The Canary District was initially the home of the Pan/Parapan Athletes’ Village of the PanAm Games that took place in Toronto in 2015, with a half dozen blocks developed with buildings that have since become condos, apartments, and a George Brown College campus. Since then, the more blocks have gradually been developed, or are under construction now, or have seen proposals submitted to the City for their redevelopment. Most recently, Block 13 – the last development site within the original village north of Mill Street – has seen Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Approval applications submitted by Dream Unlimited and the Kilmer Group, proposing an architecturally distinct, mixed-use building designed by Henriquez Partners Architects of Vancouver, whose major Toronto work is Mirvish Village, now in the late stages of construction at Bloor and Bathurst. 

Located at 495 Front Street East, the site is vacant and currently being used as a construction staging area for other developments in the Canary District and West Don Lands.

Location of site within West Don Land block context, image from submission to the City

The proposal has a total gross floor area of 63,944m², resulting in a density of 8.46 FSI. Approximately 963m² of that area consists of retail uses along the entirety of its Front Street East frontage, contributing to a pedestrian-friendly public realm, in addition to space provided through setbacks that make way for additional areas for outdoor patios, landscaping, and a potential public art feature at the main intersection with Bayview Avenue.

Close-up of Corner of Bayview Avenue and Front Street E, image from submission to the City

The massing of the building has been highly articulated to visually break down its scale. The proposal includes a mid-rise base building that gradually steps up from 7 storeys at the corner of Mill Street and Tannery Road up to 13 storeys at the corner of Front and Bayview, creating a "gateway" to Front Street along with the 16-storey Canary Park Condominium that is located to the north.

The proposal also includes a 24-storey tower above the 7 storey podium – reaching a total 31 storeys – that has been located on the southwest corner of the site in an effort to respond to adjacent taller buildings, and minimize shadows on the Corktown Common Park that is located across Bayview from it. 

West Don Lands Block 13 designed by Henriquez Partners Architects for Dream Unlimited and Kilmer Group, image from submission to the City

A unique approach to the arrangement of balconies and balcony “wings” in addition to an ombré type brick pattern that fades from pink to beige as it ascends, works to distinguish the proposed building from other buildings within the Canary District of the West Don Lands.

Corner of Bayview Avenue and Front Street E, looking southwest from Corktown Common, image from submission to the City

A total of 859 residential units are proposed, 333 – almost 40% – of which would be family-sized two- or three-bedroom units, including 45 two-storey townhouse units that would have sidewalk access from Bayview, Mill, or Tannery.

The proposed unit mix is 35 studios (4%), 491 one-bedrooms (57%), 213 two-bedrooms (25%), 33 two-bedroom townhouses (4%), 75 three-bedrooms (9%), and 12 three-bedroom townhouses (1%). The majority of units above (except on the third floor) will have balconies, many of which are designed with screens for weather-protection. A number of units on the third floor would have private terraces facing towards the northwest corner of the courtyard, situated above the townhouses.

West Don Lands Block 13 designed by Henriquez Partners Architects for Dream Unlimited and Kilmer Group, image from submission to the City

In the centre of the site would be an interior courtyard which would be accessed from the two ground floor lobbies and would provide an amenity space for the residents of the building. Other building amenity spaces would total 4,959m² and be dispersed around the entire development, comprising 1,429m² of indoor amenity space along with 3,530m² of outdoor amenity space. Programming has not yet been determined.

Site plan showing internal courtyard, image from submission to the City

Within two parking levels, a total of 279 parking spaces are proposed, including 157 resident spaces, and 122 visitor spaces which are to be shared with the commercial uses. A total of 898 bicycle spaces are proposed, including 806 resident spaces, 86 visitor spaces, and 6 retail spaces.

Existing transit routes within the vicinity of the site include three streetcar routes that run along King and Queen streets, as well as two bus routes, one travelling north-south, and the other travelling east-west. 

Location of site in greater context, image from submission to the City

There is also significant transit planned for the area, including the Cherry Street LRT Extension, which will connect with the Waterfront East LRT Extension, running from Union Station to the foot of Bay Street, and along Queens Quay East to the Distillery Loop. In the future, the LRT is planned to be extended south along Cherry Street over the Keating Channel to serve the westerly portion of the Port Lands. Also planned in the area is the Ontario Line, a 15.6 kilometre-long subway line running from the Ontario Science Centre in the northeast to Exhibition Place in the southwest via Downtown. A Corktown station is planned nearby the proposed development.

More information on the development will come soon, but in the meantime, you can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  Bousfields, Dream Unlimited, EllisDon, HGC Engineering Inc, IBI Group, NAK Design Strategies, RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists