| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Development News

One Bloor West gets a more refined look

Mizrahi Developments turned a lot of heads last spring when it unveiled its proposal for 1 Bloor West, the long-time home of Stollery’s menswear. At 318 metres, the Foster + Partners building would have been out-heighted only by The CN Tower, soundly beating out the 257-metre One Bloor East building that’s risen across the street.
Last month, Mizrahi presented a refined plan to the city planning department and to the Design Review Panel, taking the height down to 304 metres—72 storeys instead of 84 in order to minimize shadow impact on Jesse Ketchum Park. The density of the proposal has decreased, as has the non-residential floor area and the residential floor area.
The experts on the Design Review Panel, which provides non-binding advice to developers and planners, gave the revised proposal a thumbs up, with six members out of seven supporting the new design. Still, panelists thought there was room for improvement as the project makes its way through the planning process.
“The unique location at a major transit hub and important corner in the city was noted as a huge opportunity for city building and will be a long lasting legacy for the future,” state the minutes. “Many Panel members were appreciative of the general improvements and progression of the design since the first review. As per previous comments, panel advised that the significant scale of the project merits a meaningful contribution, particularly to the public realm and transit connections, and this should progress further.”
The panel suggested developing the design to more sensitively address the existing heritage buildings; enhancing the “civic quality” of the tower base, including improved public connectivity to the TTC subway station; resolving wind control to ensure pedestrian comfort at street level; developing podium facades to achieve greater clarity and resolution; and reconsidering the tower crown proportions to match elegance of the shaft. “Several members commended the potential elegance of the tower, with one member noting the tower as ‘outstanding.’ The clarity of the structural expression was appreciated by several members who noted it to have positively generated the form of the tower,” states the panel. But “several members commented that the top of the tower appears to be squat in an otherwise elegant tower, and the proportions unresolved.”
The heritage impact assessment submitted with the new designs suggested that the building’s podium reflect the scale and massing of the surrounding historic buildings, including structures that will be incorporated. The development site currently has six commercial buildings fronting Yonge Street, ranging from two to three storeys. “The building at 774 possesses heritage attributes with Italianate style features and its facade, and street massing will be incorporated in the development. The remaining buildings have been demolished to permit a larger pedestrian sidewalk combined with retail space.”
 Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: City of Toronto, Design Review Panel
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts