778 king west toronto

Condo tower from controversial builder to replace block of Toronto businesses

A block of King Street West that has grown popular among Toronto fitness buffs could be destined for the wrecking ball, a new application with city planners outlining a plan to replace the group of businesses with, you guessed it, more condos.

The proposal seeks to clear the stretch of 778 through 788 King Street West — midway between Bathurst and Strachan — to make way for the latest project from Lamb Development Corp, owned by the controversial, artist-evicting, Smashing Pumpkins frontman lookalike, Brad J. Lamb.

The block is currently occupied by a group of buildings home to businesses Studio Lagree King, Startwell co-working space, Spin Studio, and the Brad J. Lamb Building, the real estate tycoon's base of operations.

778 king west toronto

The proposed development site is located on King just west of Tecumseth Street. Image via submission to City of Toronto.

The building where Studio Lagree is located was, up until recently, the site of popular Italian spot Ovest, which last served patrons in April 2021 and has since been permanently shuttered.

While none of the existing buildings on the site are heritage listed or designated, there is still some charming architecture that would be demolished for the new building, though Lamb is not exactly known for making efforts to preserve and integrate older buildings.

Though at least these tenants would have more than 24 hours to move out, luckier than other casualties of Lamb projects.

A representative of Studio Lagree, in this location for around eight years now, declined to comment on the proposal, while Startwell and Spin Studio have not responded to our requests as of the time of publication.

In place of these businesses, Lamb wants to construct a 17-storey (plus mezzanine and mechanical floors) condominium tower rising 63.3 metres above King Street West.

778 king west toronto

Looking north across King Street to the proposed development. Rendering by architects—Alliance.

Designed by architects—Alliance, the building would take a largely minimalist approach with clean, rigid lines defining the tower's look, though a vibrant yellow peanut-shaped protrusion will crown the building, housing mechanical space.

778 king west toronto

The development proposes a mid-rise base with a tower above. Rendering by architects—Alliance.

Though businesses would be lost to clear space for the new development, the proposal hopes to reanimate this stretch of King Street with the addition of 714 square metres of new retail space on the ground floor.

778 king west toronto

New retail would line the development's King Street frontage. Rendering by architects—Alliance.

Above, the tower would house 373 condominium units, though the majority of units are the smaller studio and one-bedroom layouts that condo investors just can't get enough of.

778 king west toronto

All of this new density would be served by an underground garage that would add 99 parking spaces and 382 bike parking spaces to the busy thoroughfare above.

Lead photo by

architects—Alliance


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