In Toronto’s Garden District neighbourhood, a new high-rise development has been proposed just off of Yonge-Dundas Square and along the southern edge of Ryerson University’s campus.
Last week, a Zoning By-law Amendment application was submitted to city planners to construct a 30-storey tower with 287 new condo units at 54-74 Dundas Street East and 98-100 Bond Street. The developer, BAZIS, is also known for another high-rise tower in the Garden District — the 57-storey 60 Queen Street East project.
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The development site in question consists of four parcels of land, totalling an area of approximately 12,034 square feet near Dundas Street East and Bond Street. Victoria Street Lane flanks the development site to the east. The area is occupied by four low-rise buildings used for various retail, personal service, restaurant and office uses. A vacant lot between 98 Bond Street and the buildings fronting onto Dundas Street East is in use as a patio area for the restaurant at 74 Dundas Street East.
The two-storey building located at 54 Dundas Street East includes “restaurant uses at-grade,” and is labeled as the Imperial Pub, according to the application’s planning rationale by Bousfields Inc.
Further details in the planning rationale and the application’s Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) by ERA Architects Inc. explains that the Imperial Pub has been a popular gathering place for local residents since the 1940s. Although 54 Dundas Street East was “found to contain some design and historical value,” based on the HIA findings, it is not apparent in the rationale whether the proposal has finalized plans to retain or raze the pub.
“In order to mitigate the impacts of removal of the property at 54 Dundas Street East, further consultation with the community should be considered to determine appropriate commemoration measures if any regarding the commercial uses at 54 Dundas Street East,” explains the HIA.
Jack Newman acquired ownership of the building and founded the then-called Imperial Hotel in 1944. Strict Ontario liquor laws at the time only permitted alcohol to be served in inns or hotels. The Imperial Hotel ran a hotel operation above the ground floor’s “drinking room,” before converting the upper-level hotel rooms into an upstairs pub in the 1970s, known as the “Library Room.” Since its opening, the pub has been independently run by generations of the Newman family, the HIA says.
“For over seven decades the Imperial Pub has been owned and operated by the same family, becoming
a popular social gathering space for local residents and students from the nearby Ryerson University,” reads the HIA.
“The property’s longevity also linked with its fight against expropriation during the redevelopment of
Yonge Dundas Square in the late 1990s,” it adds.
The proposal intends to redevelop the site with a 30-storey mixed-use building with a two-tiered design, inclusive of an eight-storey base building with frontages onto Dundas Street East, Bond Street and a portion of Victoria Street Lane.
Of the 287 residential units proposed, the breakdown would include 70 bachelors, 60 one-bedroom, 120 two-bedroom and 37 three-bedroom units. The suites would be tenured as condos, according to the application’s project data sheet.
The podium’s ground floor would include a 2,487-square-foot retail space fronting onto Dundas Street East and Victoria Street Lane, as well as access to the residential lobby via Bond Street and ancillary service uses including four car-share parking spaces.
Approximately 14,308 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenity space would be included in the tower. Floors three, four, five and 18 would house indoor amenity space, along with an outdoor amenity terrace on the 18th level and a private terrace space on floor nine. The majority of the units have also been designed to include an interior sunroom to provide private, semi-outdoor space, the rationale explains.
No parking is proposed for the tower with the exception of a loading space and the four car-share spots accessible by a driveway entrance off of Bond Street. Bicycle parking would be provided onsite with 349 spaces for long- and short-term use.