Humbold Properties Updates Plans for Office Tower on Adelaide west of Simcoe

Another office tower could be coming to Toronto’s Entertainment district. Betting on a return to normal office usage, Humbold Properties have refined their development proposal at 217 Adelaide Street West, issuing updated drawings and specifications for Zoning By-Law Amendment and Site Plan Approval applications.

217 Adelaide West, Toronto, designed by Adamson Associates Architects for Humbold Properties.Renderings – views of the proposed development on Adelaide Street W. Images by Adamson Associates Architects.

The currently vacant 1,383 m² property is located on the south side of Adelaide between Duncan and Simcoe streets and is used for surface parking. It is a through lot, with frontages of 24.1m along Adelaide and 24.4m along Pearl Street to the south.

217 Adelaide West, Toronto, designed by Adamson Associates Architects for Humbold Properties.Aerial photo indicating the project site, 217 Adelaide Street W. Image by Googlemaps.

The proposal has been revised numerous times since the original application in 2015. The current design, by Adamson Associates Architects, is similar to the previous iteration (2018, by Kirkor Architects) with a number of changes, all of which are as a result of the February, 2020 LPAT decision, which approved a zoning by-law amendment in principle allowing a total height of 92.3m to the top of the roof (exclusive of mechanical penthouse and rooftop amenity space).

217 Adelaide West, Toronto, designed by Adamson Associates Architects for Humbold Properties.Earlier design by Kirkor Architects: rendering of the north face. Image by Kirkor Architects.

This new design proposes 23 storeys of office space, while the 2018 proposal had originally sought put 25 storeys on the site with the floors above the 9th-floor step-back to be used as hotel space. In the new design, other than a retail space at ground level, there will also be amenity space—meeting and conference rooms—primarily for the building office tenants on some floors. 

217 Adelaide West, Toronto, designed by Adamson Associates Architects for Humbold Properties.Rendering – northwest corner. Image by Adamson Associates Architects.

Other changes as part of the updated design include a reduced POPS (Privately-Owned Publicly accessible Space) along Adelaide Street to allow for a small private patio associated with the commercial/retail space, and an increase in size to and relocation of the mechanical penthouse. As a result, the adjacent rooftop indoor amenity and outdoor terrace is now situated on the building’s north end. In addition, the blank wall on the east elevation at the elevator core has been designed with detail with the aim of reducing direct views to the 100 Simcoe Street development next door to the east. As illustrated in the elevation above, visibility mitigation measures have been employed: vertical spandrel fins that progressively decrease in width and conversely windows between the spandrel fins increase in width.

217 Adelaide West, Toronto, designed by Adamson Associates Architects for Humbold Properties.POPS looking from the northeast. Image by Adamson Associates Architects.

The proposed gross floor area of the building is 18,720 m² and represents a floor space index (FSI) of 13.5. Three levels of underground garage provide parking spaces for 40 vehicles and 80 bicycles.

The overall podium massing has been revised with a five-storey base incorporating setbacks, to provide a better fit with the area’s existing historic mid-rise warehouse scale.

The new building is clearly of its own time and place and, while the overall proportions of the base of the building pick up from the adjacent buildings, it sets its own new imprint on the street line along Adelaide Street West and introduces a curvilinear floor plate design, which is a distinctive feature that will complement adjacent contemporary designs. This curved massing has remained from the previous submission, however the new design includes revisions to facade/cladding treatment and design.

217 Adelaide West, Toronto, designed by Adamson Associates Architects for Humbold Properties.Exterior sample finishes. Image by Adamson Associates Architects.

You can learn more from our Database file for the project linked below. If you’d like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

* * *

UrbanToronto has a new way you can track projects through the planning process on a daily basis. Sign up for a free trial of our New Development Insider here.