Thursday, October 20, 2016Light Rain 13°C

What the foot of Yonge St. might look like in five years

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 10, 2013

toronto 1 yonge streetDetails of the huge, six-tower cluster proposed for 1 Yonge Street are starting become a little clearer. If things progress as planned, the 26,996 square metre area south of Gardiner on Yonge, currently home to the Toronto Star Building and a surface parking lot, could sprout six towers between 40 and 88 floors.

New renderings of the planned development by Hariri Pontarini Architects show in greater detail the massive redevelopment project that could engulf (but retain) the International Style Toronto Star headquarters with two hotels, new office space, a theatre, and a significant amount of new residential property.

toronto 1 yonge streetIf approved, the site, split in two by a planned extension of Harbour Street, will be built to 22 times current density. On the northern portion of land, a cluster of four residential towers are shown rising from a flowing, wave-like podium.

The second cluster to the south is largely dedicated to office space and the space occupied by the existing newspaper operation. "Tower 5," marked as commercial, will be built just north of the Star HQ while a 70-storey combined hotel and condominium, "Tower 6," is planned at the corner of Freeland and Queens Quay.

Architects have also included a 1,030 sq. m. theatre, a 2,115 sq. m. combined restaurant and hotel coffee shop, a gym, and daycare centre within the podium of the southern patch of land. Much of what's currently on the site - a distribution centre, a squat office block, and large open-air parking lot - will be cleared for these amenities.

toronto 1 yonge streetThis latest batch of images shows a distinct progression from those released back in January. Since then, the project has grown an extra tower and designers have added extra floors and exterior modeling to the buildings closest to the waterfront.

The dazzling appearance of several of the buildings will likely make this development stand out more than most. The main building, "Tower 1," located on the corner of Yonge and Lake Shore, has dramatic vertical lines that sweep from the podium to the mechanical roof. Two matching buildings, towers "2" and "4," which are also part of the northern cluster, appear to twist in the middle in a kind of dog-legged kink.

The developers still have to clear several hurdles before these plans can be realized. The proposal has to go before Waterfront Toronto's Design Review Panel and the city will also pore over the details of the zoning amendment application.

What do you think of 1 Yonge? Are these the sort of towers Toronto needs on its waterfront? Are you happy the Toronto Star Building is sticking around?


Total development footprint: 26,996 square metres
Total residential space: 392,831 sq. m.
Total commercial space: 258,766 sq. m.
Proposed density: 22.01x
Indoor amenity space: 8,274 sq. m.
Outdoor amenity space: 8,274 sq. m.
Height of Tower 1 (Yonge and Lake Shore): 293 metres (top of mechanical roof)
Height of Tower 2 (Yonge and Harbour): 262.4 m
Height of Tower 3 (Freeland and Lake Shore): 247.65 m
Height of Tower 4 (Freeland and Harbour): 267.2 m
Height of Tower 5 (Yonge and Harbour): 185.2 m
Height of Tower 6 (Freeland and Queens Quay): 229.6 m


toronto 1 yonge streetYonge and Lake Shore podium at night, looking southeast.toronto 1 yonge streetTop view of the towers.toronto 1 yonge streetFreeland and Queens Quay podium in fall, looking northwest.toronto 1 yonge streetFull view of the 1 Yonge Street proposal from above the Gardiner, looking southeast. Two of the towers are obscured.

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

Image: Hariri Pontarini Architects.



57 / May 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm
too much glass
J / May 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm
Looks like St.James Town, Part II
Brad / May 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm
Yes, love it. Love the glass especially. Wasn't aware that the Star building was of the International Style! Very cool.
Thomas / May 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm
Cue the people who will whine about anything...
Winston / May 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm
Whoa... sexy, curvy buildings! Toronto architecture is starting to catch up to Mississauga!

"Glass towers" usually get a bad rap (mostly justifiable), but in this case, I think the materials of construction complement the design, and vice versa.

And if you're going to go super high density and bold designs, this is exactly the location to do it.

