Is 83 storeys too high for Bay and Bloor?
Welcome to the era of the super condo in Toronto. Scattered around the city are developments that push building heights to 65 storeys or higher. There's the Trump Tower (which admittedly is also a Hotel), 10 York, Aura at College Park, One Bloor, and the ICE Towers — and possibly 50 Bloor West, which would be the tallest of them all at a projected 83 storeys. Well, that is if the development proposal gets approved.
Urban Toronto has been tracking news surrounding this development for a while now, but the project is getting a little more attention today on account of a National Post story that outlines some of the opposition the project is facing from local councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam.
From the Post:
"Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam of Ward 27 says the development team met with her to discuss the idea in March, but submitted its rezoning application without implementing any of her proposed changes.
'We had told the applicant not to submit, and they went ahead,' said Ms. Wong-Tam, who worries that the project's proposed driveway could impede flow on Bloor Street's manicured pedestrian walkway. 'I can tell you that the planning staff, the urban design staff, no one is ready to approve this project. It's got a long way to go.'"
Naturally, one of the controversial factors is the height of the project and the desire of the local BIA to protect area parks from sitting in shadows cast by tall buildings. And yet, given the location and the intention to maintain street-level retail by building atop the current Hotel Renfrew building, there's also an argument to be made that this is precisely where a building of this scale should go.
Few would argue against dense residential development in the area, but the question is whether or not 83 storeys is overkill?
Photo from the City of Toronto via the Post