Five Housing Now Developments Adding Density Across the City

As Toronto‘s Housing Now initiative continues to progress across the 17 designated sites, early massing concepts have emerged for five more key sites across the city, revealing planned heights and densities for each as part of Phase 2 of the Housing Now program. Housing Now was initiated by the City of Toronto to fast-track the development of City-owned properties across the city adjacent to rapid transit with a significant portion of the units earmarked for affordable housing.

Housing Now, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-911ebc10-c097-42e5-a2af-6dced0c4cb21″ data-insert-attach=”{"id":"911ebc10-c097-42e5-a2af-6dced0c4cb21","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132103.png” title=”Map showing locations of the 17 Housing Now sites, image via City of Toronto website.” />Map showing locations of the 17 Housing Now sites, image via City of Toronto website.

Each of the five projects were presented before the Toronto Design Review Panel over the past few months, revealing early concepts and massing models for each. It is important to note that the images and descriptions below are only preliminary, as the City is currently working out potential massing and zoning envelopes before engaging with a development partner to construct each building, so any reference to their architectural expression is subject to change. Design firms listed below are only for the current planning phase; once zoning is in place and a development partner is procured, they may bring on their own architects for the design and construction of the final building.

Here are the five new Housing Now developments currently in the works.

CityPlace – 150 Queen’s Wharf Road

Located adjacent to the Bathurst Street bridge overlooking the rail corridor, 150 Queen’s Wharf Road represents the last developable plot of land in CityPlace. Working with DTAH, the City is planning to build a 25-storey, 224-unit tower on the site. The unit split would be 50% affordable rental units and 50% market units, available in a variety of sizes from one to three bedrooms, with one-bedroom suites making up roughly half of the total.

150 Queen's Wharf Road, Housing Now, CreateTO, DTAH, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-511288af-f90e-480c-8734-ce285c13d3ff” data-insert-attach=”{"id":"511288af-f90e-480c-8734-ce285c13d3ff","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132089.png” title=”Conceptual massing model of 150 Queen’s Wharf Road, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual massing model of 150 Queen’s Wharf Road, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

The massing of the tower takes the form of a typical tower-and-podium model to match the surrounding context, with an 8-storey podium aligned in height with the adjacent towers. The design team is testing different architectural expressions, with the current preferred option featuring a cross hatch pattern adorning the balconies.

150 Queen's Wharf Road, Housing Now, CreateTO, DTAH, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-09eae014-b38d-4451-8522-02050c023a58″ data-insert-attach=”{"id":"09eae014-b38d-4451-8522-02050c023a58","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132088.png” title=”Conceptual massing model of 150 Queen’s Wharf Road, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual massing model of 150 Queen’s Wharf Road, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

The development includes a new community space on the ground floor, facing north toward the rail corridor. It is also adjacent to the future Lower Garrison Creek Park (also referred to as Mouth of the Creek Park), a new public park slated for the lands between 150 Queen’s Wharf, the rail corridor, and the Bathurst bridge. It is unknown when construction of the park will take place.

150 Queen's Wharf Road, Housing Now, CreateTO, DTAH, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-6d93d2ef-e6cc-40fe-8082-ee43446003ea” data-insert-attach=”{"id":"6d93d2ef-e6cc-40fe-8082-ee43446003ea","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132090.png” title=”Conceptual ground floor plan of 150 Queen’s Wharf Road, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual ground floor plan of 150 Queen’s Wharf Road, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

Cabbagetown – 405 Sherbourne Street

A second downtown location is proposed at 405 Sherbourne Street, on the site of an existing surface parking lot partway between Carlton and Wellesley Streets in Cabbagetown. The City has engaged SvN to propose a 25-storey, 82.4 metre-high tower on the property, containing a mix of 50% affordable rental and 50% market units. Of the Housing Now projects in this article, 405 Sherbourne is the furthest ahead, with a rezoning application submitted to the City in March 2021.

405 Sherbourne Street, Housing Now, SvN, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-9070d143-4441-43a5-af5e-8ccdba818084″ data-insert-attach=”{"id":"9070d143-4441-43a5-af5e-8ccdba818084","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/04/44651/44651-132131.png” title=”Conceptual massing model of 405 Sherbourne Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual massing model of 405 Sherbourne Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

The massing includes a 4-storey podium with setbacks that respond to the surrounding historic context, with the tower form stepped back above. A mid-block connection is included on the north edge of the property linking Sherbourne and Bleecker Streets, maintaining the porosity of the site that is consistent with the porosity of the public realm throughout the neighbourhood.

