In Toronto’s Niagara neighbourhood, a recent development proposal plans to integrate an existing building into its podium, creating a new, prominent feature on a major downtown intersection.
Earlier this month, an Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment application was submitted to city planners to build a 17-storey mixed-use development at 152-164 Bathurst Street and 623-627 Richmond Street West. In addition to the creation of new retail space and 217 condo units, the project intends to retain and integrate the historical characteristics of the existing 164 Bathurst Street building on the site.
Housing Market News Alerts
Sign up for news alerts on the Toronto housing market
The 21,194-square-foot development site in question is made up of several lots in a square formation with many buildings near the southwest corner of Richmond Street West and Bathurst Street.
The buildings include three-storey semi-detached structures and a three-storey single-detached property along the Richmond Street West frontage. The site also contains two vacant lots that were previously occupied by now-demolished, fire-damaged buildings and two, two-storey buildings. A three-storey mixed-use building (621 Richmond Street West and 164 Bathurst Street) also exists at the corner of the intersection, previously occupied by the Football Factory. None of the existing buildings on the site are designated or listed on the City’s Heritage Register, explains the planning rationale by Bousfields Inc.
A private north-south driveway runs from Richmond Street West to the rear of one of the Bathurst Street properties, providing access to a private surface parking area at the rear of the buildings.
The new proposal would see the creation of a 17-storey tower, which would step downwards to nine storeys to the south, then declining by an additional three storeys in order to complement the scale of neighbouring residential buildings. The northeast corner of the tower, along with portions of the north and east sides, would consist of scattered windows in various shapes and sizes to create an “asymmetrical and unexpected structure.”
In the northeast corner of the new tower, the podium will include the “conservation of the heritage facade and portions of the building at 164 Bathurst Street,” creating a “defining feature facing the corner of Bathurst and Richmond Streets.” An indentation in the podium would allow for the roof and peak of the heritage building to be conserved.
The ground floor along Bathurst Street would comprise multiple retail spaces totaling 5,621 square feet with several entrances, including in the heritage building portion. The main residential lobby would be accessible from Richmond Street West in addition to a vehicle entryway to the site, with two bridged residential floors constructed overtop.
Of the 217 condo units slated for the building, the breakdown would include 18 studio, 96 one-bedroom, 81 two-bedroom and 22 three-bedroom suites. As per the application’s project data sheet, the units would be tenured as condos.
The 10th floor of the tower would house the majority of the building’s amenity space, which includes adjoining indoor and outdoor facilities. Additional indoor and outdoor rooftop amenities would be added on the mechanical penthouse level.
“The outdoor amenity areas are designed to provide passive recreational spaces of varied sizes and with a mix of hard and soft landscape features,” explains the planning rationale.
In a two-level underground garage, the development would provide 69 parking spaces. The garage would be accessible in the southwest corner of the site via a driveway along the western side of the lot that connects into Richmond Street West. A total of 244 bicycle spaces would be included in the project.