build a seven-storey structure with significant setbacks from the street and neighbouring properties. The luxury condo complex, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects of Toronto, will incorporate the historic house at 10 Prince Arthur. “The listed structure will be kept intact, the exterior restored, and moved southward towards the road. This move will enhance the normalcy of a street that has been fractured by the variety of built forms. The large treed terraces raking the North side of the nine-storey building eases the transition between the traditional three-storey residential fabric to the North, and the high-rise buildings of Bloor Street and Avenue Road to the South and East,” the Hariri Pontarini website explains. Though legal battles over the properties have finally been resolved, there’s no word yet on when Castlepoint plans to commence construction.
Meanwhile, changes could be coming to the heritage building directly across the street at 17 Prince Arthur Avenue. According to Ward 20 Councillor Adam Vaughan’s website, developers want to build a 4-storey addition to the rear of the structure, currently used as commercial office space. “The building owners would also like to preserve and enhance the grass boulevard and trees in front of the building and add a pedestrian walkway to the west of the building, which would connect the Green P parking lot to the south with Prince Arthur Avenue. The four storey addition would be made of clear glass and zinc siding. A concern is that the addition would be visible just above the roofline. The developer and architect have met with representatives of the Annex Residents Association for initial community feedback on the design of the building and how concerns, such as the one above, might be addressed. A mechanical penthouse would be built at the rear and east side of the building. The architect proposed that it be clad in brick that matches the brick of the original building,” Councillor Vaughan’s website reports. No word yet on when an official application for that project will be presented to city planners. Below are recent photos of the two development sites and their immediate neighbours on Prince Arthur Avenue.
Development sign posted on hoarding outside 10 Prince Arthur Avenue
January 9 2011: 10 Prince Arthur Avenue, left, and 8 Prince Arthur Avenue. Number 8 is a city-listed historic house, currently used as offices.
January 9 2011: Formerly an apartment building, 14 Prince Arthur Avenue was converted into office space some years ago. The ground floor is occupied by an Indian fine dining restaurant, The Host.
March 24 2011: Looking northwest toward 8, 10 and 14 Prince Arthur Avenue. The highrise apartment building in the background is 20 Prince Arthur Avenue.
March 24 2011: The boarded-up historic house at 10 Prince Arthur Avenue, right, has been vacant for 20 years. It will be restored and incorporated into the new condo building, but will be relocated closer to the city sidewalk.
March 24 2011: Northeast view of 14, 10 and 8 Prince Arthur Avenue. The brick building to their rear is The Prince Arthur at 38 Avenue Road, a 24-storey luxury condo tower on the western edge of Yorkville.
March 24 2011: A view of 10 and 8 Prince Arthur Avenue
March 24 2011: Another view of 10 and 8 Prince Arthur Avenue
March 24 2011: Direct north view of 14 Prince Arthur Avenue
March 24 2011: Northeast view toward 14, 10 and 8 Prince Arthur Avenue
March 24 2011: On the left is an above-ground parking lot and entrance to the underground garage for the apartment building at 20 Prince Arthur Avenue
April 1 2011: This 22-storey apartment building at 20 Prince Arthur Avenue is a listed historic property. Designed by architect Uno Prii, the Neo-Expressionist building was constructed in 1965.
April 1 2011: Another view of the sweeping curves on the 20 Prince Arthur Avenue apartment building designed by architect Uno Prii
April 1 2011: Looking east from the front lawn outside 20 Prince Arthur Avenue
April 1 2011: Looking east from the city sidewalk outside 20 Prince Arthur Avenue
April 1 2011: West view toward the 10-14 Prince Arthur Avenue development site
April 1 2011: East view from the city sidewalk outside 21 Prince Arthur Avenue. The tall building at the end of the block, on the right, is the Park Hyatt Toronto Hotel at the southeast corner of Avenue Road and Prince Arthur Avenue.
April 1 2011: Southeast views toward 10-14 Prince Arthur Avenue
April 1 2011: 21-23 Prince Arthur Avenue. The Women’s Art Association of Canada has offices and a gallery in number 23.
April 1 2011: 21-23 Prince Arthur Avenue. The tower visible to the rear right is the new One Bedford luxury condominium at on Bloor Street.
April 1 2011: 17 Prince Arthur Avenue, left, the Museum House on Bloor condo tower on Bloor Street, center, and 21 Prince Arthur Avenue, right.
April 1 2011: A developer is planning to build a four-storey addition to the rear of the stately brick heritage house at 17 Prince Arthur Avenue, right.
April 1 2011: This building at 15 Prince Arthur Avenue is home to the Toronto offices for Brendan Wood International
April 1 2011: 9 and 11 Prince Arthur Avenue. Number 11 is occupied by Barristers Chambers, offices for a number of lawyers including prominent civil litigation specialist Clayton Ruby of Ruby & Shiller Barristers.
Tall, sleek & slender: It’s the tallest tower in Yorkville, yet the Four Seasons Hotel & Residences hasn’t even topped off at its full 55 floors yet. But the sleek glass skyscraper and its 26-storey condo sibling have literally brightened up the east block of Bay Street between Scollard Street and Yorkville Avenue. When sunshine glints off the curtain glass walls of the East and West Residence towers on a clear day, it’s almost blinding. And even though the two-tower construction site is still surrounded by hoarding and scaffolding, and covered in dust and grime, it feels like it has significantly classed-up the corner at Bay & Yorkville already. I’m loving the look of these shiny towers, from all angles, and think the complex will be a stunning addition to the streetscape once construction is complete.
The five-star Four Seasons Hotel & Residences was designed by Peter Clewes of Toronto’s architectsAlliance, and is being built by Menkes Construction Ltd. The West Residence is a mixed-use tower featuring a 253-room Four Seasons Hotel on the first 20 floors, and 101 private condominium residences on the upper 35 storeys. The East Residence will have 103 condominiums, and is linked to the west tower by an elevated pedestrian walkway about eight floors above the ground.
I previously published photos of the Four Seasons construction in a January 26 post; below is a series of photos from February, March and today which show how much progress has been made since then.
February 10 2011: Construction of the Four Seasons towers (and, to the right, the Florian condo tower) viewed from Yonge St. near Roxborough St. in Rosedale
February 23 2011: East view of the towers from Yorkville Avenue
February 23 2011: Southwest view of the East Residence condo tower
February 23 2011: Yorkville Avenue view of the two towers
February 23 2011: Looking way up the south side of the West Residence tower
February 23 2011: The southeast corner of the West Residence tower
February 23 2011: Construction elevator on the West Residence tower
March 16 2011: The Four Seasons Hotel & Residences complex viewed from the northwest corner of Bay and Scollard Streets
March 16 2011: A health club, spa, swimming pool, ballroom and conference centre will be situated in this eight-storey wing at the corner of Bay and Scollard Streets
March 16 2011: The Four Seasons complex shines in the late afternoon sunshine
March 16 2011: The West Residence tower viewed from Bay Street
March 16 2011: Looking up the West Residence tower from Bay Street
March 16 2011: The southwest corner of the West Residence tower
March 16 2011: The south side of the West Residence Tower
March 24 2011: The towers viewed from Hazelton Avenue at Scollard Street
March 24 2011: The towers viewed from Hazelton Avenue at Scollard Street
March 24 2011: From Avenue Road, a view of the “old” Four Seasons Hotel, right, and the new tower rising two blocks to the east on Yorkville Avenue.
March 24 2011: The West Residence tower rises on the Yorkville skyline in this view from the intersection of Yonge and Wellesley Streets
April 1 2011: Southwest view of the West Residence tower
April 1 2011: Bay Street view of the West Residence tower
April 1 2011: A construction elevator rises up the side of the West Residence
April 1 2011: The West Residence tower seen from Avenue Road near the Museum subway station entrance outside the Royal Ontario Museum
The 83-year-old St Basil’s Catholic School building, site for the 36 Hazelton luxury boutique condo project, seen on March 24 2011…
…and on March 25, after a huge black banner was removed from the facade. The building sits on the west side of Hazelton Avenue just north of Scollard Street
This rendering, from the 36 Hazelton website, suggests how the luxury boutique condo complex will look once it is built on the St Basil’s schoolhouse site.
