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Yonge & St. Clair : Development News

13 Yonge & St. Clair Articles | Page:

LCBO opening new stores on Queen West and beyond

Tipplers, quaffers and especially Queen West hipsters will have more selection as the LCBO carries out its strategy to open new stores and improve old ones.
 
A new Parkdale LCBO opens on September 24 at 1257 Queen Street West, replacing the rather dumpy and overcrowded—but always entertaining if you’re in the mood for it—store around the corner on Brock Street. The new store, which has barrier-free parking, is much larger and will offer 423 linear feet of cold storage for beer in a cold room, up from 96 linear feet of cold storage in the old place.
 
“The new store will meet the demands of area residents,” says LCBO media relations coordinator Christine Bujold. The old store will likely close a day or so before the new one opens to allow staff to make the move.
 
By the end of the year, the LCBO will open a new store at 619 Queen Street West, near Portland, in a new building owned by Hullmark. The previous building on that site, the former home of Suspect Video, was destroyed in a 2008 fire that took out most of that block’s south side. The new store there will have more than 2,000 square feet of retail space.
 
And last month the LCBO opened at new 10,132 square-foot store at 111 St. Clair Avenue West at Avenue Road. That location has a substantial Vintages section and 136 linear feet of refrigerated beer shelving.
 
In the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the LCBO invested $57 million in its store network for renovations, maintenance and repairs to the existing network, as well as the construction, expansion and relocation of four stores in Toronto. A total of 23 near stores were opened including the GTA communities of Georgetown, Newmarket, Nobleton, Mississauga, Etobicoke, Richmond Hill, Milton, Aurora, Courtice and Lindsay. That follows years where 30, then 25 stores were opened or reinvigorated.
 
“We are strategically adding new stores in densely-populated urban areas, which have experienced a sharp rise in condominium dwellings, as well as other communities that are witnessing significant population growth,” states the LCBO’s annual report. “New, upgraded and relocated stores create customer interest and, by extension, increase sales performance, which adds to the annual dividend the LCBO pays to the government to help fund infrastructure projects related to schools, roads and bridges, hospitals and social services.”
 
Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Christine Bujold

Mizrahi build biggest new synagogue in decades

Construction is underway on the Spadina Road site just north of St Clair that will soon be the biggest newly built synagogue in Toronto for 45 years.

"It’s a very detailed building," says developer Sam Mizrahi. "The architectural style is a replica of the synagogue in Jaslo, Poland that was destroyed in the war by the Nazis."

The Orthodox synagogue and community centre, to be known as the Temmy Letner Forest Hill Jewish Centre, is being built with complex zinc roof structures, designed by architect Wayne Swadron, and will include banquet facilities, a learning centre, a Holocaust library, a shul, and a rooftop sukka.

The funders have been largely Ashkenazi families who were in some way affected by the Holocaust.

"It's actually been quite pleasingly well received," Mizrahi says. "We've done many custom homes in Forest Hill, and this has the same set of values and concerns in terms of neighbours and the community, including keeping the site clean, and building in a very tight space."

Mizrahi, who is also building 181 Davenport, expects the Letner centre to be finished by November.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Sam Mizrahi

LCBO under major expansion, new stores in Forest Hill, Etobicoke

The LCBO is going through its biggest ever expansion, with 65 new or expanded stores now in the works across the province, including about a new one a month in the GTA.

The latest additions here have been in Forest Hill and Etobicoke.

In Forest Hill, an area the LCBO expects to grow by about six per cent in the next decade, the new shop opened June 24 at 420 Spadina Road. It has 2,900 square feet of display space, with about 1,100 products in the regular selection--including 29 craft beers--and about 200 in the Vintages section.

The Etobicoke shop opened last week on July 4 at 211 Lloyd Manor Road with 4,860 square feet of selling space, 1,450 regular products and 120 Vintages selections, as well as a beer cold room.

"Across Ontario so far, since 2012, a total of $56 million has been invested," says LCBO spokeswoman Sally Ritchie, who says that 139,000 square feet of selling space has been added so far.

She also says there are two new ways of getting our booze to us. The LCBO is introducing Express shops in grocery stores (yay!), and Ontario wine boutiques inside certain existing LCBOs. The latter, Ritchie says, is in response to wine producers, who told the LCBO they'd like to have more opportunity to put their wines in front of customers.

The LCBO expects the current expansion to be done by the end of 2014.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Sally Ritchie

St. Clair Hydro fire highlights need for ongoing improvements

An explosion at a sidewalk transformer on St. Clair West near Yonge on Monday will provide Toronto Hydro with an extra boost in their application to increase the pace of their equipment updates.

"We are constantly upgrading infrastructure when we can and we have been looking for a more aggressive plan," says spokeswoman Tanya Bruckmüller-Wilson. They have an application before the Ontario Energy Board, their regulator, for increased funding for 850 projects over the next three years.

Last year, Toronto Hydro spent about $300 million in upgrading equipment, a third of which, Bruckmüller-Wilson estimates, are "past their lifespans."

Though the probable cause of Monday’s fire, erosion from street salt, is not being specifically addressed in the renewal efforts, other potential causes of such fires and their resultant outages -- such as the ones at Upper Canada College, a retirement residence, and one other apartment building, according to Jennifer Link, another Hydro spokeswoman -- will be avoided by replacing equipment that is often 50 years old.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Tanya Bruckmüller-Wilson

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


Accessible playground officially opens at Oriole Park

Toronto now has a fully accessible playground for children of all levels of physical and mental abilities, right in the heart of Forest Hill.

The $1.3-million Neshama Playground in Oriole Park, just northwest of Upper Canada College, near the junction of Yonge and Chaplin Crescent, opened this week.

"The project was initially the brainchild of Thomas Caldwell [of Caldwell Financial] and Toronto lawyer Steven Skurka, who enlisted Theo and Brendan Caldwell and recruited friends and associates who became known as 'A Bunch of Guys,'" says Rob Richardson of the city's parks department. "A Bunch of Guys raised over $700,000 to create a state-of-the-art, inclusive playground experience for all children. The site was chosen for its central location, access to public transit and proximity to numerous organizations who cater to persons of various abilities."

According to an interview Caldwell gave to Metro Morning this week, the playground came about when Caldwell found himself seated next to Skurka on a flight eight years ago, after Skurka had read a magazine article about accessibility and playgrounds. They went to see then-mayor David Miller, who got his parks department on it.

The playground was designed by Beverly Ambler of PMA Landscape Architects. Work began in 2010 and the majority of it was completed last year, with finishing being added into this past spring.

Neshama is the Hebrew word for "spirit" or "soul."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Rob Richardson, Manager of Partnership Development, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


Imperial Plaza partners with condo guru Joe Brennan for tony suites

The penthouses at the Imperial Plaza have just got the Toronto good condo-keeping seal of approval.

This week, David Feldman, president and CEO of Imperial Plaza developer Camrost-Felcorp, announced that Joe Brennan will be the designer for the high-end, high-altitude suites.

Brennan—who did most of the interiors for the Hazelton condos among many, many other high-end properties around the city's tonier postal codes—is, roughly speaking, the condo-equivalent of Brian Gluckstein, designer-of-record for a huge proportion of Forest Hill and Rosedale interiors.

On the crest of St. Clair overlooking the city, the Imperial penthouses have what people in real estate sometimes call forever views, ones that will not in the foreseeable future be obstructed by future development, so the suites, going for $4.1 to $14 million, are especially desirable for a certain set.

Imperial Plaza, the former corporate headquarters of Imperial Oil Ltd., is one of the best adaptively reused condos in the city, with Camrost-Felcorp, who are also re-doing the old Four Seasons, maintaining many of its mid-century modern charms, including the large lobby mural by York Wilson, titled The Story of Oil.

The penthouses remain unfinished, with Brennan being on-call to design each one according to its owners' wishes. Richard Mariani, Camrost-Felcorp's director of marketing, says the first penthouse will probably be finished in the spring of 2014.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Richard Mariani, Director of Marketing, Camrost-Felcorp

CORRECTION: The date of completion for the first penthouse was originally stated as being October, 2013, which is the estimate for the completion of the rest of the tower's renovation.

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


Green Toronto Awards nominations now open

Nominations opened this week for the 2012 Green Toronto Awards, though the most interesting category from the 2011 edition has been dropped.

Last year, the awards expanded to include a green homes category, aimed at individuals who had done something remarkable to or with their own homes.

"It wasn't our strongest category," says Jessica Chow, co-ordinator for the city-sponsored awards. "We don’t know why. We noticed a lot of them were, 'Oh, I recycle in my home.' It wasn't really what we were after."

So this year, it's been folded into the more general green design category, where individual homes will now compete with eco clothing, green roofs and other design innovations.

Nominations can be submitted here until midnight on Feb. 6. Winners will be announced in March.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Jessica Chow

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

Interior demolition commences on floors 5-15 of 22-storey Imperial Plaza

Imperial Plaza, the old Toronto headquarters of Imperial Oil, is having its guts ripped out to make way for some of the city's more distinctive condominiums.

According to Richard Mariani, marketing co-ordinator for the building's re-developer, Camrost-Felcorp, floors 5 through 15 are now having their interiors demolished, a process that involves "taking down the old flooring and walls so they can strip it down to the bones to see what needs to be done."

The 19th floor was stripped out this past summer, and the 20th floor of the 22-storey building is being kept intact for the moment to allow prospective buyers to get a look at the view and an idea of what the vintage 50s interiors of the classic building, designed by architect Alvan Mathers and built in 1957, look like.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Richard Mariani

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


Forest Hill gets $6-$8-million electrical upgrade

Forest Hill is getting slightly more powerful this week.

According to Toronto Hydro spokeswoman Denise Atallah, phase III of a five-phase project "is intended to improve reliability and reduce power outages," which, she says, have been going on at a greater than average rate for as much as two decades.

