Phase 1 is sold out. Phase 2 is now available.
As is common with any new development proposal there is a lot of information to process so we thought we’d provide an insightful summary on our plans for Riverside Square. We are excited to share our sources of inspiration and the vision that is guiding the project.
Streetcar Developments has recently made two applications to the City for rezoning of the Tippet Richardson and Toyota sites located in Riverside (77-79 East Don Roadway and 677 Queen East respectively—“the site”). Plans remain preliminary given the early stages of municipal review, however, to date; we have conducted several productive meetings with City Staff. Given that this year is an election year, the public engagement process at the City level will not commence in earnest until early in 2015.
Together, the two properties comprise over 4 acres of underutilized land; an uncommon occurrence in urban Toronto. Approximately 30% of the entire street frontage on the south side of Queen Street East between Broadview Avenue and the Don Valley is taken up by frontage of the site (approximately 100m of a total 300m) which today is occupied by surface parking and a Toyota dealership. Further, given the presence of two western facing (and less than attractive) industrial buildings at the south/west end, the site does not connect in any way (or even relate) to Eastern Avenue. In effect, there is a very large gap in the urban fabric of Riverside.
That said, and being that the site is situated on one of the City’s most important avenues and within an evolving mixed use neighbourhood, we felt that it was critical to engage in a meaningful master planning exercise and re-imagine how the site could be transformed to make a positive contribution to Riverside.
It became clear to us early on in the planning process that there was a great opportunity to break down the site and reintegrate it into the existing street pattern by extending Munro Street south of Queen as a “woonerf” style street that terminates it in a new public plaza at its south end. This became the main feature around which the site is organized.
Further, we sought to make much needed and long desired pedestrian and bike connections through and around the site and across the Don River to Corktown Common (new park in West Don Lands). The opportunity to achieve this in connection with the development proposal has been very exciting to us and our design team. As Riverside natives who have constructed 3 buildings in the immediate vicinity and having just acquired the Broadview Hotel we are enthused with the opportunity of being able to provide tangible benefits such as this to the community.
We looked into how to utilize and improve existing infrastructure and discovered, to our surprise, the opportunity to re-open and extend the current dead ended East Don Roadway at its southern limit. While not formally vetted by City Staff as of yet we see this as a key part of our proposal as this will allow a connection to be made underneath Eastern Avenue to a disused and inaccessible 3.6 acre parcel of land that we propose to make into a publicly accessible green space. This green space would also connect to Eastern Avenue and over to the Corktown Common via an existing dedicated pedestrian and bike path. Aside from the benefit of reclaiming unused land for park, this would allow a traveller coming from the north side of Eastern to make it across to Corktown Common via a new network of paths and without ever having to cross a road. Also key for the site is giving the Eastern Avenue frontage a proper street presence and connection (or front porch).
At the core of our approach to the project is high quality urban design that puts a priority on these important new spaces and connections and to the public experience in general. To this end our buildings are thoughtfully arranged around these public spaces and massed to be contextually sensitive. As a result, all loading, garbage collection and parking is consolidated for all buildings into one underground facility away from view. Further, we have retained well regarded heritage architects to assist in our design of the Queen Street buildings such that they compliment current City efforts to establish a Heritage Conservation District for the area. The end result will be the restoration of a more fine grain rhythm consistent with traditional Queen Street that is punctuated by smaller side streets and connecting pathways.
MASSING & DESIGN
There are a total of 4 buildings that vary in height (see Site Plan above). The massing is arranged to focus density and height away from Queen Street to the south and west in favour of a mid-rise form along Queen that is in keeping with the existing built form (4 stories along Queen stepping back and up to 7). In the middle of the site there are 12 and 13 story heights and at the south end along Eastern we propose 8 story heights and a 24 story point tower (small 750m2 floor plate). The tower has been set approximately 300 feet back from Queen Street and 440 feet back from Broadview Avenue to eliminate shadow and visual impacts on Queen and the Neighbourhood east of Broadview. The 8 story building heights surrounding the tower allow for sunlight to penetrate the middle of the site and to continue reaching our existing neighbours to the east at 90 and 68 Broadview.
Brochure and Floorplans Phase 1
Brochure and Floorplans Phase 2