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Development News

29-storey tower initial move to redevelop entire Queen East block

88 North is just the start of a major downtown redevelopment project.

The city block bounded by Mutual, Queen East, Shuter and Dalhousie streets will be completely re-imagined over the next few years, starting with a 29-storey mixed-use building called 88 North, with the project slated to launch this spring.

The development application filed last month by St. Thomas Developments, the company behind One St. Thomas Residences and 7 St. Thomas, will offer 421 residential units and approximately 810 square metres of retail at street level fronting on Shuter Street, all on a 0.29-hectare site that’s now the home of a parking lot. But this project, designed by Page + Steele/IBI Group Architects, is just the first phase in a larger plan for the entire block.

There have been development applications for the block dating back to 1979, and during that there have been many changes to the proposals and the zoning by-laws governing the property. In the early 2000s, three 28-storey towers, at the same 30 Mutual/88 Queen East address as 88 North, were proposed, as well as other mid-rise buildings. At that time, city staff recommended permitting that development, though St. Michael’s Cathedral was concerned about the shadow impacts of the development on the cathedral.

According to a description of current proposal by the developer’s lawyers, “the base of the proposed tower is intended to be dominated by food-related retail uses at the street level, with retractable glazed storefront partitions that will oopen up in good weather to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces with patios animating the street and park, creating a vibrant and active urban environment.... The podium is conceived as a series of stacked glass boxes that enclose two-storey loft units. The glass boxes of the podium are composed as a series of interlocking objects that add architectural interest to the podium.”

Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: City of Toronto, Devine Park LLP
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