1360 queen west toronto

This is what might replace the much-loved Designer Fabrics in Toronto

To absolutely no one's surprise, massive real estate developments continue to push forward and take over long-running institutions in Toronto, health crisis and recession or not — and that appears to be the fate of the late Designer Fabrics, the Parkdale retailer that sat at Queen and Brock for more than 65 years.

When the sprawling two-floor store closed in 2018, locals were left wondering what would take its place at 1360 Queen St. W.

Many are still hoping that it won't be yet another site of dreaded gentrification in the eccentric neighbourhood, despite the fact that developers are currently compiling an application for condos on the property.

But, they will have a chance to give some input and ask some questions at a virtual meeting this Thursday before things are finalized.

Toronto-based KingSett Capital has plans for a nine-storey mixed-use building on the property, which will offer 117 residential units with stepped terraces, as well as ground-floor commercial and "community hub" space.

Of particular interest is the fact that KingSett's plans do not take into account the height cap for buildings along that segment of Queen West, which currently stands at 3.5 storeys or 14 m.

There has been a separate proposal made in collaboration with some councillors, to change this limit to 6 storeys or 20 m, still less than the proposed structure.

So far, residents discussing the potential condo on social media seem to be hoping that the building's facades can be maintained despite the fact that it doesn't have official historic designation.

Also, that affordability for locals can be kept in mind — something that feels increasingly like a rarity in Toronto.

With condos popping up left, right and centre while the city continues to struggle with an affordable housing crisis, it remains to be seen how long-time residents will reconcile with the inevitably changing face of Toronto's streets.

Lead photo by

Google Street View

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