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Queen/King West : Development News

89 Queen/King West Articles | Page: | Show All

Newly built 18,000-square-foot building on Queen West now on the market

The 18,000-square-foot building on Queen West at Beverley is on the market in what the brokers at CBRE hope is a newly energized Queen West strip, as large anchor stores try to pull back some of the energy lost to West Queen West.

The three-storey building was formerly meant to be a Marciano by Guess store, and is now offering various large or small options to potential tenants at $110 per square foot per year.

The building at 327-333 Queen West has been vacant for more than a year, though CBRE brokers say there are currently several potential tenants considering taking space in the building, which has a stone façade and floor-to-ceiling storefront windows on the ground floor.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Stuart Smith

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 [email protected]


Richmond West sales centre becomes ad hoc gallery

If you're going to have a sales centre in the gallery district, you may as well make it a gallery.

Adam Ochshorn, the man behind Curated Properties and developer of Edition Richmond at 850 Richmond Street West, has lit on a pretty basic idea. If you have a typical condo sales centre, typical condo buyers will likely drop in. But if you make it a gallery, people who didn't know they were looking for a condo might get their appetites whetted.

"Along the Queen West and Ossington Avenue strip are a fair number of contemporary galleries," Ochshorn told the Star this week. "So we thought, why not try to create our own gallery space and feature some artists' work?"

The sales centre cum gallery is in an old garage, with high ceilings. Ochshorn hired Ceconni Simone to whitewash the place, and tomorrow, March 8, it will host a one-night only performance piece called Outside-In, directed by Maggie Groat. The line between the art and sales is a thin one in this instance. Groat describes is as "intended to remind people of their everyday activities, the small moments that make up how we live," while the PR material  calls is "a live-art performance and commentary about Toronto's condo craze."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Adam Ochshorn

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 [email protected]


Design unveiled for new Globe And Mail tower at Front and Spadina

KPMB are making one of the first moves away from what's become Toronto’s standard-issue podium-and-tower design for the proposed new Globe And Mail headquarters.

The redoubtable Toronto firm, which is also responsible for Winnipeg's brash Manitoba Hydro Place, has configured the 18-storey design into a sort of twisted 'L' shape, with the six-storey podium forming a more integral base than is usual in this city's more recent architecture.

The plan is to build the 480,000-square-foot building, which Globe editor-in-chief John Stackhouse describes as "a town square of 21st-century Canadian media," to LEED Gold standards.

The project, once considered by public meetings and if approved by city council, would be complete in 2015.

Writer: Bert Archer

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 [email protected]

Adam Vaughan's telephone town hall taps into ward 20's development priorities

Adam Vaughan held what he's calling a "telephone town hall" at the end of last year, with results revealing the development priorities for one of the city's most populous wards.

Questions were framed in terms of the current budget negotiations. Responses indicate that 34 per cent of residents consider public transit to be their top priority, followed by 26 per cent who list "children, libraries, recreation, nutrition and childcare," ahead of the 15 per cent who said affordable housing was the most important thing to maintain and cultivate.

People in this densely populated ward also figured the best way to pay for all of this was by tapping drivers. About 48 per cent of them suggested the city bring back the vehicle registration tax; 32 per cent were in favour of road tolls.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Adam Vaughan

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 [email protected]

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 [email protected]

130,000 square foot, $73-million St. Joseph hospital reno progressing, 1st floor nears completion

Our Lady of Mercy is nearing the completion of her ascent at the Queensway and Sunnyside.

Work that began in January, 2007 on the underground parking lot is finally nearing completion, and the first floor of the new Our Lady of Mercy wing of St. Joseph's Health Centre this week is getting its drywall and flooring, as well as tiling in the showers of the second floor.

Work has also begun on the third and fourth floors.

"One of the most exciting aspects of the new OLM wing," says St. Joe's president and CEO Carolyn Baker, "is the state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that helps us provide high quality care to our tiniest patients featuring 20 bassinettes, an increase from our current 12. The new wing will also house an expanded Family Birth Centre to accommodate 4,000 annual births and increase over the 3,300 we had last year."


Once completed, the new wing, which replaced the old one that was demolished, will be 130,000 square feet spread over four floors. It will be the home of neonatal and pediatric care units, as well as a new birthing centre and mental health facilities for children and adolescents.

The work is being done by between 40 and 100 workers a day, employed by Vanbots.

The total budget is $73 million.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Carolyn Baker

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 [email protected]

96-suite condo-retail complex nearly complete, one of the first to incorporate 3-bedroom units

The once controversial retail and residential complex at Queen West and Portland is now practically complete.

