Rendering: KPMB Architects

Location: 700 University Avenue
Developer: Kingsett Capital
Architect: KPMB

The iconic curved glass office building at the corner of University Avenue and College Street could soon see a sky-high residential addition.

This month, Toronto-based developer Kingsett Capital submitted a rezoning application to city planners to revamp 700 University Avenue, currently home to the Ontario Power Building. The development application seeks to alter the existing building with a four-storey addition at the top, along with the construction of a 61-storey purpose-built rental tower on the southwest corner of the site.

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The rectangular development site in question spans approximately 105,346 square feet. It sits on the southwest corner of University Avenue and College Street, bordered by Orde Street to the south and McCaul Street to the west. The 19-storey Ontario Power Building, occupied by Ontario Power Generation and neighbouring hospitals, fills the majority of the site along with a daycare facility, retail space and an entrance into the Queen’s Park TTC station. A sunken courtyard provides pedestrian access to the building and the site’s concourse levels.

When complete, the new development would provide 1.8 million square feet of gross floor area, incorporating office, retail and residential space.

Rendering: KPMB Architects

The sunken courtyard would be replaced by a climate-controlled glass enclosure alongside widened sidewalks and new trees. New retail space and improved access to the subway station would be added into a two-storey base building that joins into the enclosure located on the northeast corner of the site. The lower concourse level would be revamped to include new retail and commercial space, and a tunnel that connects into Princess Margaret Hospital.

“Accordingly, one of the primary goals of the design is to remove the existing barriers at grade and create an inviting and attractive streetscape that facilitates universal access to and from the sidewalk and the existing office building, as well as new universal access connections to the Queen’s Park Subway Station,” explains the planning rationale, prepared by Bousfields Inc.

Rendering: KPMB Architects

The 61-storey residential tower at the rear of the site would contain 531 rental suites, including 121 studios, 230 one-bedroom units, 127 two-bedroom units and 53 three-bedroom units. The triangular building would mesh into the west side of the office structure from the ground to the third floor and integrate with the site’s shopping concourse.

A daycare centre on the second and third floors of the tower with a wraparound terrace would be provided for the residential and office occupants, as well as the broader community. Approximately 22,862 square feet of amenity space would be located throughout the tower, with indoor and outdoor amenity areas included throughout levels 25 and 26.

Rendering: KPMB Architects

At the top of the current Ontario Power Building, the four-storey vertical addition would deliver 169,574 square feet of new office space, plus outdoor amenity areas for employee use. The proposal plans to honour the existing lease of 488 off-site parking spaces, while adding 11 parking spaces at the lower concourse level and 722 bicycle parking spots.

In the neighbourhood, sales continue at The United Bldg. Condos, while registration is still open at The Bread Company Condos.

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