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New plans revealed for Loblaws' former headquarters

Posted by Chris Bateman / July 25, 2013

toronto lake shore loblawsLoblaws is getting serious about redeveloping a disused warehouse at Lake Shore and Bathurst in to a full scale retail and residential complex, according to the latest available information. A new set of architectural drawings show two residential towers rising in front of the Gardiner Expressway and a new rooftop addition for the heritage-protected structure.

If built, the warehouse, the former nucleus of the Loblaw Companies, would be extensively renovated and repurposed in to a substantial retail centre close to CityPlace, an area that's seen as lacking in amenities. It would also mark the return to the neighbourhood after more than 40 years for the supermarket giant.

toronto loblaws lake shoreThe art deco Loblaw Groceterias Building opened in 1928 as the headquarters and central warehouse of the growing supermarket chain. Designed by Sparling, Martin and Forbes, the architects behind the Masonic Temple at Yonge and Davenport, it once included office space, a processing area, storage refrigerators, a large freight dock, and even an on-site bowling alley and billiard room.

The new building at the rear was added 1934 and Loblaw's remained on the site until the '70s when a new headquarters opened on St. Clair Avenue East. The Daily Bread Food Bank used the surplus warehouse until 2000 and the city protected it as a heritage structure in 2001.

toronto loblaws lake shoreLoblaws re-acquired the site in 2004 and planned to clear the property for a brand new supermarket, but that concept was eventually rejected by the Ontario Municipal Board. These drawings represent the company's latest attempt to redevelop the site, this time keeping the protected heritage features — but, notably, adding some anonymous box atop the old building.

toronto lake shore loblawsThe 1934 addition at the rear of the warehouse, not included in the heritage designation, has already been demolished in advance of the project getting final approval from the city for the entire complex. Currently, Loblaws still needs zoning approval and the green light from city council.

What do you think of the plans? Could Loblaws do better by the historical building in light of the magic spun at Maple Leaf Gardens? What about those residential towers? Sound off below.

QUICK STATS:

Tower A - West Buiding Height: 125.88 metres, 37 storeys
Tower B - East Building Height: 137.88 metres, 41 storeys
Tower A residential: 396 units
Tower B residential: 444 units
Total residential space: 54,830 sq. m.
Total retail space: 17,134 sq. m.
Total office space: 9,777 sq. m.
Total ground floor area: 8,1742 square metres
Total site density: 5.9 x
Bicycle parking: 965 spaces (275 at grade)
Car parking: 859 spaces

toronto lake shore loblawsChris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Images: Architects Alliance, City of Toronto Archives

Discussion

53 Comments

W. K. Lis / July 25, 2013 at 02:34 pm
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Shopping bags: 5¢.
Bob / July 25, 2013 at 02:39 pm
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Nothing says "Big Box store", like a big box on your store. Way to step up Toronto urban development team.
Readandfeed / July 25, 2013 at 02:45 pm
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This area needs the retail -- not just City Place, which at least has Sobeys, but the Fort York neighbourhood, which has nothing.
Moaz Ahmad / July 25, 2013 at 02:49 pm
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There's an anonymous box on top of the Tip Top Lofts that really works because it fits in with the building and disappears behind the Tip Top sign.

Loblaws needs to make that box disappear too, by scaling it back from the street and using materials that will hide it from view as much as possible. That way, the two condo towers will just look like two condo towers next to a heritage building.

Cheers, Moaz
Qaf / July 25, 2013 at 03:00 pm
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Whoa awesome more condos. Look I know it's the Toronto thing to rant against condos, but when you walk through that area it is almost entirely condos plus City TV, Fort York and a gas station. And some construction sites for more condos. At least other areas of the city seem to have businesses and restaurants and condos all sort of mixed in, so it makes nice areas to spend time in (maybe?). But Lakeshore/Bathurst area really seems to be a place where you live but not where you actually hangout.
Ginn replying to a comment from Readandfeed / July 25, 2013 at 03:00 pm
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Agreed. I live near King & Bathurst and I would welcome this development.
Laura / July 25, 2013 at 03:03 pm
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Condos, condos, pointless "urban development", condos...

No wonder people want to leave the city.
Krista / July 25, 2013 at 03:04 pm
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It's about time!

The NE corner of Lakeshore and Bathurst has been an eyesore for far too long, and the residents of the Fort York and Niagara area would absolutely benefit from another nearby grocery store.

Given the rapid-fire development of City Place, King West, and Liberty Village over the past 5 years alone, we need as many amenities as we can get.
DT / July 25, 2013 at 03:21 pm
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This is definitely needed. I have seen other designs that have a Joe in the Loblaws as well. Bathurst and Lakeshore needs more of a retail presence, that is for sure!
Dave replying to a comment from Laura / July 25, 2013 at 03:29 pm
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Who is leaving the city you bone head? This city is bumping and more and more people are moving here every year! Dumb comment.
milo / July 25, 2013 at 03:38 pm
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Krista - no one is leaving the city.