405 Sherbourne Street, Housing Now, SvN, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-544bc66b-db7a-4c66-9c32-0fe5e3a986c7″ data-insert-attach=”{"id":"544bc66b-db7a-4c66-9c32-0fe5e3a986c7","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/04/44651/44651-132129.png” title=”Conceptual rendering of 405 Sherbourne, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual rendering of 405 Sherbourne, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

The ground floor consists of a community space fronting onto Sherbourne, with two-storey townhouse units fronting onto Bleecker Street. A total of 266 units are planned, with a breakdown of 62% studios and one-bedrooms, 28% two-bedrooms, and 10% three-bedrooms. 

405 Sherbourne Street, Housing Now, SvN, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-e8c9d186-a884-4e94-85ec-292c77e8f942″ data-insert-attach=”{"id":"e8c9d186-a884-4e94-85ec-292c77e8f942","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/04/44651/44651-132130.png” title=”Conceptual ground floor plan of 405 Sherbourne, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual ground floor plan of 405 Sherbourne, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

Leslieville – 1631 Queen Street East

Situated at the southeast corner of Queen and Coxwell, 1631 Queen East would see the redevelopment of an existing two-storey City-owned office building and surface parking lot, which is not to be confused with the Don Summerville TCHC redevelopment just next door at 1575 Queen East, dubbed Queen & Ashbridge, itself located at the southwest corner of Queen and Coxwell. Here, the City is working with SvN and Two Row Architect to build a 17-storey development on the U-shaped site, which excludes the existing Harvey’s fronting onto Queen Street.

1631 Queen Street East, SvN, Two Row Architect, Housing Now, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-65b72eec-cd07-4dfd-98a1-c528e43f94ac” data-insert-attach=”{"id":"65b72eec-cd07-4dfd-98a1-c528e43f94ac","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132094.png” title=”Conceptual massing model of 1631 Queen Street East (left) with Queen &amp; Ashbridge (right), image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual massing model of 1631 Queen Street East (left) with Queen &amp; Ashbridge (right), image via submission to the City of Toronto.

The building is comprised of three distinct volumes: an 8-storey mid-rise fronting onto Queen, a 12-storey central block spanning over the mid-block laneway and service access, and a 17-storey volume fronting onto Eastern Avenue. A laneway runs along the western edge of the property, which will be remade into a new public space, as underground utilities prevent that portion of the site from being built upon. Two Row Architect are providing an Indigenous perspective to help inform the design of the public realm and architecture.

1631 Queen Street East, SvN, Two Row Architect, Housing Now, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-dae65b97-cd10-490f-a584-215cc84ebb04″ data-insert-attach=”{"id":"dae65b97-cd10-490f-a584-215cc84ebb04","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132096.png” title=”Conceptual massing model of 1631 Queen East, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual massing model of 1631 Queen East, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

The ground floor will contain retail fronting onto Queen, a child care centre, and amenities for the residences. No unit count was given for this property, but the City stated that it would be comprised of 50% affordable rental and 50% market units.

1631 Queen Street East, SvN, Two Row Architect, Housing Now, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-2a9e910e-da61-4290-b19e-68596ee5583e” data-insert-attach=”{"id":"2a9e910e-da61-4290-b19e-68596ee5583e","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132095.png” title=”Conceptual ground floor plan of 1631 Queen Street East, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual ground floor plan of 1631 Queen Street East, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

Kennedy Station – 2444 Eglinton Avenue East

One of the most important transit hubs in the city, Kennedy station is the terminus for the Bloor-Danforth subway, the Scarborough RT, and the soon-to-be-complete Eglinton LRT, while also providing a connection to the Stouffville GO line. It comes as no surprise that the City is planning to add significant density here as part of the Housing Now program.

