toronto mirvish gehry

Mirvish and Gehry towers given the green light

Toronto is going to get two super tall Frank Gehry condo towers. City council voted yesterday to allow construction of the pair of waterfall-inspired towers on the north side of King at Duncan, almost two years after the project was first announced.

"[This] decision by Council was obviously a necessary step in this lengthy process," Mirvish said in a press release. "While we believe today's vote was first and foremost an endorsement of our vision for the site, lead by our architect Frank Gehry, we also believe that it is a clear endorsement of the city's development process and staff's demand for consultation and collaboration among the stakeholders."

The original proposal, unveiled to much fanfare in Oct. 2012, called for three extremely tall condo towers to be erected at the expense of several heritage protected warehouses and the Princess of Wales Theatre on King Street West. David Mirvish said Frank Gehry wanted to build "three sculptures that people can live in."

The main concerns about the project in its original form centred on the potential loss of the historic buildings and the effect of the towers on the already congested King Street corridor.

In May, after several rounds of public consultation and work with Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat, Mirvish and Gehry unveiled a revised design that dispensed with one of the towers and re-worked the lower floors in order to keep the theatre and warehouse structures standing.

The tallest of the towers will top out at 92 floors, making it the tallest skyscraper in Canada, ahead of First Canadian Place (the CN Tower and Inco Superstack excepted.) There will also be about 2,000 residential units, space for Mirvish to display his art collection, and facilities for OCAD University. The smaller of the buildings will be about 82 storeys.

Gehry says the latest designs are meant to evoke a waterfall.

The project still needs to be granted site plan approval before construction can begin.

Are you pleased to see the project approved?

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

Images: Mirvish+Gehry, Projectcore Inc.


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