277 wellington street west toronto

A towering condo was just approved to replace a Toronto office building

It seems nothing is ever safe from condo-fication anymore, as a proposal to replace a nine-storey office building in the city's Downtown Core was just approved.

Plans for a condo tower at 277 Wellington Street West have been percolating since the end of 2020, and took a big step forward in the final weeks of 2022.

A settlement offer was approved by the city during its final council meeting of the year, concluding an appeal by developers Reserve Properties, Westdale Properties, and Rockport Group to the Ontario Land Tribunal.

As part of the settlement terms, the tower's overall height has been reduced from 66 storeys (232.3 metres) to 60 storeys (208 metres), accompanied by some substantial changes to the exterior envelope.

The updated plan retains the massing of the previous design, but alters the exterior expression from architects IBI Group.

Contributing to its revised look, the refined design contains no projecting balconies on the north, east, and west facades, with the settlement terms permitting them on just the east elevation.

A revised floor area of 43,754 square metres would be primarily dedicated to residential condominiums and supporting amenities, while 6,279 is set aside for non-residential uses, including but not limited to commercial, office, hospitality and retail.

The residential component calls for 654 units, which, despite the height decrease, is actually a slight bump from the 645 units proposed in the previous iteration. The settlement terms for the site's zoning by-law amendment stipulate a minimum of 10 per cent three-bedroom units and 20 per cent two-bedroom units.

Joining the trend of developments with minimal parking components following changes to Toronto's mandatory minimums for new builds, the settlement terms include just 83 parking spaces for vehicles, instead providing a whopping 657 bike spaces for residents' commuting needs.

The replacement of the current building would mean the end of the recently-opened Annalakshmi, which was previously home to a Cora's restaurant location.

This would be just the latest temporary blow to the area's restaurant nd entertainment scenes, coming on the heels of notable closures in recent years that include Crocodile Rock, the Second City training centre, and Yuk Yuk's

Perhaps most notably, Wayne Gretzky's restaurant closed its doors for good in 2020. Known for its rotating hockey player sign that graced the now-demolished building from 1993 to 2020, the establishment was also torn down (alongside the aforementioned Second City centre) to make way for a high-rise condo tower.

Lead photo by

IBI Group

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