Each phase is costing between $6 million and $8 million.

The project involves taking down the overhead wires from neighbourhood backyards and burying them in front of the properties, which will not only increase reliability, but provide better access to Hydro crews in the future, as well as make their jobs in this part of the city safer.

The work has been going on in various parts of Forest Hill since 2008, and all five phases will be completed by 2012.
Residents will experience controlled outages as wires are taken down.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Denise Atallah

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a cool new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


Demolition commences on 1960s slabs, to be replaced with doubled density

The very slow process of replacing two of Toronto's better designed slab apartment buildings has finally reached the demolition stage. The north tower is expected to be gone by the end of this month, and the south tower by the end of August.

The Tweedsmuir Apartments, at 310 and 320 Tweedsmuir Avenue near Bathurst and St. Clair, were completed just months before the death of their designer, Peter Dickinson, in 1961 and have been mostly vacant for several years, with the last 25 tenants moving out last year.

The old towers had a total of about 250 rental units. The new configuration, designed by Page + Steele and owned and managed by Morguard, will house about 600, 350 rentals in the first and 250 units in the second tower which will, according to market conditions when it's completed, be either condos or rentals. There will be 146 units in the first rental tower set aside for tenants who had lived in the building as far back as about 1995, according to Morguard's director of development Brian Athey.

"We've worked very closely with our neighbours, especially the schools, to work out the times of days we take deliveries," Athey says. "We've co-ordinated with the school to do the heavy take-down of the south building while kids are on their break."

Demolition is expected to cost about $2 million, and construction of the first tower should begin in the spring of 2011, with a 2013 occupancy.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Brian Athey

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a cool new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


First subway shelter houses 20 bikes at St Clair West

As a logical follow-up to the bus bike racks, and a precursor to an eventual Bixi outpost, Toronto installed its first subway bike shelter last week at the Wells Hill entrance to the St Clair West station.

"I believe it will be a path-breaker in allowing Torontonians to see that we need this across the system," says Councillor Joe Mihevc, in whose ward, and at whose insistence, the bike shelter was constructed. "If you go to almost any subway station right now, you'll see bikes attached to trees, attached to anything that's sticking out of the ground."

The shelter will house 20 bikes, in addition to the 10 that are already accommodated by unsheltered ring and posts.

"I hope to get them done at all subway stations," Mihevc says, "in my ward, and in every ward."

The public realm division of the city's Transportation Services funded the project.

"This is the first of many secure bike parking facilities that are being put in place at other subway stations across the city," said Daniel Egan, manager of Pedestrian and Cycling Infrastructure in a press release. "Some will be full lockers. We expect to have more in place over the next two years."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Joe Mihevc

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or renovating, even a cool new house in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


Five Thieves restoration within 90 days of completion

The first tenant has already moved out, but the restoration of the Five Thieves continues unabated.

Montreal Bread Company, the bakery-café franchise that was the first tenant in the first available section of the old strip of upscale shops at 1095-1103 Yonge at Summerhill has moved on for what the developer calls "their own business reasons," but the rest of the project, which has been going on and off since Woodcliffe bought the property in 1996, will be finishing up in the next 90 days, according to Woodcliffe president and CEO Paul Oberman.

"Restoration always takes a lot more time than renovation or new construction," Oberman says. "Part of our program was to stabilize the building structurally, fully excavate the basement – some of the stores had dirt floors down there before we started to work with them. We've also created kitchen areas for each of the tenants below grade, so that the entire ground floors can be used as retail area."

Oberman says that the next phase of the development will be the removal of the temporary buildings that are currently housing several businesses, including Harvest Wagon, just to the north of the main building. In their place will be a permanent one-storey pavillion with a green roof.

Much of the architectural work on the shops was provided by the Adelaide Street West firm of Goldsmith, Borgal and Co. Architects.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Paul Oberman

Know of a new building going up, a business expanding or renovating, even a cool new house in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


Type Books moves up a block, doubles space

Type Books is not moving out of Forest Hill. A posting at Quill & Quire's blog that mistook an Avenue for a Road (Toronto's always confusing the two Spadinas) got some Forest Hilliers in a tizzy about their bookstore, owned by Joanne Saul, moving downtown into a space across the street from, of all places, the El Mocambo.

But they are moving, just not that far.

"We're moving to 427 Spadina Road," says Saul, "just about a block north." The reason, she says, is that their current place at 394 Spadina Road is too small. "Type's mandate is really about trying to have events and trying to host book clubs and book launches. We have a literacy group and story time,' she says, and, along with the larger Queen Street West location across from Trinity Bellwoods Park, she wants Type to be "a community hub, and we haven't been able to do that up here, because it's so small."

The new space, previously occupied by Ecco Shoes, is about 1,200 square feet, double the space Type currently occupies.

Saul takes possession of the new space April 1, and hopes to open before the end of the month. The old location will close by April 15.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Joanne Saul, Type Books

13 Yonge & St. Clair Articles | Page:
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