Western Curve Building. Alison Brooks Architect. Image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

Two big-name developers have been selected to develop Quayside, as announced by Waterfront Toronto today.

In a press release, the government organization said that it will begin negotiations with ​​Dream Unlimited Corp. (Dream) and Great Gulf Group to develop Toronto’s Quayside site.

The team, called Quayside Impact Limited Partnership, would include the two developers plus Adjaye Associates, Alison Brooks Architects and Henning Larsen as the lead architects.

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“Today we take an important next step in unlocking the full potential of the city’s waterfront. Dream Unlimited and Great Gulf together with their team of architects and local partners have a strong proposal to make Quayside and Toronto’s waterfront among the best in the world,” said Jack Winberg, chair of Waterfront Toronto’s Investment and Real Estate Committee (IREC), in the press release.

“As we begin negotiations on a project agreement, we are more confident than ever in the transformative power of the Quayside project to the economic and social recovery of Toronto, Ontario, and Canada,” he added.

Community Forest public space. SLA. Image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

The Quayside Development Opportunity, as it is called, is a 12-acre site located at Parliament Street and Lake Shore Boulevard East near Toronto’s waterfront.

According to past reporting by Livabl, Sidewalk Labs announced the Quayside project with Waterfront Toronto in the fall of 2017, but was criticized for its lack of privacy and intellectual property protections. Sidewalk Labs, which is owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., pulled out of the Quayside waterfront project in May 2020, citing “unprecedented economic uncertainty around the world and in Toronto’s real estate market.”

In March 2021, Waterfront Toronto launched an international competition that invited development teams to respond to a Request for Qualifications for the Quayside site, an opportunity to “design, finance, and deliver a phased, master-planned development on one of the last remaining expanses of waterfront land.” By July, a shortlist of four potential proponent teams were announced and invited to participate in the ensuing Request for Proposals stage.

Quayside Aerial. Image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

In the next steps of the process, Waterfront Toronto will negotiate a project agreement with Quayside Impact Limited Partnership, which is expected to wrap up by this fall. At that time, more details will be shared publicly as Waterfront Toronto and the developers finalize the development plans and secure approvals.

Dream and Great Gulf’s winning submission details the creation of more than 800 affordable housing units, alongside market housing. There will be an emphasis on family-sized units. The five-tower project will include one of Canada’s largest residential mass timber buildings, which a large urban farm will be built on top of.

In addition to a two-acre forested green space, a multi-use arts venue that would provide space for the performing arts, Indigenous-centered cultural celebrations and flexible education spaces would also be incorporated. Quayside is anticipated to be the first all-electric, zero-carbon community at this scale, which spans 3.4 million square feet. The project is designed to be barrier-free and accessible, with social, workforce and capacity-building opportunities for Indigenous peoples and equity-deserving communities.

The Overstorey. Henning Larsen. Image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

“The opportunity to develop Quayside with Waterfront Toronto is the perfect development at the perfect time. Dream and Great Gulf regard our activities in real estate as a canvas on which we can make our communities more inclusive, sustainable and healthier,” said Michael Cooper, chair of Quayside Impact Limited Partnership.

“With Quayside, Waterfront Toronto has created the greatest opportunity for impact development in the country, and we believe that the Partnership is ideally suited to deliver on this opportunity,” he added.

Dream and Great Gulf are also developers for Gehry Condos alongside Westdale Properties, according to information on BuzzBuzzHome.

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