83 bloor west

Huge condo tower to replace block of posh businesses will be one of Toronto's tallest

Ask a boomer what they think of when they hear Yorkville, and you might be told about "hippies." Ask a genXer and you'll probably hear about luxury retail. But if you ask anyone in the millennial or genZ demographics, the answer just might be the ultra-exclusive condo towers proliferating in what is becoming Toronto's own "billionaire's row."

And it looks like Yorkville has yet another vertical playground for the elite in the works, with a new application submitted to city planners from Parallax Development Corporation that seeks to replace a block of buildings along Bloor Street West with a soaring 79-storey condo tower designed by architects IBI Group.

While storeys are a pretty arbitrary way of measuring towers (they differ greatly from building to building), the project's proposed height of just over 271 metres would place it among the ranks of the city's most prominent titans.

83 bloor west

The tower would be among one of Toronto's tallest, though it lacks the recognizability of other major local landmarks. Rendering by IBI Group.

If completed today, this tower would stand as Toronto's fifth tallest, just barely shy of Aura at College Park's height. Though, despite its lofty vertical aspirations, the proposal's minimalist design doesn't appear to bring much drama to Bloor-Yorkville skyline.

If approved, the proposal would spell the end of a group of existing buildings from 83 to 95A Bloor Street West, which includes current Mink Mile businesses COS, APM Monaco, Lilliane's Fine Jewellery, and MCM.

83 bloor west

Existing low-rise businesses would be demolished to make way for the new condo tower. Photo via planning submission to City of Toronto.

An employee at fashion accessories retailer MCM, who wishes to remain anonymous, reacted with shock to the news of the impending redevelopment, telling blogTO, "This is terrible."

The employee says that the store has "a lease for ten years," clearly not pleased with the news, saying, "if it's going to be replaced, we need to find a new home. This is shocking, oh wow."

Not everything is planned to be demolished, though, with the block's sole survivor to be the corner facade of a listed heritage building at 95A Bloor West, wrapping around St. Thomas Street.

Though existing retail would be demolished, this wouldn't mean the end of this popular shopping stretch, with the proposal calling for 1,153 square metres of new retail space on the ground and second floors of the tower's 20-storey base, which mirrors the height of the existing towers on this stretch.

83 bloor west

New retail space would be included in the base of the development along Bloor Street West. Rendering by IBI Group.

Above the new retail and lobby space, the developer wants to build 1,118 condominium units, with a mixture of 444 studios, 377 one-bedrooms, 184 two-bedrooms, and 113 three-bedroom units.

As one of the last pockets of low-rise commercial real estate on an increasingly tall Bloor Street, the new proposal shouldn't come as much of a surprise to those who have been following the development scene. Still, it is quite the change from what exists on the site now and is undoubtedly giving city planners plenty to chew on.

Lead photo by

IBI Group

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