School’s out, condo’s coming: Exclusive VIP sales previews started last year, but a general sales presentation centre should be opening soon for 36 Hazelton, an exclusive seven-storey, 19-suite boutique condo building to be constructed on the site of the historic St Basil’s Catholic School in Yorkville. A project of Alterra Group and Zinc Developments, the 36 Hazelton development sparked considerable controversy in the Yorkville community when the proposal to redevelop the school property, a designated heritage site, was filed with the city several years ago. Area residents were alarmed by the developers’ plan to demolish most of the 83-year-old schoolhouse while retaining only its neo-Gothic facade on Hazelton Avenue. Residents worried that the height and density for the proposed 8-storey condo complex would look out of place on a street noted for its charming two- and three-storey Victorian houses. They also feared that City approval of the project would set a precedent that could endanger the Yorkville heritage district and put other historic buildings at risk of demolition and redevelopment.
In a March 2 2009 report to the Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYCC) and the Toronto Preservation Board, city planners recommended that the developer’s application to alter the St Basil’s School building be rejected. And in a March 30 2009 report to the TEYCC, planners described the development plan as “inappropriate and out of context,” and recommended that it be refused. When the developers presented a revised proposal, the TEYCC deferred consideration of the refusal report at its meeting in April 2009, and asked city planners to review the new plan. In a June 12 2009 final report to the TEYCC, planners recommended that the revised building application be approved. The TEYCC was supposed to consider that report at its June 2009 meeting; however, that meeting was cancelled after municipal employees went on strike. In July 2009, the developer filed an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board, but the dispute got resolved when the TEYCC, and then city council, approved the revised 7-storey project in the fall of 2009.
With a project sales centre set to open soon, a construction start is possible later this year or early in 2012. As 36 Hazelton goes up, it should quickly become apparent if area residents were correct in claiming that the project wouldn’t be an appropriate redevelopment for the location — and, of course, if it will be too big, and look too out of place, on the leafy, quiet street. I’ve walked around the area numerous times recently, trying to get a sense of how 36 Hazelton might change the neighbourhood. Hazelton Avenue is one of my favourite downtown streets, and I’d be sorry to see its character destroyed by development. But since most of the new condo building will be set back from the street, occupying what is currently a parking lot, it’s quite possible it could fit in rather nicely, especially since it’s situated at the north end of the tony Hazelton Avenue retail strip (rather than being plunked farther down the block between semidetached two-storey brick houses). However, even if 36 Hazelton does wind up being a suitable and attractive addition to the streetscape, I really would hate to see further development of low- or midrise condos elsewhere on the avenue. Below are photos I’ve taken of the St Basil’s School and other buildings and homes in its immediate vicinity, along with condo illustrations that have appeared on the 36 Hazelton website and an illustration, from a city planning report, showing the new building’s east elevation.
Website illustration of the 36 Hazelton boutique condo building
36 Hazelton website illustration of the St Basil’s schoolhouse facade, which will be incorporated into the new luxury condominium complex
An illustration showing 36 Hazelton’s east elevation
January 9 2011: The St Basil’s Schoolhouse dates from 1928. Access to a large parking lot behind the building is through a laneway on the left side of the school.
January 9 2011: The condo site is literally only a stone’s throw away from Yorkville’s chic Hazelton Lanes shopping centre
January 9 2011: Condo marketing signs and banners on the St Basil’s School site
January 9 2011: Passersby examine the illustrations on the 36 Hazelton billboards
January 9 2011: A large banner blocks most of the schoolhouse facade from view
March 24 2011: The north half of St Basil’s School
March 25 2011: The banner has been removed and the full facade is visible
March 25 2011: A closer view of the St Basil’s School facade on Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: St. Basil’s School viewed from the rear parking area. The Four Seasons Toronto hotel and condo tower, visible in the background, is under construction on Bay Street, just one block to the east.
March 25 2011: Another view of the schoolhouse from the rear of the property
March 25 2011: The Hazelton Lanes complex sits to the immediate west of the parking lot behind the St Basil’s School building
March 25 2011: Northwest view from the parking lot behind the schoolhouse
March 25 2011: Looking north from the parking area behind the school
March 25 2011: Parking lot view of the back of buildings next door to 36 Hazelton
March 25 2011: Parking lot view to the south. A walkway on the opposite side of the brick building leads from Hazelton Avenue into Hazelton Lanes
March 25 2011: Apartments at 40 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: St Basil’s School and 40 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: The four-storey 40 Hazelton Avenue building next door to St Basil’s School. The 36 Hazelton condos will stand three storeys higher.
