Developers didn’t hold back on new ideas this year.

From sci-fi towers to waterfront condos, there were a number of new development applications put forward in 2021 that, if approved, could shape the landscape of Toronto’s downtown communities.

Here’s our top 10 picks of new development applications in downtown Toronto that caught our attention this year.

1. Futuristic tower proposed on Yonge Street

Rendering: BDP Quadrangle and Partisans Architects via Livabl

Location: 55 Yonge Street
Developer: H&R Real Estate Investment Trust
Architect: BDP Quadrangle and PARTISANS
Scale: 66 storeys, 482 units

Hoping to make a statement right on Yonge and King streets, H&R Real Estate Investment Trust teamed up with architects BDP Quadrangle and PARTISANS to create this striking sci-fi-like tower. If approved, the 66-storey building would deliver new retail and office space, plus amenities like an outdoor pool and wraparound terrace.

2. Iconic Cube House gets a second life

Rendering: gh3* via Livabl

Location: 1 Sumach Street
Applicants: Markee Developments and Thelo Development Corporation
Architect: gh3*
Scale: 35 storeys, 443 units

An ionic fixture of Corkdown, the mysterious green cube house has intrigued many drivers along the Don Valley Parkway. A new development application could transform the post-modern cubes into a mixed-use tower with pedestrian plazas and community space called Sumach Artsplace.

3. Historic Cabbagetown Church gets a revamp

Rendering: KPMB Architects Inc. via Livabl

Location: 353-355 Sherbourne Street
Owners: United Property Resource Corporation
Architect: KPMB Architects Inc.
Scale: 12 storeys, 100 units

The 19th-century St. Luke’s United Church at Sherbourne and Carlton streets would be retained and integrated into a brand new community with 100 rental units. New community space and an expansion of the church’s existing facilities have been put forward in the proposal.

4. More than 1,100 new homes for the Bay Street Corridor

Rendering: gh3* via Livabl

Location: 25 St. Mary Street
Developer: Tenblock
Architects: gh3*
Scale: 54 and 59 storeys, 1,143 units

Along the Bay Street Corridor, this application would replace a 1960s rental apartment building with four times as many units that currently exist on the site. City-run childcare facilities, retail space and three art installations would be incorporated into this two-tower project.

5. 37-storey tower proposed for major Bloor Street intersection

Rendering: Quadrangle Architects Limited via Livabl

Location: 328 Bloor Street West
Developer: First Capital
Architect: BDP Quadrangle
Scale: 37 storeys, 366 units

Located right next to one of the Spadina TTC subway entrances, this high-rise application by First Capital would deliver a striking tower to the corner of Spadina Avenue and Bloor Street West. The building’s exterior would comprise of terracotta panels and glass, arranged in a way that would make the high-rise appear as if it was being “unwrapped.”

6. Super skinny high-rise slated for The Annex

Rendering: BDP Quadrangle via Livabl

Location: 208 Bloor Street West
Developer: Plaza Partners
Architect: BDP Quadrangle
Scale: 28 storeys, 46 units

With just a 44-foot frontage onto Bloor Street West, Plaza Partners’ proposal would consist of a slim tower with a “decorative architectural feature,” on the facade. In addition to a few floors of office space, the high-rise at 208 Bloor Street West would include just 46 units.

7. Two towers take over Marriott Hotel site

Rendering: BDP Quadrangle Architects Limited via Livabl

Location: 475 Yonge Street
Developer: KingSett Capital
Architect: BDP Quadrangle
Scale: 75 and 78 storeys, 1,611 units

Taking over the site of the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, a new development proposal would create two towers with a north-south public park and a Privately-Owned Publicly Accessible Space (POPS). This is the second attempt at developing this site, following an application to build a 45- and 58-storey tower in 2017.

8. High-rise rental tower slated for Entertainment District

Rendering: Hariri Pontarini Architects via Livabl

Location: 310-330 Front Street West
Developer: H&R Real Estate Investment Trust
Architect: Hariri Pontarini Architects
Scale: 69 storeys, 560 units

A three-building office complex near Front and Windsor streets could replace the smallest existing structure with a sloping 69-storey tower. The new development would restore the old office square footage, and deliver a landscaped plaza plus 560 rental units.

9. Major waterfront community unveils final phase

Rendering: architectsAlliance via Livabl

Location: 25 Queens Quay East
Developer: Cityzen Development Group
Architect: architectsAlliance
Scale: 11 and 45 storeys, 585 units

The master-planned Pier 27 community has been a fixture of Toronto’s Queens Quay corridor for years. In April, Cityzen Development Group released the first look of the two final buildings that will complete the project, an 11-storey and 45-storey building, plus new retail space and a two-level childcare facility.

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