The final block of undeveloped land in the Canary District may soon be home to a high-rise residential complex that will deliver over 850 new homes to the West Don Lands neighbourhood.
In late April, a zoning by-law amendment and site plan control application was filed with the City of Toronto to build a mixed-use, 31-storey development at 495 Front Street East. The developer, Dream, is also one of the builders collaborating on the Quayside project along Toronto’s waterfront and the recently-launched Forma tower.
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The development site in question is known as Block 13 in the Canary District located in the West Don Lands, according to the application’s planning rationale. The rectangular site is boarded by Front Street East to the north, Bayview Avenue to the east, Mill Street to the south and Tannery Road to the west. The land is currently vacant and is being used as a construction staging area for other developments in the region as per the rationale.
The West Don Lands is the site of the former Athletes’ Village, now known as the Canary District, which provided housing for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. The buildings that were constructed on Blocks 11, 14, 15 and 16 were later turned to long-term residential and institutional buildings, including a YMCA and the George Brown College student residences.
The proposed application would transform Block 13 into a mixed-use development ranging from seven to 31 storeys in height. Of the 859 residential units proposed for the building, the breakdown would include 35 studio suites, 491 one-bedroom, 213 two-bedroom and 75 three-bedroom residences, plus 33 two-bedroom and 12 three-bedroom townhouses.
The new building is arranged in a square ring around an interior courtyard, with a mid-rise 13-storey section at the corner of Front Street East and Bayview Avenue, and a taller 31-storey tower portion at Mill Street and Tannery Road. An architectural reveal on the eighth level would help to distinguish the tower element from the base building below it. Separate ground floor entrances leading from Bayview Avenue and Mill Street would provide access to the development, lobby spaces and the courtyard.
To break up the building’s massing, different portions of the structure would vary in size between the mid- and high-rise anchor buildings. Setbacks from the pavement along Bayview Avenue and Tannery Road would provide space for new tree plantings and private patios for the project’s townhomes. Similarly along Mill Street, raised planted patios would be added. From floors three and up, the building’s exterior would be dotted with balconies and private terraces.
Retail space is proposed for the entire frontage of the project, with 963 square metres dedicated to commercial use throughout the development. A wide canopy would be integrated along Front Street East’s retail portion to provide weather protection. A spill-out zone at the corner of Bayview Avenue and Front Street East is being considered as a site for a potential public art installation.
The project contains a total of 4,959 square metres of indoor and outdoor amenity space, which includes a pet wash station, the interior courtyard and various facilities from the eleventh to thirteenth floors.
Access to the site’s two-level underground parking garage would be provided from Tannery Road, which would house 279 parking spaces. The project would also deliver 898 spaces for long- and short-term bicycle parking.