March 25 2011: The brick houses at 44, 46 and 48 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: The west side of Hazelton Avenue, looking north from outside #56
March 25 2011: Looking south on Hazelton Avenue from outside #52
March 25 2011: The west side of Hazelton Avenue below Scollard St.
March 25 2011: Homes on the east side of Hazelton Avenue near 36 Hazelton
March 25 2011: Brick houses at 59, 57, 55 and 53 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: Looking southeast toward 55, 53, 51 and 49 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: 51 and 49 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: The new Four Seasons Toronto tower looms behind the houses at numbers 53, 51 and 49 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: Numbers 45, 43 and 41 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: Yorkville’s upscale shopping district extends north to the buildings at 4, 43 and 41 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: The Toronto Heliconian Club at 35 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: The Four Seasons tower looming behind the Heliconian Club
March 25 2011: Toronto Heliconian Club and 33 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: 33 Hazelton Avenue at the northeast corner of Scollard Street
March 25 2011: The upper levels of 33 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: The northeast corner of Scollard Street and Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: Another view of 33 Hazelton Avenue
March 25 2011: Hazelton Avenue view to the northeast at Scollard Street
March 24 2011: Scollard Street, looking east from Hazelton Avenue towards the two Four Seasons Toronto hotel and condo towers under construction on Bay Street between Scollard Street and Yorkville Avenue.
March 16 2011: Newly-installed windows are visible on the 5th floor
Glass going in: Window installation has commenced at The Florian highrise condo tower on Davenport Road in Yorkville. When I walked past the construction site the other day, I noticed a row of new windows on the south side of the fifth floor, along with frames for upcoming curtain wall installation on the tower’s southwest corner. Below are several pics I snapped of construction progress to date; there’s many more building photos in my February 12 post about The Florian.
March 16 2011: South-facing windows on The Florian’s fifth floor
Frames for the curtain wall to be installed on the tower’s southwest corner
The sharply pointed east corner of The Florian’s podium on Davenport Road
Lower levels of The Florian, viewed from the south side of Davenport Rd.
A long look up the south side of The Florian
Now you see it … the Uptown tower sports a rooftop crane on March 1
Now you don’t … The Uptown on March 8 after its crane was removed. The crane boom poking out from behind the Casa condo tower (right) is building the new Four Seasons Toronto hotel & condo in Yorkville.
Condo craniotomy: The YWCA Elm Centre wasn’t the only major downtown construction project to lose its crane this week.
In my “Yorkville awaits the Uptown girl’s grand entrance” write-up a week ago, I posted photos of The Uptown Residences, and described how construction of the 48-storey Yorkville condo tower is winding down. I also mentioned that a small construction crane still had to be removed from the condo tower rooftop.
Well, it’s gone now — it was disassembled and removed from the building yesterday. And even though I had been expecting the crane to disappear at any time, I wasn’t quite ready to see The Uptown Residences sporting a naked roof. I had an unsettling feeling while snapping photos of the crane-less tower shortly before sunset yesterday, and I kept thinking something about the Yorkville skyline just didn’t look right.
From my balcony, I have watched cranes working on The Uptown’s roof since the late fall of 2009, and during some of those 18 months The Uptown’s crane stood higher than any other structure in the Yonge & Bloor area. It became such a familiar sight on the skyline, I was bound to miss its presence.
But there are two other cranes I can see soaring above Yorkville from time to time — those atop the Four Seasons Toronto towers currently under construction at the corner of Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue. Unfortunately, they’re largely blocked from view by the 46-floor Casa Condominium tower, but I do get an occasional glimpse as their booms swing toward the office buildings at Yonge & Bloor.
Below is a series of pics showing the Uptown’s crane during various stages of the condo tower’s construction — since October 2009 when I was first able to see the crane from my balcony, until its last day on the job this week.
August 6 2008: The Uptown’s crane stands only two storeys above street level during construction of the luxury condo tower’s foundation.
October 25 2009: My first glimpse of The Uptown’s crane, as the tip of the boom pokes above a nearby apartment building. The crane at left is atop The Uptown’s next-door neighbour, the Crystal Blu condominium tower.
