4875 dundas street west toronto

Developer wants to tear down low-rent Toronto apartments for huge condo tower

A Toronto apartment building full of comparatively cheap rentals could be torn down to make way for a 45-storey condo tower.

Developer Forest Gate Group has tabled a plan with the City to redevelop an existing ten-storey rental apartment building at 4875 Dundas Street West, just west of Islington.

If approved, the existing building would be demolished and replaced with a condominium building designed by Graziani + Corazza Architects, rising 150 metres above Dundas Street West.

4875 dundas street west toronto

The proposed height is not entirely without precedent, as two high-rise buildings exist to the east of the site, and the project is planned within a growing cluster of residential density forming north of Islington Station.

4875 dundas street west toronto

However, renderings reveal that the proposal would eclipse even its tallest neighbours, a possible point of contention for locals as the planning process advances.

The new building proposes 488 units, including 432 condominium units and 56 rentals, included in plans to replace existing apartments on-site in accordance with the City of Toronto's rental replacement program.

Plans call for 461 square metres (almost 5,000 square feet) of ground-floor retail space that would further animate the block, sharing the first level with a lobby and residential amenity space.

4875 dundas street west toronto

The project's parking component would add over 220 cars to this pocket of Etobicoke, though the majority of residents' commuting needs would be served by over 360 bicycle parking spots and the nearby Islington subway station a few hundred metres to the south.

There are obvious arguments for density in an area well-served by transit with existing high-rise neighbours, though the project would come at some cost to locals.

Most notably, the plan calls for the demolition of a building housing over 50 apartments, renting for well below the current average rates in Toronto.

The current building offers two-bedroom units for as cheap as $2,649 per month, just slightly above the average monthly one-bedroom rent in the city of $2,459 and far below the average two-bedroom rent of $3,224 per month.

Of course, the developer is obligated to replace the 56 rental apartments within its new building, maintain the units as rentals for ten years, and guarantee existing residents rights to rent under the rental replacement policy.

This policy is now threatened by the province's Bill 97, which City officials worry may strip away protections for renters displaced by demolition.

Lead photo by

Graziani + Corazza Architects

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