And condos are great - if people live in the city they will build and add to it and not some scummmy mall in Mississauga
anon / July 25, 2013 at 03:43 pm
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It would be nice if they would at least fix the ground floor of the heritage structure to interact more with the street. Knock some entrances into that lifeless wall and rent out multiple units to create a strong tempo of unique uses despite a shared, unifying legacy.
Samantha / July 25, 2013 at 03:44 pm
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Can't wait for this new development. I am all for it!
JayJay / July 25, 2013 at 03:46 pm
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Ya Laura, the downtown condo boom is because everyone wants to leave the city. Enjoy your two hour drive back to the 905 and your cookie cutter home. Exact same thing but with less floors.
Mike / July 25, 2013 at 04:01 pm
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I'd like to see what the city has planned for the infrastructure around the Lakeshore and Bathurst intersection. It's a mess already, really heavily trafficked by cars, and not friendly to pedestrian traffic.
Collin replying to a comment from Mike / July 25, 2013 at 04:07 pm
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Exactly what Mike said.

That intersection there is a clusterfuck on a good day, they really need to consider how to manage the flow of traffic around there before going ahead with this
RoFo replying to a comment from Mike / July 25, 2013 at 04:11 pm
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I'm going to build you a subway from your house to the northside of Lakeshore. Lakeshore-Bathirstians deserve subways.
Tee Pee / July 25, 2013 at 04:15 pm
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Looks BRUTAL! Lots of mass, little refinement and certainly no hint of retail! Ugly just got a whole lot uglier, but if Vaughan gets all excited who am I to be critical! Heritage hoo?

Hope the folk at 'planning' are not asleep at the switch!

Tee Pee / July 25, 2013 at 04:18 pm
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Looks BRUTAL! Lots of mass, little refinement and certainly no hint of retail! Ugly just got a whole lot uglier, but if Vaughan gets all excited who am I to be critical! Heritage hoo?

Hope the folk at 'planning' are not asleep at the switch!

Tee Pee / July 25, 2013 at 04:18 pm
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Looks BRUTAL! Lots of mass, little refinement and certainly no hint of retail! Ugly just got a whole lot uglier, but if Vaughan gets all excited who am I to be critical! Heritage hoo?

Hope the folk at 'planning' are not asleep at the switch!

GregW / July 25, 2013 at 04:26 pm
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The towers will slightly block my view of the SkyDome and CN Tower, but I expected that. If they put a few floors of retail in there, then I'll be ok with it. I want a mix of small stores in the area.
jen / July 25, 2013 at 04:33 pm
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I'm glad they'll be keeping the Art Deco structure, but what the hell is that box-thing on top of it for?
paul replying to a comment from Mike / July 25, 2013 at 04:34 pm
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Totally agree.

And RoFo, you're the best.
Ana / July 25, 2013 at 04:39 pm
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Can't wait for this new development! We really need it in this area.... A supermarket and retail!! Great news
Rick replying to a comment from milo / July 25, 2013 at 05:23 pm
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Scummy Mall??? Buddy you couldn't afford to live in the mississauga. Blow me
Irena / July 25, 2013 at 06:14 pm
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Actually what would be even better would be that Loblas labelled foods that are GMO as some 80% of all commercial stuff is.
James replying to a comment from Moaz Ahmad / July 25, 2013 at 06:21 pm
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I agree. They should do something like what was done with the TipTop Lofts, integrate the look of the heritage facade into the rest of the towers so it looks like the same building. The Tip Top Lofts were done so well, I can't even tell which is the old and which is the new. The current look here is terrible, especially since I will be looking up its backend from where I live.
Linden / July 25, 2013 at 06:37 pm
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and here comes another condo. why do developers hate Toronto so much.
Khristopher / July 25, 2013 at 07:55 pm
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This is so great! Unique buildings (even if they are boxes), new grocery store for the area, more retail, and I believe office space.

What's with all the people complaining about condos? I would expect that on the Toronto Sun website comments, but not here. People have to live somewhere, and you can't build single family houses downtown people. And we're maxed out to the borders. So vertical is the only way to go.
Andrea / July 25, 2013 at 08:11 pm
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I'm really thrilled about the retail. I hope we are not disappointed in that regard. When will we know exactly what retail they have in mind other than Loblaw's (but I'm really excited about the Loblaw's)
Steven / July 25, 2013 at 08:16 pm
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1. NEVER live in a condo where a restaurant or grocery store is located in the same building. Bugs & rodents.

2. Who the hell would live there? Busy Lakeshore Blvd., to the south, noisy streetcars to the west, glued right next to the Gardiner Expressway to the north and you'll also hear/feel the rumble of the railway tracks.

