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What Front and Spadina might look like in five years

Posted by Derek Flack / August 19, 2014

2014819-well-alt.jpgBack in January, we learned of a massive development proposal for the current site of the Globe & Mail at Front and Spadina. A partnership between RioCan, Allied Properties, and Diamond Corp., The Well has been characterized as one of the city's largest mixed use developments, where residential, retail, and office space will exist in close quarters on the roughly eight acre site. The news was all very exciting when it broke, but it was difficult to get a good sense of what everything was supposed to look like.

That's changed with the release of new renderings from architect Hariri Pontarini and developer Diamond Corp. (see Curbed's take here). While it's always best to take images of this type with a grain of salt, the latest projections for the site provide a better sense of just how the various aspects of the development will integrate with one another. Spadina will see major retail in the podium of condo towers. A central pedestrian walkway (complete with a soaring canopy) will bring the development together into a main courtyard, which will also be surrounded by retail. Office space will be located along Front St. and throughout the complex.

I don't love the look of the main condo at the corner of Front and Spadina so much (is it round or rectangular?), but the overall development looks promising, and true to the desire to bring the retail, residential and commercial elements together. What do you think? Are you impressed with the new renderings?

MORE PHOTOS
2014819-well-ext.jpg2014819-well-roof.jpg2014819-well-courtyard.jpgthe well toronto2014819-well-ext-wide.jpg

Discussion

20 Comments

iSkyscraper / August 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm
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Much love! Very nice to see this happening.

It reminds me a little of the high-end shopping street and condos currently going in at the Design District in Miami:

http://miami.curbed.com/archives/2014/04/28/future-of-the-design-district.php
Chester / August 19, 2014 at 12:48 pm
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Looks great but, developers always overlook the disastrous implications on traffic. With cityplace a block away this would just be adding to it. I hope the city steps in gets them to adhere to some conditions fro infrastructure.
so true replying to a comment from Chester / August 19, 2014 at 01:06 pm
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I love the picture of the one lonely SUV and bicycle at the top.

Reality = 4 dump trucks 2 delivery trailers, 40 cars parked, 3 cars waiting in front of every doorway.

Point well taken.

trafficbeware / August 19, 2014 at 01:24 pm
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This would look completely different if the artist included all of the vehicles that make up this area. 1 person per car and idle, sitting there. Angry.
Stu / August 19, 2014 at 01:28 pm
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RE: Chester's comments about traffic - The area will be a complete mess when this project is completed.

These plans look interesting but for me, the last thing that corner needs is more towers.
Nick / August 19, 2014 at 01:45 pm
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Not sure what all the traffic fuss is about.
Front between Spadina and Bathurst is rarely jammed, no more than an hour or two a day at the most, and the stretch of Wellington between Spadina and Portland is also underused. This stretch has been underdeveloped for years, especially for an area that is so central. Good to see this happening.
Elliot REALness / August 19, 2014 at 02:01 pm
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It will probably be under water in 5 years.
Spadina / August 19, 2014 at 02:15 pm
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The tower at Front & Spadina isn't a condo, it's office.

There is a large parking structure underneath the development, meant to be shared by the neighborhood; the internal streets of the area are meant to be either entirely car-free or narrow, shared spaces. If that alleviates your traffic concerns. The development is likely banking on Front & Spadina either getting a downtown relief line station down the road, or a second GO station intended to take some load off Union.
Kate / August 19, 2014 at 02:25 pm
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I think it looks really beautiful, I'm just hoping that the retail spaces will be put to good use. Down at Bathurst and Fleet there are a TON of retail spots but most of them are completely empty.
Alex / August 19, 2014 at 02:29 pm
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I think it looks great. The brick streetscapes remind me a lot of the distillery district. That corner kind of sucks right now so it would be great to get some more retail in that area. The only sad part is that this is years away.
Canterbury Tail / August 19, 2014 at 02:33 pm
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CityPlace doesn't generate much traffic at all. The reason there is so much traffic around CityPlace is solely due to people trying to get through after the workday to drive onto the Gardiner westbound and people rat running around it. The majority of traffic into CityPlace itself is pedestrian. Remove the Gardiner access and that area of the city would be quiet, just like it is during the day or on weekends (games at the Rogers Centre excepted.)
jen / August 19, 2014 at 02:33 pm
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The rounded bits on the tower look a bit like the rounded bits on City Hall.

Looks like a good development to me.
Jim / August 19, 2014 at 06:15 pm
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Looks great. Agree the traffic actually shouldn't be too crazy outside of rush hour, all the traffic there is people trying to get on the Gardiner. I've lived on Front for 6+ years, and the Cityplace area is really improving. There's all kinds of events at Canoe park, and this wasted prime land will finally be put to use - for something other than residential condos. Great news for the area
Sophie / August 19, 2014 at 09:09 pm
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that will never!
Garnering / August 19, 2014 at 09:24 pm
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This city sorely needs some more areas where cars are off limits. So this might be a win.
Sally / August 19, 2014 at 11:28 pm
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I wish that contributing more money to cycling and public transit infrastructure was a requirement of these big developments. Intensification is fine if we plan for it in advance, but obviously, we haven't done that in Toronto. We are 20 years behind and it will only get worse. Even if the downtown relief line is approved in the next four years, we're only talking about a line within 20 years in the downtown east end up to Bloor, and nothing in the west end or along the waterfront. The entire DRL, from Dundas west to downtown, to Pape and up to DonMills and Sheppard should be built within the next 10 years, along with Queens Quay east streetcar, Waterfront West LRT and Jane and Malvern LRTs plus 2 way go service on all lines, and more stops in the city - express regional rail. And we should build the entire cycling plan - it could be done relatively quickly and cheaply. Enough is enough. Gridlock is killing us.
Tim / August 19, 2014 at 11:48 pm
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Bike lanes and designated smoking areas part of the plan?
Moaz Ahmad / August 19, 2014 at 11:50 pm
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A few years ago Metrolinx published a DRL proposal that would have ended the line at the North Bathurst railway yard (south of Front St between Bathurst and Spadina) ... that would serve this project and CityPlace amazingly well. Cheers, Moaz
TJ / August 20, 2014 at 09:46 am
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Looks great! The glass cover mixed with the seemingly older "look" of the brick buildings give it a ton of character.
New Toronto Condos / August 20, 2014 at 11:23 am
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I always enjoy when pedestrian areas are incorporated into urban designs. I think this could be gorgeous

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