Derided at the time of its proposal for its scale and rumours that its lower floors would be home to a Home Depot or even a Wal-Mart, Queen and Portland, as it's known, with its 96 suites and two major retail anchors will be ready for residents and tenants in a couple of months.

The two major retail tenants will be Loblaws and Winners, which will be topped with five floors of recessive residential floors, which are some of the first in the city to include the so-called family suites, three-bedroom units now officially encouraged by the city.

"Part of the municipal approval process required 10 per cent of the building to have a larger number of bedrooms in the suites to encourage families," says Tony Whitaker, vice president of sales for Tribute Communities, the project's developer.

The architect for the project is Turner Fleischer.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Tony Whitaker

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 [email protected]


Almost 800 windows being replaced in $5-million City Hall project beginning this week

Forty-six years after it was built, Viljo Revell's new city hall is getting some new windows.

Starting this week, all 758 windows in the east tower are being replaced, floor by floor, in a project that's set to cost $5 million and take till November.

"The existing single pane windows will be replaced with tinted, double pane, energy efficient units," says Jim Kamstra, the city's manager of energy and waste management. Due to heritage considerations, there will be little change to the look of the building."

The work, carried out after office hours and on Saturdays, is being handled by general contractor Buttcon Limited, and the window supplier is C3 Polymeric. The contract for the west tower has yet to be tendered.

The funds, from the Strategic Infrastructure Fund, were set aside two years ago.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Jim Kamstra

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 [email protected]


1,000 square foot 416snackbar spends $50,000 on DIY Bathurst reno

Thanks to some DIY spirit, the 1,000 square foot space that once housed Johny Banana on Bathurst just north of Queen has been transformed into 416snackbar for about $50,000.

The 1,000 square foot space (plus basement) needed new wiring, and got some new floors, purpose-built tables, new lights and a new bar.

Dave Stewart and Adrian Ravinsky took over the lease on Sept. 15, and after some wrangling over a liquor license, began work in October. The restaurant, named for Ravinsky's blog, opened Jan. 24.

The pair not only did the work themselves, the financing was DIY as well. Each partner invested $15,000, which was added to an $18,000 line of credit, and a couple of credit cards.

"We were lucky to inherit the bones of a kitchen," Stewart says. "It probably would have been another $25,000 in expenses if it hadn't already been a restaurant."

Though it's been open for business more almost two months, work is continuing, including the installation of a prep kitchen in the basement.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Dave Stewart

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 [email protected]


Allied Properties REIT gets zoning approval, looks for lead tenant for 275,000 sf space at Richmond

The building on the northwest corner of Richmond and Peter, a relatively non-descript four-storey building that's been home to several short-lived nightclubs and restaurants over the years, is on the verge of a transformation.

Allied Properties Real Estate Income Trust, the commercial developer responsible for the architecturally successful 111 Queen Street East agglomeration of heritage buildings, plans to renovate the exiting building and add a new tower on top of it, which they intend to build to LEED Gold specifications.

Allied bought the building in 2003 and has been biding its time until the market seemed right. Now it's officially looking for a lead tenant.

"In a perfect world, [they'd take] around 100,000 square feet," says Allied's AVP of investment, Emily Hanna, who hopes to have someone signed by the end of May. "We'll announce a tenant, and the next day we'll break ground."

The new building will have a total of 275,000 square feet and will be called Queen Richmond Centre West.

Allied's approach to commercial space bears a lot of resemblance to other developers' work turning warehouses into lofts.

"The main reason people will fight for living in a condo downtown is because they want to be near their work space," Hanna says, "so there's this interplay between the work, the residence and the retail." People, she says, like having work spaces that have the same ethos as their living spaces.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Emily Hanna


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 [email protected]


Neighbourhood wants redesign for proposed 900,000 square foot condo development

Two developers met with significant resistance at a recent public meeting called to discuss a major new development proposed for Front and Bathurst.

The meeting, which attracted about 200 people to discuss this and a new Loblaw store at Lakeshore and Bathurst, was told about the 900,000 square foot condo proposal intended for the 100,000 square foot site currently occupied by the Lambourghini and Harley Davidson dealerships on Front just west of the Globe and Mail building.

"It's the biggest crowd we've had in four years," says councillor Adam Vaughan, who represents the ward.

The developers, Freed Developments and Minto, proposed a linear park among four towers and a private courtyard, a project Vaughan calls "CityPlace north of Front Street."

"I haven't seen a project dealt with that harshly ever by a neighbourhood," he says. "It was just, 'No. Too tall. Too ugly.'"