Moaz / May 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm
I have no problem with the designs but will the sidewalks and water pipes and sewers be wide enough to accommodate the flows of all those people? Will there be enough transit (especially since the city does not have the $250 million needed to build the Waterfront East LRT line).
Critical Mass / May 10, 2013 at 01:19 pm
Hopefully the shit-barge sitting on that pier is towed away by then and a wavedeck or something is built in its place.
Al / May 10, 2013 at 01:38 pm
These are fantastic. I'm sure once the city gets through with them though, the final versions will be stunted and watered-down.
4ChanApologist / May 10, 2013 at 01:45 pm
These renderings look amazing, but I guess that's the whole point of renderings... how often do buildings actually end up looking as amazing as they do in the proposals?

Having worked down there, the wind and freezing rain in the winter can be brutal. Hopefully the developers take that into account, because the last thing the city needs is more ice/glass falling from the skies.
Patty / May 10, 2013 at 01:49 pm
Looks great not the same crap we see going up everywhere else! I hope they stick to the plans and don't cheapen out along the way ala Crystal at ROM!
Wrenkin / May 10, 2013 at 02:12 pm
Not sure about the large driveway.
anon / May 10, 2013 at 02:14 pm
The podiums are a bit... imposing. Perhaps a bit more human scale street scape would be in order.
Alec / May 10, 2013 at 02:42 pm
Amazing, so nice to see some shape and style instead of just a glass shoe box rising out of the ground, Let's face it there is no other way for the city to grow but up, amazing project lets hoep it goes through
Jen / May 10, 2013 at 02:43 pm
Like we need more wind tunnels and condos...
disgusted / May 10, 2013 at 02:53 pm
Hariri Pontinari seems very keen on ripping off designs or their towers. Past projects have been like this, now they want to copy the World Trade Centre towers and Zaha Hadid's Dancing Towers in Dubai? Shameful.
EZ / May 10, 2013 at 03:41 pm
The population/traffic density in that area would be absolutely ridiculous...
taxman / May 10, 2013 at 04:45 pm
Great. More ugly glass towers. Just what Toronto needs.
Grant / May 10, 2013 at 05:12 pm
Notice the Gardiner Expressway isn't on the map, or in the photos. It seems odd that the podium faces the north, the Gardiner end, and not the south, at Queens Quay.

I'd like to see what the streetscape is supposed to look like at the north-east corner of Yonge and Queens Quay.

The jets arriving at Billy Bishop should have a nice view of the towers, but they are so tall you won't even be able to see them from the street.
Alex / May 11, 2013 at 03:30 pm
acutally grant, the gardiner is there. look closely, you'll see the columns dotted all over lakeshore on the site plan.
John / May 12, 2013 at 11:20 pm
Wow great technology! What will I look like in 5 years? Any renderings?
Jonathan Castellino / May 13, 2013 at 02:04 am
Older VW Passat with (also older) Audi S rims rendered. Nice...

Tom West / July 21, 2013 at 04:22 pm
I'm surprised they didn't go one more floor on Tower 1 to hit 300m and pass First Canadian Place.
kelly williamson replying to a comment from taxman / July 23, 2013 at 12:53 am
Toronto deserves this project,all the whiners about it should consider moving to a small town and live with nothing but whiners that go no-where all day and then whine about that. Projects such as these are a clear sign of progress.
Mark Allen / July 31, 2013 at 10:52 pm
The project looks amazing. This is great for Toronto! it will only continue to solidify our world class standing. Progress. connect with me to buy or sell - mark allen realty dot ca.
lawn mower repair edmonton / August 1, 2013 at 12:01 am
Hi I am so delighted I found your blog page, I really found you by
mistake, while I was looking on Bing for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just
like to say many thanks for a fantastic post and a all round
exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to
read it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds,
so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome work.
N / September 4, 2013 at 06:34 pm
I think this building is not for the waterfront. The buildings on the waterfront should not go for more than 40 floors. The area has a lot of traffic problem and this will add to the problem
A former Montrealer / November 28, 2014 at 03:29 pm
Where is the windmill, since Toronto Star has been vocal supporter of McGuinty Green Energy Act?
Julian / January 14, 2015 at 11:12 am
This project doesn't make sense to me. I don't understand what drives developers, the city and people in general to develop the densest condo project in the city beside acres and acres of sprawling warehouses parking lots and vacant land? Wouldn't it make sense for this density to be spread over at least a little bit of this under utilized land? What am I missing her? Please, no rants about profit hungry developers!
Other Cities: Montreal