November 2 2009: The Uptown’s crane still has a ways to go to catch up to the height of Crystal Blu’s and ultimately reach above the nearby towers.
December 21 2009: The Casa condo tower crane has been removed, Crystal Blu condos is climbing higher, and The Uptown’s crane is more visible on the skyline.
January 21 2010: The cranes on Crystal Blu and The Uptown Residences appear synchronized, both pointing in the same direction at the same angle
February 1 2010: The Casa condo tower nears completion, but The Uptown Residences tower still hasn’t come into view.
March 15 2010: The crane cab’s tinted windows stand out against the cloudy sky
March 29 2010: Now that the Crystal Blu condos crane has been removed, the Uptown Residences crane is the tallest in the Yorkville area
March 31 2010: The white boom looks bright against the blue morning sky
April 4 2010: The crane’s boom glows orange in the sunrise at 6 a.m. Easter Sunday
April 6 2010: White crane against a deep blue sky shortly before 8 a.m.
April 8 2010: The crane’s striking silhouette during a gorgeous sunset
May 10 2010: Another sunset silhouette of the crane and Yorkville towers
June 20 2010: Uptown Residences construction crane at sunset
June 20 2010: With its crane, the Uptown is the tallest structure in Yorkville
June 20 2010: The crane and another spectacular sunset
July 1 2010: The crane and nearby towers during an awesome Canada Day sunset
July 9 2010: The Uptown and its crane get upstaged by a fiery sky at sunset
July 17 2010: The crane and yet another brilliant July sunset
July 20 2010: The crane points to clouds glowing in another wonderful sunset
August 17 2010: The Yorkville skyline and another dramatic Toronto sunset
September 8 2010: Thick, dark storm clouds approach the tower
September 10 2010: The crane points straight up on a partly cloudy summer day
October 29 2010: Stormclouds advancing toward Yorkville
October 29 2010: The tower’s top southeast corner cladding cannot be installed until the construction crane has been removed from the roof.
November 28 2010: A storm front pulls over Yorkville like a thick woolly blanket
December 7 2010: A small red temporary crane has been assembled on the roof of The Uptown Residences tower to begin removing the larger crane
December 8 2010: The two cranes tower above the Yorkville neighbourhood
December 11 2010: The red crane pulls the last segment of the big white crane through the top of the Uptown Residences roof
December 15 2010: The big white crane has been completely removed
December 15 2010: A gaping hole in the wall and roof marks the spot where the large white crane had been positioned
December 21 2010: South view of the temporary red crane atop the tower
January 2 2011: Patching up the gaps where the white crane used to sit
January 18 2011: The Uptown’s rooftop cladding is nearly all in place
February 23 2011: North side of Uptown Residences (right) viewed from the roof of a Yorkville Avenue parking garage
March 2 2011: The temporary crane just days before its removal from the roof
March 8 2011: Uptown Residences condo shortly after the crane was removed
A 26-storey condo tower with three floors of restaurant & retail space might replace this drab office building at the corner of Bellair and Cumberland Streets.
Development proposal sign posted at 94 Cumberland Street
Arrivederci, Lettieri? Java junkies could lose one of their favourite Yorkville coffee shop hangouts if a developer gets the green light to redevelop a drab, non-descript office building at the northeast corner of Bellair and Cumberland Streets.
The Lettieri espresso bar and café at 94 Cumberland — directly across the street from Yorkville’s famous Sassafraz restaurant — is one of the most popular coffee joints in the neighbourhood, especially in summer when its sun-soaked corner patio is constantly packed with people-watching patrons. But the European-style café could disappear from that busy location if MintoUrban Development Services Inc. gets city approval to construct a condo tower in place of the 9-storey office building in which Lettieri is a ground-floor tenant.
MintoUrban wants to redevelop the site by constructing a mixed-use commercial and residential building that would stand 26 storeys tall. A 23-floor tower with 105 residential units (29 one-bedroom and 76 two-bedroom) would rise from a three-storey podium with restaurant and retail space; the podium roof would have space for an outdoor restaurant patio. There would be five levels of underground parking; access to the garage, service and loading docks would be from Genoa Street behind the building.
