33 Gerrard Street West Condos Redevelopment Planned In Toronto
33 Gerrard Street West Condos has a perfect Walk Score of 100 out of 100. Transit Score of 100 out of 100.
33 Gerrard Street West Condos tallest of the towers—the 80-storey Tower 4 (above)—would rise to a height of 251.9 metres (including the mechanical penthouse), coming in slightly under the neighboring, 272-metre Aura at College Park. Towers 3, 2, and 1, come in at 163.4 metres, 154.7 metres, and 237.4 metres respectively, falling within the area’s newly established height range, recently set by Aura and perpetuated by the 73 storey 385 Yonge Street proposal across the street.
Looking north along the new public park, image courtesy of Great Eagle Holdings
Vertically redistributing density on the site—while reducing the size of podiums—opens up a public space at ground level, with a POPS and public park now planned between the towers. As in the earlier plan, replacing the monolithic hotel with the slender point towers would open the block to pedestrian connections. Walton Street, which was cut off to facilitate the T-shaped hotel’s graceless south volume, would be restored as a pedestrian-oriented ‘woonerf’ street. Meanwhile, a new north-south laneway would provide a pedestrian connection between Elm Street and Barbara Ann Scott park.
The current building, the original plan, and the revised plan (l-r), photo of image by architectsAlliance
Under the revised plan, however, the north-south laneway has been expanded to create a public park mid-block, with the greenspace continuing as a Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) fronting Gerrard north of the Walton Street woonerf. The thin 6-storey office building fronting the park remains unchanged (bottom left, below), with aA’s Peter Clewes describing the facility as a flexibly configured office-sharing hub that caters to millennial entrepreneurs. As seen below, most of the project’s ground-level would be fronted by retail.
An overview of the new public realm, photo of image by architectsAlliance
Above, the massing of the towers has evolved significantly from the last design. Whereas the tallest 80-storey tower was initially planned on the northeast corner of the site, fronting Gerrard, the height of this building has been reduced to 75 storeys. To the west, a 50 storey tower (featuring a 300-room boutique hotel at the lower levels) is now planned. At 86 storeys, the project’s tallest building is now set to rise south of Walton Street, consolidating the two shorter initially proposed.
Despite the substantial reconfiguration, the number residential units remains largely consistent with earlier plans, with approximately 1,900 suites slated for the development (the initial plan included 1,897 units). As Clewes explained, the changes were driven by the City’s desire “for an on-site parkland dedication,” as opposed to “the in-lieu funds first proposed.” Given the size of the site, the City pushed for an on-site dedication during early negotiations, expanding the supply of public space Downtown. Landscaping will be overseen by NAK Design Strategies.
Following the architect’s presentation, members of the community provided commentary on the project. By and large, the revised scheme was preferred to the original proposal, with the increase of public space a particularly positive talking point. However, numerous residents raised concerns about the degree of new density, with numerous complaints referencing a feared “Manhattanization” of Toronto.
Questions about affordability were also raised, with a number of attendants expressing concerns about the affordability of the units, and the number of family-friendly three bedroom suites planned. The inclusion of affordable housing units and three-bedroom suites has also been identified as a priority in the City’s December Staff Report, with fuller details regarding these issues expected as the development continues to take shape. As initially proposed, the project included 235 bachelor, 954 one bedroom, 590 two bedroom, and 118 three-bedroom units (representing 6% of total suites).
Besides the sheer size and density of the towers, the proposal is also notable for its extensively reconfigured streetscape and public realm. The plan would see Walton Street—which was effectively cut in half to make room for the T-shaped slab hotel building that currently occupies the site—restored to its former length (as seen in the layout, above), while a new north-south cobblestone walkway, fronted by cafes, restaurants, and retail, would foster a vibrantly pedestrian-oriented ambiance.
On street level, the wide pedestrian walkways would be surrounded by the towers’ cohesively designed 6-storey podiums, as well as an additional stand-alone commercial building of the same height and style. The restored and more walking-friendly streetscape represents a significant contrast to the T-shaped slab that currently occupies the site, impeding pedestrian access through the large city block.
33 Gerrard Street West Condos renderings also show green roofs topping the six-storey commercial building, as well as much of the podiums (seen above). On street level, new plantings are also visible, with a number of trees decorating the pedestrian areas (below). Though the staggering height and density of the towers may be the most eye-catching feature of the proposal, the invigorated public realm below could also have significant impact on the area’s social fabric in its own right.
ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE: TBA