Wednesday, October 22, 2014Cloudy 5°C
City

Can these condos jumpstart Parliament and Adelaide?

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 26, 2014

toronto parliament streetThe intersection of Parliament and Adelaide streets could be in for a major shake-up with the addition of two proposed new condo buildings. The similarly sized developments, planned for the northeast and northwest corners, which are currently home to a disused office building, a seldom used surface parking lot, and row of Victorian homes, could inject much-needed new life to the forlorn stretch of Parliament between Queen and King.

The proposals come at a time when large swaths of the King-Parliament neighbourhood are seeing similar changes. The new Globe and Mail headquarters is currently under construction at King and Berkeley, Brad Lamb just completed a mixed-use building at 273 King, and a new data centre is currently rising from the ground at Parliament and Mill streets. And that's not to mention the ongoing Regent Park redevelopment.

toronto parliament streetThe building proposed for the northwest corner of Parliament and Adelaide would see a six-storey retail podium added to Parliament at the expense of four century-old homes, some of which have been converted to offices. Above, condo units would look out on to the street from behind a grey textured exterior with irregular windows.

On the Berkeley side of the plot, a 108-year-old brick stable building, which is currently being uses as offices, will form part of the support for the main tower. The almost perfectly cuboid block with its purple trim looks a little like the moveable headquarters of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol in Jerry Anderson's Stingray.

The city's heritage team might be worried by the "partial preservation" the developers envision for the protected building at its base, however. The red brick Christie, Brown & Co. Stables, which was built in 1906 to serve the nearby Christie, Brown and Co. factory ("Christie" refers to Mr. Christie the baker,) was listed as a heritage property earlier this year.

toronto parliament streetDirectly opposite, on the other side of Parliament, Great Gulf is proposing a development of similar bulk that would wrap around the corners of Parliament, Adelaide, and Power streets. The former offices of Sing Tao Daily, which face Orphan's Green, would be demolished and the parking lot turned into retail and commercial space.

A 23 storey tower, containing a mix of condo and rental units, would be built flush with the Power Street facade. The developers are promising the owners of each of the residential properties access to a balcony or rooftop green space.

This area was mainly residential before the Adelaide and Richmond street on-ramps punched beyond Parliament in the 1960s. The winding sweep of the new access roads diced up Corktown, severing local north-south streets. The speeding traffic that came pouring off the highway made the block undesirable in the decades that followed.

In recent years, the stretch of Parliament between King and Queen has become a traffic-heavy waste that includes a Shell gas station, a Hertz equipment rental, and two car dealerships. Even the local Coffee Time, located in a bunker-like building on the northwest corner of Richmond, couldn't survive -- it closed a few weeks ago, and now sits vacant.

There's no doubt this stretch is in dire need of fresh residential development, but do you think these buildings would be a good fit for the neighbourhood?

toronto parliament streetQUICK STATS - 93-95 BERKELEY STREET & 112-124 PARLIAMENT STREET

TYPE: Condo
MAX HEIGHT: 64.3 metres (19 storeys)
UNITS: 276
TOTAL RESIDENTIAL SPACE: 20,181 square metres
AVERAGE UNIT SIZE: 63 sq. m.
TOTAL RETAIL SPACE: 254 sq. m.
PARKING: 194 spaces

QUICK STATS - 48 POWER STREET & 125 PARLIAMENT STREET

TYPE: Condo/rental mix
MAX HEIGHT: 72.7 metres (23 storeys)
UNITS: 446
TOTAL RESIDENTIAL SPACE: 28,129 square metres
TOTAL RETAIL SPACE: 1,370 sq. m.
PARKING: 181

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

Discussion

9 Comments

lowrez / May 26, 2014 at 02:51 pm
user-pic
I believe the mixed use brad lamb building mentioned above is 330 King St. E, not 273 King.
Jess / May 26, 2014 at 03:54 pm
user-pic
Is Parliament and Adelaide looking for a jumpstart? I was unaware that was on the priority list for Parliament and Adelaide.
Josh / May 26, 2014 at 05:31 pm
user-pic
Would it kill developers to actually put a building in context? The rendering's could be just about anywhere.
dilla / May 26, 2014 at 05:39 pm
user-pic
knowing's half the battle, Jess
JESS replying to a comment from dilla / May 26, 2014 at 11:31 pm
user-pic
It's not how much you know, or how knowledgable you are its WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU KNOW.
KG / May 27, 2014 at 09:03 am
user-pic
It' s too much effort to incorporate the century homes into the base of the buiilding? Would keep the context and have the building blend behind.
Nash / May 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm
user-pic
how about real buildings and locales that have personality? Not a shopping mall
Jerv / May 27, 2014 at 03:31 pm
user-pic
How about an urban open space?
mari / May 27, 2014 at 09:47 pm
user-pic
Who is the architect? I'm always interested in who the architect is yet these articles rarely mention them.

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal