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Massive condo tower proposed for Queen and Yonge

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 17, 2013

toronto queen yongeThe intersection of Queen and Yonge has largely escaped the recent condo boom, thanks in part to the presence of heritage buildings on three of its four corners. However, that could all be about to change if a giant new 65-storey, 220-metre condominium just proposed by Cadillac Fairview makes it through the city's approval process.

If allowed, the historic Philip Jamieson Building with its rounded corner, currently home to sportswear company Atmosphere, would become the base of the new residential tower. The store's 117-year-old heritage protected interior would become the podium for the building known as the "Residences at the Toronto Eaton Centre" in the document currently on file with the city.

toronto queen yongeInterestingly, the proposed property is listed as entirely rental at this stage. 80% of the units will be one- and two-bedroom, the remainder of the living spaces will be bachelor accommodation. A total of 580 suites are shown in the plans and diagrams.

Interestingly, the notices up on the street this morning say the development will have zero new car parking spots. 580 bicycle spaces are planned instead.

It's not clear what would happen to the heritage retail space were this to move forward. The early figures say there will be 3,950 square metres of non-residential space, including utilities, mechanical floors, lobbies, and hallways. The prime location at a major downtown intersection makes it unlikely that the store would be repurposed as an entrance hall, however the renderings don't show even a generic company logo over the main entrance.

The Philip Jamieson Building at 2 Queen Street West was built in 1896 to designs by the short-lived architectural partnership of Samuel Curry and Francis S. Baker. The Classically styled, curve-fronted building with its brick, stone and terra cotta trim originally housed a men's fashion store run by Philip Jamieson and was later occupied by a Woolworth's and Tower Records.

For several years the building's entire frontage was hidden behind a white metal curtain.

Big changes appear to be in store for the downtown stretch that's traditionally been retail-only. Massey Tower, just up the street at 197 Yonge, is preparing to break ground and inject hundreds of new property owners into the busy strip between Dundas and Queen stations. Another major residential development could change the flavour of the area even more.

That said, this project is still a long way from becoming a reality. A preliminary city planning report is due in June and a community meeting will likely be scheduled for July. Feedback from that meeting and the thoughts of the planning department will be handed back to Cadillac Fairview for them to take into consideration. A final report, with recommendations, won't be given to council until at least next year.

Also worthy of note is that no vehicular parking spaces are proposed for this development. Bike parking will be provided for all of the units, which makes sense given the location - but the decision to leave out the cars is intriguing.

What do you think of the first renderings for this project? Should Queen and Yonge be a place for people to live as well as shop? Are you concerned about the treatment of the existing heritage building?

VITAL STATS:

Site area: 654 square metres
Total units: 580
Height: 220 m (65 storeys)
Residential floor area: 40,425.8 sq. m.
Non residential floor area: 3,950 sq. m.
Bachelor apartments: 116
1-bedroom apartments: 232
2-bedroom apartments: 232

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Zeidler/Cadillac Fairview

Discussion

37 Comments

Al / May 17, 2013 at 10:11 am
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I'd be interested to see how they will accomplish this. I assume a large part of the mall would have to be demolished (or in the case of the heritage building, dismantled for re-assembly) while they drive pilings in.
J / May 17, 2013 at 10:12 am
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Beautiful. I wish they would rip down that ugly old brick building in front. Still, glad to see Toronto progressing to a world class city.
steven / May 17, 2013 at 10:18 am
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When will they drive a bulldozer along queen st west to etobicoke and back on each side ? it is such a slum
Adam / May 17, 2013 at 10:29 am
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a RENTAL building? not CONDOS?! no car parking??! keeping the heritage structure?!?! don't believe.
Matt Y replying to a comment from Adam / May 17, 2013 at 10:33 am
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I'm in shock too.
G / May 17, 2013 at 10:34 am
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Maybe they can redo that awful pedestrian link while they're at it. Hate looking at that pierce the beautiful Bay building.
James / May 17, 2013 at 10:35 am
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Assuming the retail remains in the Philip Jamieson Building which would guarantee a nice streetscape, I've got no problems with this.

Love that they've proposed no vehicular parking...maybe we can get the developer to spring for a couple of Bixi stations?
Paul replying to a comment from Adam / May 17, 2013 at 10:42 am
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It's right on top of the subway station - why would there need to be car parking?
scottd replying to a comment from steven / May 17, 2013 at 10:48 am
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A slum ? Really?
seismo replying to a comment from Matt Y / May 17, 2013 at 10:49 am
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We're in shock together!
Paul replying to a comment from James / May 17, 2013 at 10:53 am
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There's 580 bike parking spaces in the building
Wrenkin / May 17, 2013 at 10:55 am
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No problem with this. Appropriate location, and for office workers you could walk to work all year long--underground in winter.
Rick / May 17, 2013 at 11:10 am
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I love it.
iSkyscraper / May 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm
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Looks great, but I'd prefer it be somewhere else on Yonge St. That is a very tight site, not sure how they would actually pull this off. And a good number of units would be staring straight into the adjacent office tower.
Jordan replying to a comment from Al / May 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm
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I'm pretty sure the Eaton Centre was built to eventually have a tower at this location - all of the foundation work should already be there. It's really a matter of them gutting the existing heritage building and making room for the tower to fit in. I think the proposal looks great, though I'd like to actually see what's happening at the entrance to the Eaton Centre - it looks like there's a giant triangle resting on top of what would be the recently renovated Harry Rosen. A new bridge to the bay could make for a great public art component - the existing one is a complete eyesore.
Francois / May 17, 2013 at 01:05 pm
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Considering the location, it would be impossible to provide parking facilities. The absence of balconies is great - very few people use them. But deliveries would be a nightmare; the Eaton Centre shipping/receiving facilities would have to be used.
David Fitzpatrick / May 17, 2013 at 01:32 pm
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I know we have become so used to all multi-family development being in a condominium format, but your headline "Massive condo tower proposed for Queen and Yonge" is inaccurate. Condo means they are using strata title, but as you write later, it is completely rental units. Plus people reading this on twitter will be much more shocked when they hear about 65-storey rental apartment building!
Picard102 replying to a comment from Francois / May 17, 2013 at 01:50 pm
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People don't use balconies?
Ben / May 17, 2013 at 02:22 pm
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I'm sick to shit of all these rinky-dink buildings being built. City council should adopt a new rule to not allow any skyscrapers under 300m in height. It's panty-waist bullshit hour, and the condo developers are making us all look like blithering fools. Especially Rob Ford.
Sean / May 17, 2013 at 02:30 pm
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Geez.

They should re-do this story. An apartment building is way different than a condo.

Hope they don't start two sentences with the word, 'Interestingly'either!

Sean / May 17, 2013 at 02:30 pm
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Geez.

They should re-do this story. An apartment building is way different than a condo.

Hope they don't start two sentences with the word, 'Interestingly'either!

pogopope / May 17, 2013 at 03:46 pm
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Won't be built. Don't worry about it.
Allurban / May 17, 2013 at 04:19 pm
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I think Rob Ford muttering "it's ridiculous, it's ridiculous" to the allegations of his drug use is strange, but I would like to see his response to this proposal. It's the antithesis of everything he allegedly believes in
mike / May 17, 2013 at 04:45 pm
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A 65-storey residential high rise is hardly "massive" in the context of this location. Especially when Bay-Adelaide East is complete (roughly 650 feet), this tower will blend into the background like everything else. I really hope "shadows" and density don't have too much an impact on this project's inevitable height reduction. Central location on mass-transit, with limited (if any) additional auto traffic - not many available spots in the core that would be better than this, from a congestion perspective.
JL / May 17, 2013 at 05:56 pm
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No more fucking condos downtown!

Affordable housing for the other 99% of us NOW! Its outrageous there is a 27 year wait for Toronto Community housing.
thanos / May 17, 2013 at 06:39 pm
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This is a rental building not a condo. Correct your asinine title Chris Bateman.
Me replying to a comment from JL / May 17, 2013 at 07:16 pm
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You could always get off Welfare and get a real job and pay your own way like many of us do without having to be a drain off society.....
Holy Thundering Jesus / May 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm
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that is gianormus!
stopitman replying to a comment from JL / May 17, 2013 at 11:36 pm
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Yes, lets put more housing further away from rapid transit and jobs into an area massively subsidised (i.e. suburbs) so that we can subsidise it further by providing inefficient transit, water, wastewater, and garbage services.

This looks like a pretty good development. I'm most pleased about the restoration of the Atmosphere building - it's beautiful but mostly covered by aluminum cladding. Hopefully the restoration makes it as beautiful as the job done at 140 Yonge.
Tam / May 18, 2013 at 10:58 am
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Shock the monkey
Shock the monkey
Shock the monkey to life
TDotRome / May 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm
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No balconies? Kind of odd. That's going to cast quite the shadow....like all the way to Dundas Square and to City Hall. Perhaps a few stories less.
Herne / May 18, 2013 at 11:15 pm
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Yeah, we need more shoebox condos downtown. Why don't they just start building 10 foot by 10 foot pods and get over it?

Toronto has far too many condos as it is, but the city enjoys taking the money for building permits. Infrastructure? Who needs infrastructure?
Philipp Piskov replying to a comment from Francois / May 19, 2013 at 01:52 am
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Taking into consideration that most Toronto buildings nowadays are built with balconies, this area is really utilizing its rather thin stature. I live in North York, and its a nice change to see this elegance versus the typical Box-&-Blocky balcony designs that are associated with condos, such as what they've amassed on the Sheppard Line. With that being said, I personally wouldn't choose to live in a building without a balcony due to my love affair with skyline watching & the occasional neighbour doing something entertaining :-)
kn replying to a comment from JL / May 19, 2013 at 07:59 am
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I agree with your comments about condos. They are being used as the answer to everything. 65 stories? Spare us. As for your comments about affordable housing? TCHC is a joke. They are completely incompetent. The TCHC and it's residents are living in a land far far away, completely out of touch with what is necessary to make social housing a successful, long term solution. The best example of this is Atkinson coop. As you mentioned, While thousands and thousands of people wait for affordable housing, the TCHC and the residents of Atkinson coop have demanded to have almost 400 town homes rebuilt in the downtown core as affordable housing. (On the market, these would sell for a million dollars a piece.) All pushed through by ADAM VAUGHAN. He thinks this is a great idea. Adam Vaughan also thinks 3000-4000 people in social housing within a city block does not constitute a ghetto.

Don't worry, walls of condos will pay for all of this. So, while you all pay 500-600 dollars a sq ft for your box in the sky you might wonder why million dollar town homes are being built as a affordable housing and vote accordingly in the next election. Bye bye Adam Vaughan.

Alex / May 22, 2013 at 01:51 pm
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That's huge! I can't believe they would build rentals though, it would be awesome for the city to get some new rental stock, I just didn't think it made them as much money as a condo.

Considering how insane that corner is all the time though, how are they going to do the construction? Will they close off parts of Yonge and/or Queen for years while they build it?
Ron Reid / September 20, 2013 at 11:30 am
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I think this is a terrible idea.
Moneesha replying to a comment from Ron Reid / September 20, 2013 at 12:04 pm
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Nobody cares what you think.

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