Site plans and drawings filed with the city planning department suggest that, unlike the boring, boxy office building it will replace, the condo tower’s design could include a curved wall above the Bellair-Cumberland corner. With an interesting design, along with three full floors for retail and restaurant space, the new building could enhance the corner considerably, and perhaps even help brighten the short block between Bellair and Bay Street which always looks and feels dark because it sits in the shade most of the day. So I’m not upset that 94 Cumberland could get a date with a wrecking ball in the future.
However, approval of the project isn’t in the cards just yet. Last month, the Toronto & East York Community Council requested that a consultation meeting be scheduled to gather community input about the proposal; there’s no word yet on when that meeting will take place, but it should be sometime soon.
Below are some pics of 94 Cumberland, along with a site plan drawing and south-view building elevation illustration that were presented in a city planning department report to the Community Council in January.
94 Cumberland viewed from the SW corner of Cumberland & Bellair
Bellair Street view of 94 Cumberland, looking east toward Bay Street
The popular Lettieri espresso bar and cafe at 94 Cumberland
The 100 Yorkville condo, left, and 94 Cumberland, right
West side of 94 Cumberland viewed from Bellair Street, looking SE
Bellair-Cumberland intersection viewed from the south at Bloor Street
Site plan illustration for the proposed residential tower
Illustration of the south elevation for the proposed building
The Florian’s long sweeping podium hugs the curve on Davenport Road
Ship shape: When I view The Florian from certain angles, I sometimes feel like I’m looking up at the prow of a tall, grand Cunard ocean liner, like the Queen Mary 2.
That’s the visual impact, on me, of the long, curved podium that draws to a sharp point at the east and west ends of the 25-storey luxury condominium complex currently under construction on Davenport Road, at the northern tip of Bay Street. It won’t be crossing any oceans, but from its berth along the big bend on busy Davenport Road, The Florian will overlook a steady stream of traffic flowing past. Away from the street, The Florian’s crescent-shaped site will be a sea of tranquillity, with lush secluded gardens and landscaped rooftop terraces.
And like a Cunard liner, The Florian will exude class and sophistication: though it’s more than 80% sold, suites are still available at prices ranging from $1 million to more than $3 million.
A project by Diamante Development Corporation, The Florian was designed in a joint venture by Toronto architects Young + Wright / IBI Group Architects and David Pontarini of Hariri Pontarini Architects.
Below is a rendering of the condo entrance, from The Florian website, along with a series of photos I shot recently. More renderings can be viewed at this link on the Hariri Pontarini website.
The podium’s west tip reminds me of a ship’s prow
The Florian condo tower viewed from the northwest tip of Bay Street
Upper floor construction at The Florian on January 29 2011
Safety netting and construction forms protrude from the upper floors
Billboard outside The Florian condo presentation centre
The Florian condo presentation centre on Davenport Road
Looking up at The Florian tower from south side of Davenport Road
South side of The Florian condo tower faces Bay Street
The Florian’s lower levels along Davenport Road
Graceful sweeping curve of the podium on Davenport Road
Looking up the southwest corner of The Florian tower
Brickwork on The Florian facade above Davenport Road
Another view of the west point of The Florian podium
Balconies on The Florian’s southeast corner
Columns at street level on The Florian’s long curved podium
The Florian and the new Four Seasons towers viewed from Davenport Road
Another view of The Florian and Four Seasons Toronto towers
Gracefully curved balconies on The Florian condo south side
The Florian condo podium bends with the curve of Davenport Road
Main entrance to The Florian will be under this point on the east side
Website artistic rendering of The Florian condo entrance
The Florian condo tower viewed from the east on Davenport Road
Davenport Road (near Bay Street) view of new towers being built in Yorkville
Growing up: Construction activity is apparent in practically every corner of downtown, and the Yorkville neighbourhood is no exception.
Pedestrians and drivers approaching Bay Street along Davenport Road are greeted by this view of three highrise towers currently under construction: The Florian condo building (left) and the two towers of the new Four Seasons Toronto Hotel and Private Residences.
Meanwhile, just beyond the bend in the road, east of Bay, there’s more construction in progress. Excavation is underway for the Milan condominium tower on Church near Yonge, while in a few years’ time there could be as many as three towers rising right behind The Florian on McMurrich Street.
