A relic of a time when most people reached Toronto’s waterfront by car, the huge underground car park at 200 Queens Quay West is not quite as busy as it was in its heyday, many of its visitors only showing up for the great views of the city. from the upper level of the garage.
When it was announced that the site would be traded to developers back in 2019, reactions included anger from some housing advocates, who were saddened to hear that the parking garage would likely be converted into expensive condominiums despite a growing need for affordable housing in the city.
It seems that developers DiamondCorp and Lifetime Developments – which acquired the 1.24-acre site from Canada Lands Company – heard these concerns and submitted a planning application to the city in 2020 calling for 71- and 41-story towers containing a mix of condominiums and affordable housing.
Since the presentation of this plan, the developers have consulted with city staff, stakeholders and members of the surrounding communities to refine the plan into something more palatable for all stakeholders, resulting in a new plan correcting the former two-tower Configuration in favor of a single tower with a new public park on site.
Like the previous two-tower plan, the current proposal includes a design from Wallman Architects, although ambitions have clearly been reduced in terms of height, density and even design.
A single tower of 59 storeys is now proposed for a height of just over 197 meters. It would have a six-sided polygonal floorboard and be finished in a mix of dark gray, black, blue and white materials.
The two-tower plan from 2020 may not have been the boldest thing proposed in recent years, but its displays of copper-colored finishes promised a colorful glow against the skyline of the mostly monochromatic South Core area, somewhat absent in the scaled-down proposals.
Apart from a small retail component in the street plan, 99 percent of the total floor area of the revised plan will be dedicated to residential areas. A total of 1,002 units are proposed, including 918 condominiums and 84 affordable rental units, divided into 602 one-bedroom, 299 two-bedroom and 101 three-bedroom units.
Although the number of units is 480 fewer than the previous plan with two towers, both proposals dedicate 10 percent of their total gross floor area to affordable rental housing.
Another change introduced with the new plan is the inauguration of new public park space at the west end of the site along Simcoe Street. The proposal for 2020 included 450 square meters of privately owned public space, which has since been upgraded to a planned 500 square meter public park inauguration.