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City votes on major development of historic King & Portland site

This week, city council considers amending bylaws for a development between King and Adelaide streets on Portland that would demolish and replace rental housing.

Allied REIT and RioCan, which jointly purchased a number of properties on the block for a reported $22 million in 2012 are combining them into a single 61,608-square-foot development that would contain a mixed-use office, retail and residential complex with approximately 400,000 square feet of gross floor space.

Prior to granting the zoning requested by the developers, the city is requiring a conservation plan for 499 and 505 Adelaide Street West, 1 and 11 Adelaide Place and the Parisian Laundry Building at 602-604 King Street West; a heritage easement; and an agreement to improve infrastructure. Benefits under Section 37 would total $350,000 spread among community services and facilities, streetscape improvements along Portland Street, rental housing in the ward and contributions toward the Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) capital fund for repairs.

The developer is also expected to replace existing eight existing rental units in two townhouses, as well as two other rental units that will be lost during construction, providing rental housing for as much as 20 years, 10 years of that affordable for some units. Six other rental units will be retained. Tenants would be entitled to relocation assistance.

“Though the owner has stated an intention to initially provide the residential units in the new apartment building as market rental housing, they also intend to seek condominium registration for that building,” states the staff report on the issue. “As a result, the owner preferred to secure the eight rental units in the four existing house-form buildings being retained, and did not wish to provide for any of them in the new residential building.”

The developers are proposing a 16-storey residential building fronting on Adelaide Street West and a 14-storey office building fronting on King Street West with retail uses at street level. The residential portion would include 116 residential units, while the office office building would have a gross floor area 23,041 square metres.

“The fact that the site extends from Adelaide Street West through to King Street West creates an opportunity to provide mid-block pedestrian connections through the site,” states the community council staff report from May. “The application proposes that these at-grade pedestrian laneway connections might also be used as courtyards to enhance the use of this space by the public.”

Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Toronto City Council; RioCan
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