3. Expect to be ripped off too by paying the 5¢ bag fee. Don't be a sucker. Avoid it!
Heyeyelivehere / July 25, 2013 at 08:16 pm
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It will do a lot more for the community then it is doing now.
Welcome replying to a comment from Rick / July 25, 2013 at 08:20 pm
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Welcome to downtown elitism. Rather pay more money for house in mississauga instead of a tiny box down town.
Dan / July 25, 2013 at 09:24 pm
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On floor 69' you can have sex with food!
John / July 25, 2013 at 10:59 pm
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This is awful. Aa should be ashamed. This is the worst design in the city by far. the next generation of architects will have to fix all the mistakes of today. Terrible moment for out city.
Tay / July 25, 2013 at 11:52 pm
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Retail/grocery - Yay!
More high rise condo buildings - boo!!
Moneesha / July 26, 2013 at 01:48 am
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I wants to live there.
Internet Complainer / July 26, 2013 at 02:19 am
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Somebody give me something better to do than complain about stuff on the internet!!! I hate being unemployed!!!! Booooo condos! Boooooo condo haters! I wish I wasn't a virgin!!!
Robert replying to a comment from Welcome / July 26, 2013 at 05:34 am
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Were you live is your choice, does not make your choice the right choice, it does not make someone else s choice the wrong choice.
Interesting you use the word elitism to insult, when in reality you are the one demonstrating elitism.
Ally / July 26, 2013 at 05:41 am
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Aesthetically, it doesn't look right. The brown structure doesn't go well with the glass/white buildings.
The area doesn't need more condos. Look at how great Chicago's waterfront is. We need more retail, restaurants, and green spaces to be fully integrated into this urban residential community, so it can actually be a thriving community fully of happy citizens.
Traffic is at an all time high and it is going to get worse with all of the new condos being built in the area. Infrastructure overall needs major improvements.
Laura replying to a comment from Dave / July 26, 2013 at 06:32 am
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Thank you, Dave, I appreciate your well-thought out response.
Laura replying to a comment from JayJay / July 26, 2013 at 06:35 am
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Um, you know "the 905" is only a 30 minute drive, right? 2 hours and you're almost in Orillia. It's cute how you think seperate homes have the same square footage as condos.

And also, most of people moving into the condos don't already live in the city.

Good try, though.
Winston / July 26, 2013 at 07:11 am
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Best part of the architect's rendering is the brand-new buildings surrounded by mature 20-year-old trees growing out of concrete.
milo replying to a comment from Rick / July 26, 2013 at 07:46 am
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rick - ALL of Mississauga is a big scummy mall. Filled with big scummy people who spend all their time at big scummy Home Depot stores on the weekend.

it's the nature of the 905.
Niklas replying to a comment from Laura / July 26, 2013 at 08:57 am
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"And also, most of people moving into the condos don't already live in the city."

Uh.. isn't that true for anywhere? You're moving somewhere because you don't already live there.. no? If the population in a city is growing its because new people are moving in you dumbass.
andy replying to a comment from Mike / July 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm
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Do we really expect Ward councillors will actually consider doing a bit of urban planning in terms of the traffic in the Lakeshore Bathurst intersection? The Union Stn street cars (before construction) have been jam packed for a while now since those yahoos in condos at that area have taken over and nothing has been done to alleviate congestion. City council has already abdicated any responsibility of urban planning and vision other than to rubber stamp pretty much every condo development proposed.
Andrew replying to a comment from andy / July 26, 2013 at 03:35 pm
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Andy - in my experience, the City Planners are doing their best to promote a mixed-development city, but:
- are having to deal with a deluge of developer applications, while their own resources are held constant or are cut (remember to thank the mayor for cutting a 'billion dollars' out of the city's budget)
- get run over roughshod by the Ontario Municipal Board who countermand the Planners' recommendations and side with the developers.
Some Ward councillors are trying their best to help develop a well-planned city (others, not so much), but I'd say there's a lack of leadership at the top of the house.
John Cavelle replying to a comment from Laura / July 26, 2013 at 04:15 pm
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Really 30 minute drive to the 905.... maybe at 3:30am not during rush hour sweet thang!!!!
mezimeen / July 27, 2013 at 08:43 pm
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I usually like ArchitectsAlliance work, but this scheme looks rough and unfinished. Those buildings don't look right, and the podium level should be left alone. Just my opinion.
Don / July 28, 2013 at 10:28 pm
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Love it. Where can I invest. Didn't see any investor or shareholder information mentioned in the article, where can I invest?
Mike Olivo / July 29, 2013 at 04:42 pm
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Remember, this is just the first iteration and the proposal will change and evolve over time so to speak.
Aaron / August 13, 2013 at 12:22 pm
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Ugly as hell. Another great job Toronto! A brutalist brick cube would have been more interesting.
Hamdani / August 14, 2013 at 07:08 am
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When do they start the project ?

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