What Yonge and Gerrard will look like in 10 years
Yonge and Gerrard is already home to the tallest residential building in Canada. Aura, the gorgeous-at-night-but-bland-by-day condo on the northwest corner, cuts an imposing presence on the intersection as towers 80 storeys above three other corners of low rise buildings.
That's all set to change in the near future, as two monster developments are in the works for the intersection while another has been proposed to the immediate south at Elm St. When it's all said and done, the immediate radius around Yonge and Gerrard could be one of the densest in the Toronto.
On the southeast corner, Cresford and Kingsett Capital have bought up much of the block with plans to build YSL Residences, a massive two-tower condo project that will be linked by a skybridge. There will be 1,106 units built in the 62 and 73-storey towers that will rise above retail at grade.
This is actually one of the better looking proposals from an architectural standpoint. Some of the existing heritage buildings on Yonge are incorporated into the base of the project, while the massing of the towers themselves is light enough to resist any sense that they're monolithic.
Even bigger is the development going through the planning process across the street. Currently the site of the Eaton Chelsea Hotel, the current proposal seeks to replace the existing structure with three residential towers of 49, 88 and 88 respective storeys.
Given the size of this site, there's also an intriguing addition to the public realm proposed here. Chelsea Green, the new name of the development, at least somewhat lives up to its name with a public park and POPS space at the core it the development.
This is much needed given the density on the way, but will require excellent design to ensure it's a hospitable place given its vertical surroundings. As a positive, the park space has actually increased throughout the planning process as a six storey office tower was removed from the plans and each of the residential towers was made slimmer.
The future of the northeast corner is yet to be determined here. Given the surrounding density, it's safe to imagine that at some point it too will be the subject of a proposal for a major skyscraper. That said, city planners are already talking about putting the brakes on development along Yonge, fearing that intensification is happening too quickly.
That could mean a temporary reprieve for at least one part of the intersection, though it's unlikely it'll stay that way for the long haul. Toronto is headed way, way up, and Yonge and Gerrard is certainly one of the primary intersections in the skyward development of the city.
Photo by Katrin Ray.
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