Mixed use towers planned to fill Queen, Adelaide gaps

By Kimberly Spice –

Development of the Entertainment District continues as one residential building squeezes in beside the CIBC on Queen St. west of Simcoe and another converts a heritage site on Adelaide west of John into a new destination for businesses.

Property owners of a previously approved 16-storey office tower at 215 Queen St., W., has submitted an amendment to revamp the building into a 24-story, 76 meter, residential property with retail on the ground floor and one floor of office space.

Little room is available for the building—but placement of the new development might prevent any potential changes to the abutting heritage site located at the corner of Queen and Simcoe.

“What will happen probably in effect is sterilize that site (CIBC building) for redevelopment preserving that bank right on the corner,” Adam Vaughan advised when asked about the future prospect of the bank site becoming a tower.

Residents were told that, although the building has become narrower and taller, the volume of the building did not change and esthetically the streetscape will improve with the creation of a pillar effect between the new building and the Canada Life tower across the street.

“One was to match the height of Canada Life much like a bookend or gateway in architectural pylons to the ACD district to Queen West,” Peter Clewes from Architects Alliance told approximately 40 area residents at the Metro Hall meeting on April 6. “Rather to have one slightly down it seemed to us that it might be nice to pair those.”

Laneway traffic volumes are becoming an increasing issue between residents and service vehicles and to alleviate this potential problem an internal parking area has been designed to prevent service trucks from blocking the narrow street.

The second building revealed to the public was a 43-storey tower, which will house commercial space and residential units keeping the facade of the old building on the heritage site located at 263 Adelaide St., W.

“The intention is to keep the existing historic building facades and keep five storeys of commercial uses as well as provide parking for those commercial uses,” revealed Stephen Teeple, president of Teeple Architects. “This building will be a true mixed use building with about 68,000 sq ft of space for startups and innovative companies, arts based companies, to provide diversity to this area and we are very excited about that.”

The historic facade will remain but no specific plans have been determined with regards to the process. ERA Historic Consultants are assessing whether the facade will be dismantled, conditioned and replaced or have the facade cleaned on site.

The building will also have five levels of parking with one level for commercial use.

Information about developments in the area can be found at www.ward20.ca.