433 front street west toronto

Massive new development with transit station planned to replace Toronto rail yard

As developable land grows scarce in the heart of Toronto, developers are planning tall buildings in some surprising locations, like a new plan in the works to build out a plot of land currently occupied by a Metrolinx rail yard.

Metrolinx is planning to transform a just over one-acre site at the southwest corner of Front Street West and Spadina Avenue, and the transit agency officially announced its development partners for the site on Thursday, accompanied by a first glimpse at the two-tower complex and new GO station in the works.

The site at 433 Front Street West is planned to host the future Spadina-Front GO Station, and the regional transit agency hopes to capitalize on the site's central location and approved transit infrastructure with a proposed residential complex with towers of 51 and 43 storeys.

Like the nearby Rail Deck District proposal, the project aims to create new lands by decking over this pocket of the Union Station rail corridor, which currently serves as Metrolinx's North Bathurst Yard, a layover area where GO trains are stored during non-peak windows.

Metrolinx has formed a partnership with developers Dream Unlimited Corp. and Kilmer Group through a two-stage Request for Qualifications and Request for Proposals process, with news of the trio's planned mixed-use complex emerging last week.

The complex includes the GO station at street level, with station entrances on both Front Street West and Spadina Avenue.

Though still in a very preliminary state, the towers are planned to rise in separate phases, with the taller north tower along Front Street proposed as the first phase and a second tower at the site's interior to follow in the future.

In addition to a new transit station, the wider public would also gain a pair of community function spaces housed within the bases of both towers.

While the planned GO station serving the Barrie Line will be delivered through the active multi-billion dollar investment in two-way, all-day GO Train service, the proposed residential complex above will be privately developed.

The proposal for 433 Front West will see the development team work with Metrolinx and ONxpress (the winning bidder to construct the GO expansion) to make the vision a reality, though, with the plan still in its pre-application stages, this is expected to take some time.

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