I would hope they'd revisit it," Vaughan says of the proposal, designed by Rudy Wallman, "but you never can tell with Peter [Freed]." Freed, he says, was the first and still only developer to have taken Vaughan to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Adam Vaughan

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 [email protected]


80 square foot Crema cafe to open at Richmond and Spadina after $80,000 reno

The attack of the indie cafe continues, as Crema is set to open its third location on March 1.

As with the company's second location at Yonge and Bloor, the third cafe will be part of a Freshii, this one at the corner of Richmond and Spadina, and might qualify as the smallest cafe in Toronto at about 80 square feet (though Sam James on Harbord may be close).

The space, which is slightly smaller than the Yonge/Bloor spot, will house a Synesso espresso machine, a Clover vacuum coffee maker, as well as grinders and at least one barista.

As a result of the opening, this Freshii will start opening at 7am as well as on weekends.

"We've got to run a bit of plumbing, electrical, and then all the millwork has to be done through all the counters," says Crema Coffee Company owner Geoff Polci of the surprisingly involved renovation necessary for the minuscule space, which he says will also include lighting and a display case for baked goods. He estimates the cost at between $70,000 and $80,000: roughly $1,000 a square foot.

Crema is one of several indie cafes that are spreading their foamy cups across the city. Dark Horse opened its third shop on Queen West in early January, Ezra's Pound has a second location on Dundas West, Teo Aro has two locations, and there's a a third Lit on Queen West in the Burroughes Building.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Geoff Polci

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 [email protected]


$30-million Dufferin de-jogging to be unveiled tomorrow

Dufferin is finally straight. After months of work to align the jog in the road that occurred around Queen, the newly orthogonal street will have it's official unveiling tomorrow at 3pm at the north end of the underpass between Queen and Peel.

"It's been a project the city has wanted to do for decades, almost a century in fact," says Councillor Gord Perks, in whose ward Dufferin once jogged. He lists one of the major benefits of the change a quicker running time of the Dufferin bus, which will, he says, allow fewer buses to transport more people in less time, which translates into financial savings.

He also foresees new development in response to the friendlier streetscape, which includes an amphitheatre on former scrubland and a bike path that leads from Dufferin to the future site of a railway bike path.

"Already the 2 Gladstone project is going in, and there will be opportunities for development along Dufferin north of the bridge that had been abandoned, empty warehouses," he says, adding that one such proposal, for a public health centre, has already been approved.

There will also be a major piece of public art, a mosaic, by Toronto artist Luis Jacob inside the underpass, a $300,000 installation whose cost is equivalent to 1 per cent of the project's total $30-million expense.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Gord Perks

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 [email protected]


5-storey, 21-unit condo-townhouse development launches at the foot of the Ossington strip

"It's not just a fad," says Shane Fenton, talking about the current popularity of the strip of Ossington between Queen and Dundas.

He's vice president of Reserve Properties, the company that's just announced its new loft-townhouse-retail development going in at 41 Ossington. It's the sort of project that may end up ensuring Fenton's right.

"The interesting thing about Ossington is that it's a truly mixed-use neighbourhood," Fenton says, "residential and commercial. From a public standpoint, it's known for restaurants and galleries, but by developing a mixed use property like this, we're demonstrating that it's not just a great place to go for lunch or dinner, but it's also a great place to live."

The 12 lofts, 9 townhomes and 2,500 square feet of retail will be replacing a disused commercial spot, the old  Hesco Electric. Prices will start at $315,900 for the lofts, and $829,900 for the townhouses.

The architect is Raw Design, and the interiors are being done by II by IV Design Associates.

The first sign for the project went up on Oct. 16, and the grand opening of the sales office will be November 13. Fenton expects they'll start to dig by the spring, and will have the project completed by the summer of 2012.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Shane Fenton

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 [email protected]


Demolition phase of $14-million Gardiner bridge replacement completed

The last of three bridges over the Gardiner to be demolished -- this one on Jameson -- fell this past weekend, closing the expressway from Carlaw to the Humber.

But it's not the end to the closures.

"The work will continue right through till we're finished, says Mike Laidlaw, acting manager of structures and expressways, of the project whose completion date is set for next summer. "After this weekend's closures, there will be a number of night closures as well to erect portions of the other bridges. Right now, we're down to two lanes in each direction. Come the end of October, we'll restore it back to three lanes, and it will remain three lanes for the rest of the work."

Night closures will being on Sept. 28 and run 11pm to 5am until Oct. 7.

The bridges are being replaced, with minor changes, in the same dimensions as the demolished ones. The old bridges had gotten to the point at which demolition and rebuilding was more practical than further maintenance.

The contract to demolish and rebuild the three bridges, including traffic control and all other expenses, was worth $14 million.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Mike Laidlaw

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 [email protected]

89 Queen/King West Articles | Page: | Show All
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