2444 Eglinton Avenue East, Zeidler Architecture, Housing Now, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-934ac634-c4d4-4f50-9f89-526ab7d8c113″ data-insert-attach=”{"id":"934ac634-c4d4-4f50-9f89-526ab7d8c113","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132097.png” title=”Conceptual massing model of 2444 Eglinton East, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual massing model of 2444 Eglinton East, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

Enlisting Zeidler Architecture for the design, the City is proposing three towers at 2444 Eglinton East, rising to heights of 22, 30 and 40 storeys. The triangular plot of land is located directly to the north of Kennedy station, bordered by Eglinton to the south, the hydro corridor to the north, and the rail corridor to the east.

2444 Eglinton Avenue East, Zeidler Architecture, Housing Now, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-8ed00242-15e8-4cbb-afbb-0dd318f13c0d” data-insert-attach=”{"id":"8ed00242-15e8-4cbb-afbb-0dd318f13c0d","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132099.png” title=”Conceptual massing model of 2444 Eglinton East, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual massing model of 2444 Eglinton East, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

The 30- and 40-storey towers sit atop a shared podium, while the 22-storey tower rests on its own podium, with outdoor amenity spaces in between. The current proposal includes a total of 926 residential units, with a minimum of one-third affordable rental units and a minimum of one-third market units, with the remainder of the unit mix to be determined with the eventual development partner. More than half of the proposed units are one-bedrooms, with two- and three-bedroom units making up the rest of the mix. The base of the building includes a community space, residential amenities, and townhouses, with no retail proposed on site.

2444 Eglinton Avenue East, Zeidler Architecture, Housing Now, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-6db353ff-3a5e-4fb5-8ef3-0cdf503ca25b” data-insert-attach=”{"id":"6db353ff-3a5e-4fb5-8ef3-0cdf503ca25b","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132098.png” title=”Conceptual ground floor plan of 2444 Eglinton East, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual ground floor plan of 2444 Eglinton East, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

Scarborough Centre – 158 Borough Drive

The final site on our list brings us to the heart of Scarborough Centre, where a surface parking lot at 158 Borough Drive immediately east of the Scarborough Civic Centre and Library is earmarked for development by the City. Engaging with Diamond Schmitt Architects, the plan includes two towers of 27 and 40 storeys comprising a total of 603 residential units on the prominent site.

158 Borough Drive, Diamond Schmitt Architects, Housing Now, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-6d480d09-4ee2-4dad-bb8e-962b0596956c” data-insert-attach=”{"id":"6d480d09-4ee2-4dad-bb8e-962b0596956c","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132100.png” title=”Conceptual massing model of 158 Borough Drive, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual massing model of 158 Borough Drive, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

As with the previous building at 2444 Eglinton East, the split of affordable and market units is not yet defined, but a minimum of one-third of each is required. Of the 603 units, the development will contain a mix of 42% one-bedrooms, 43% two-bedrooms, 10% three-bedrooms, and 5% four-bedrooms.

158 Borough Drive, Diamond Schmitt Architects, Housing Now, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-0cc77fff-e1d4-4a33-ba12-f60010d4aa59″ data-insert-attach=”{"id":"0cc77fff-e1d4-4a33-ba12-f60010d4aa59","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132102.png” title=”Conceptual south elevation, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual south elevation, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

The ground floor includes a community space, child care centre, and residential amenities, with no retail proposed in the development. A woonerf provides a mid-block connection along the north edge of the property, while landscaping responds to the natural woodlot on the south side of Borough Drive.

158 Borough Drive, Diamond Schmitt Architects, Housing Now, CreateTO, <a href=Toronto” class=”image-display_default” data-entity-type=”file” data-entity-uuid=”insert-display_default-73262510-7898-48a1-9b0d-817c171374bc” data-insert-attach=”{"id":"73262510-7898-48a1-9b0d-817c171374bc","attributes":{"alt":["alt","description"],"title":["title"]}}” data-insert-class=”image-display_default” data-insert-type=”image” src=”https://cdn.skyrisecities.com/sites/default/files/images/articles/2021/03/44651/44651-132101.png” title=”Conceptual ground floor plan of 158 Borough Drive, image via submission to the City of Toronto.” />Conceptual ground floor plan of 158 Borough Drive, image via submission to the City of Toronto.

The projects above are in the very early stages of planning, and represent only 5 of the 17 Housing Now sites that the City is moving to develop. There will inevitably be changes and updates as these projects continue to evolve, so check back for more news as they progress. In the meantime, you can tell us what you think by checking out the associated Forum threads (linked at each development address above), or by leaving a comment in the space provided on this page.

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