Massive 80-storey tower proposed for Yonge and Bloor streets
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Thursday, March 12, 2015 10:26AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 12, 2015 7:14PM EDT
A massive 80-storey skyscraper that would become the second highest building in Canada next to the CN Tower is being proposed for the southwest corner of Yonge and Bloor streets.
The plans for the building, which would be built at the former site of Stollery’s department store, were presented to members of the public during a community meeting Wednesday night.
According to a press release from London-based architectural firm Foster and Partners, the building would rise 1,000 feet above the ground and include 72 levels of condominium apartments on top of an eight-level luxury shopping mall arranged around a 60-metre atrium.
The building would also be connected to Bloor-Yonge station through the city’s PATH network, offering residents and shoppers quick access to the TTC.
Sam Mizrah, the developer who is proposing to construct the building, said the project would "completely revamp the entire area."
“I think you get once in a lifetime to do something great and something as important as what we are doing here at Yonge and Bloor. This is the most important corner, intersection in Toronto if not Canada," he told CP24 Thurday.
"We have an incredible opportunity for the city to do something that’s incredible and puts Toronto on an international map."
It is not known when the building would be completed but Mayor John Tory was quick to point out that it still needs to be approved by the city's planning department when asked about it at a press conference Thursday morning.
“If people want to come out and announce their plans before as opposed to after or during that is their decision but the bottom line is that the process is still there and it has to be followed, so it now will be followed and people will have their chance to react to this proposal,” he said. “Now, I am not going to get into commenting on individual development proposals but I will say this: this is an important and iconic intersection in our city and I would expect that anything that goes there will be iconic and important and that it will reflect the neighbourhood in which it will be located.”
Stollery’s, a high-end menswear shop, stood at 1 Bloor Street West for 114 years before being demolished in January.
Five days prior to its demolition, Coun. Kristyn Wong Tam launched a last-ditch effort to have the building designated a historic site but ultimately ran out of time.
Speaking with CP24 on Thursday, the Ward 27 councillor admitted that the architecture of the proposed building is “striking” but she cautioned against assuming that the artist rendering will translate to brick and mortar.
“It is important to recognize that the developer has not formally submitted an application to the city which means that we don’t have traffic studies, wind studies, the planning rationale or a heritage impact assessment. I am not against it nor am I for it. There is just simply nothing for us to review,” she said. “It could be a positive addition (to the intersection) but I think it is important to recognize that these are artist renderings.”
Briar de Lange, Executive Director of the Bloor-Yorkville BIA, said that residential groups that were present at the community meeting Wednesday night were "impressed" by the proposal.
“It is pretty spectacular what we saw as far as the design and the presentation made by the developer," de Lange said.
The eight-storey retail component of the project, de Lange said, is even "more exciting."
"(The developer) actually has tenants secured for the property of high international calibre, which we pride ourselves for having on Bloor Street, as far as premier retail," she said.
"While we recognize it is early days on the design for the project, all in all, he has ticked a lot of positive boxes in the design so far so we will see what happened."
Building boom in Yorkville
Though the proposed building would tower above most of the skyscrapers in the city’s financial district, it may not be entirely out of place in Yorkville, which is rapidly changing thanks to a number of high-profile projects.
Construction is currently underway on a 70-storey condominium tower at 1 Bloor Street East, which stands at the northeast corner of Bloor and Yonge Streets and a similar 71-storey condominium tower has recently been approved for 50 Bloor Street West.
Elsewhere in the city, David Mirvish has proposed a three-tower 80-storey mixed use development that would span a full city block between John Street and Ed Mirvish Way on King Street.
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