Harry Pontarini Architects - Wellington Street new- Looking East

Once the Globe and Mail has moved into its new headquarters on King Street East, the surrounding 7.7-acre site bordered by Wellington, Spadina and Front streets could be re-developed into a large-scale, mixed-use community. The project price tag is reported to be $1.4-billion.

RioCan REIT, Allied Properties REIT and Diamond Corp. announced today they will be filing plans with the City of Toronto for a new neighbourhood made up of office, retail and residential space.

Dubbed “The Well,” plans for the site include more than a million square feet of residential space and more than a million square feet of office space. Stephen Diamond, President and CEO of Diamond Corp, suggested that the majority of the buildings on site would include a combination of all three uses.

Diamond also explained building heights in the neighbourhood would be staggered in height west to east, meaning structures would grow in height approaching the core, culminating in an office tower at the corner Spadina Avenue and Front Street West.

Jon Pickard, partner of Pickard Chilton, has been named as the architect behind the office spaces for the project. For the main office building, Pickard has envisioned an oval-shaped building with cut-outs for balconies.

David Pontarini, founding partner of Hariri Pontarini Architects, has been tapped for the residential aspects of the community, while Claude Cormier, founder of Claude Cormier Landscape Architects, will design the green spaces.

For the retail component, the plans for The Well were inspired by the Butler’s Wharf area in London, England, which features open-air shops and restaurants. Though there will likely be a food shop acting as an anchor tenant, the majority of the retail spaces will be smaller, or boutique-sized, in order to to attract a wide range of businesses to the area.

Plans for the site include pedestrian-only pathways running north to south, with links at Wellington and Draper streets. While there will also be some covered pathways between the buildings, there won’t be a continuous canopy.

Aside from a pocket park off of Draper Street, there are also plans for a larger green space off of Wellington Street West and seating clusters throughout the site.

The buildings along Wellington will also feature exteriors made from different materials to prevent too much uniformity along the streetscape. Along Front Street, the structures will be cantilevered over the Metrolinx lands.

Diamond Corp is behind other downtown west condo projects such as Garrison Point. Stephen Diamond also spoke of attracting a wide range of buyers. The company also hinted at the possibility of rental housing as well.

Here’s a first look at the renderings:

Harry Pontarini Architects - Wellington Looking West

Harry Pontarini Architects - Laneway Looking south into Site

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