Four Seasons towers rising above the Yorkville Ave. fire station and library
Rapid rise: Even though it’s still under construction, the Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences Toronto has already become a new landmark for the Yorkville neighbourhood. You can’t miss it as you approach the Yonge Street Canadian Tire store from Church Street. It’s obvious from the Annex and from many places along Avenue Road, Bay and Yonge Streets. You can even see it from the south side of Bloor across from Holt Renfrew. That’s no small achievement considering that views toward Yorkville are blocked by some of the area’s oldest skyscrapers (the Manulife Centre and the two bank towers at Yonge & Bloor) as well as several new towers (18 Yorkville, Crystal Blu and Uptown Residences, to name but three). It certainly will make it easy to help guide tourists to Yorkville (I won’t have to point at the CIBC tower at 2 Bloor West anymore and say “go there; Yorkville’s right behind it;” I’ll be able to point out the Four Seasons instead. Designed by hotshot Toronto firm architectsAlliance, the two-tower complex is a project of Menkes Developments. Below is an architectural rendering of the property, along with some pics I recently took of the Four Seasons complex from several different perspectives in and around Yorkville. You can view even more photos of construction progress on the blog’s Photo Sets page (just click on the red tab at the top of this page and scroll down to the Four Seasons album).
Architects’ rendering of the new Four Seasons Toronto hotel + condo complex
Four Seasons Toronto seen from Scollard Street January 9
Four Seasons Toronto seen from Church near Yonge on January 9
Four Seasons Toronto from Avenue Rd at Yorkville Avenue on January 9
Four Seasons Toronto seen from Bloor Street opposite Holts on January 9
Four Seasons Toronto seen from Scollard Street on January 9
Four Seasons Toronto seen from Bay Street at Davenport Road on January 9
The Royal Ontario Museum’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal appears to point at the Museum House condo under construction across Bloor St.
Nearly there: With only three storeys left to build, and windows already installed on more than half its floors, Museum House on Bloor is drawing some attention away from its famous namesake across Bloor Street — the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). The slender luxury condo tower will top off soon at its full 19-storey height, offering a mere 26 “discerning residences” to its very well-heeled buyers (fully detailed descriptions of the building and its suites are provided on the Museum House website.) Below are some fresh Museum House construction pics I shot this afternoon, along with a slideshow of other photos taken since 2008. I hope Museum House enjoys its moments in the limelight, while they last, because a much taller condo project is waiting in the wings to steal its thunder. Right next door is the site for the proposed Exhibit Residences condo tower, which is currently accepting registrations from interested potential purchasers. Sales for that project haven’t been launched yet, but its website does give some sneak peeks at the dramatic design being considered for Exhibit, as you’ll see in the three images at the bottom of this post.
January 9 2011 view of construction progress at Museum House on Bloor
January 9 2011 view of construction progress at Museum House on Bloor
January 9 2011 View of newly installed windows in Museum House
January 9 2011 view of Museum House (right) and One Bedford condos
January 9 2011 view of construction progress at Museum House on Bloor
Museum House construction crane reflects in the ROM’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal
Bloor Street West site for proposed Exhibit Residences Condo Tower
Artistic rendering of proposed Exhibit Residences condo tower
Artistic rendering of proposed Exhibit Residences condo tower
Artistic rendering of proposed Exhibit Residences condo tower
Days numbered? A developer has submitted a rezoning application for permission to construct a 9-storey office structure on the site of these elegant brick buildings on Yorkville’s Sultan Street, one block south of Bloor Street.
The mansions, with street addresses of 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 Sultan Street, and 11 St. Thomas Street, currently house offices and a specialty book shop. They sit kitty corner to the tony Windsor Arms Hotel; the tall white building behind them, to the right, is the 29-storey luxury condo tower One St Thomas Residences, which opened in 2008.
I love this peaceful little enclave tucked behind the busy Bloor-Bay intersection, and hope the city doesn’t give demolition approval. (No word yet on whether that’s what the developer plans, or if it will try to incorporate the brick buildings into their office project instead.) The buildings apparently have heritage designation from the city.
Heritage buildings at 1, 3 and 5 Sultan Street
Heritage buildings at 7 and 9 Sultan Street and 11 St Thomas Street
Rear view of heritage buildings at Sultan and St Thomas Streets