Infill Projects to Densify Leith Hill Road West of Fairview Mall

Within walking distance of Don Mills subway station in the northeast corner of the Toronto borough of North York, a Tower-in-the-Park style community of rental towers has been seeing a wave of development applications. Located across from Fairview Mall and to the northwest of the intersection of Don Mills Road and Sheppard Avenue East, the properties on either side of Leith Hill Road have subsequently been the subject of a comprehensive block planning exercise that the City began to undertake in 2018.

Centering on Leith Hill Road, Toronto, between the proposed residential infill projects.Centering on Leith Hill Road between the proposed residential infill projects.

In this article, we will look at two of the development several infill proposals in the area; 12-24 Leith Hill Road on the north side, and 25 Leith Hill Road on the south side. Adjacent to the north, south, and east are slab-styled mid and high-rise apartment buildings ranging between 11 and 19-storeys. To the west, institutional uses and low-rise residential uses are found. The proposed developments do not propose the demolition of the existing buildings nor any of the existing residential rental units.

12-24 Leith Hill Road, Toronto, designed by ArchitectureUnfolded for IMH 12-14 Leith Hill Road Ltd.Aerial view looking northwest to the 12-24 Leith Hill Road site. Infill building designed by ArchitectureUnfolded for IMH 12-14 Leith Hill Road Ltd.

12-24 Leith Hill Road

Owned by IMH 12-14 Leith Hill Road Ltd., the existing 16-storey rental apartment building on the site is managed by Starlight Investments. Designed by ArchitectureUnfolded, the proposal here consists of a new 9-storey, 159-unit residential apartment tower, and four blocks of 3-storey stacked rental townhouses representing 64 units. Combined with the existing rental building to be retained, a total of 447 units would be found across the site. The existing density of the subject site is low, at approximately 1.54 FSI. The proposed new density is 2.81 times the lot area.

12-24 Leith Avenue, Toronto, designed by ArchitectureUnfolded for IMH 12-14 Leith Hill Road Ltd.Looking east to the infill building designed by ArchitectureUnfolded for IMH 12-14 Leith Hill Road Ltd.

In this updated submission for Official Plan Amendment (OPA) and Zoning By-law Amendment (ZBA), and new submission for Site Plan Approval (SPA), the Client addresses the City’s comments received further to the June, 2018 submission. Key changes to the plans include: jogging the building along its north end to increase separation distances; increasing yard setbacks; decreasing the number of storeys from 12 to 9 and units from 223 to 167; and, minimizing surface driveways and parking lots while increasing the amount of green/landscaped space and widening internal walkways. In addition, the new design allows for a direct pedestrian connection to be provided from Leith Road to the proposed building.

Across Leith Hill Road to the south where greater separation between buildings is possible, the new infill proposals there are taller.

25 Leith Hill Road, Toronto, designed by Turner Fleischer Architects Inc. for developer Nuberg.Looking southwest to the infill building at 25 Leith Hill Road, designed by Turner Fleischer Architects for Nuberg etc.

 

25 Leith Hill Road

Owned by Nuberg & Dale Construction Limited / Anspor Construction Limited, the existing 15-storey rental apartment building and on the site is managed by Capitol Management Corp. Designed by Turner Fleischer Architects, the proposed development here would construct an additional 31-storey, 294-unit residential apartment tower south of it, accessed from a new municipal street that would curve south from Leith Hill Road and allow further intensification at the back of the other adjacent Tower-in-the-Park properties. Revised OPA and ZBA applications were submitted to the City of Toronto for this proposal in September, 2020. No SPA application has been submitted for this site yet.

25 Leith Hill Road, Toronto, designed by Turner Fleischer Architects Inc. for developer NubergAerial view looking north towards the 25 Leith Hill Road property.

The new building’s square floor plate rises in the shape of a traditional tower, but with an east wall that follows the curve of the new street across its lower half, including the five storeys of the base podium. The sixth floor —where you find the bulk of the building’s indoor and outdoor amenity spaces— provides a transition between the podium and the tower component. The tower is then articulated into three sections, stepping back slightly at the 10th and 18th floors.

25 Leith Hill Road, Toronto, designed by Turner Fleischer Architects Inc. for developer NubergAerial view looking southwest with Leith Hill Road to the right. Image by Turner Fleischer Architects

The proposed gross floor area from the new building is 22,818 m², for a total Floor Space Index of 3.9 times the gross area of the lot. Internal to the block, no retail is planned. At street level will be the building lobby, amenity space and bike storage.

The proposal introduces landscape buffers designed by The MBTW Group between the existing building to the north and the property to the west through ornamental trees and various soft landscaping elements. A new 4-level underground garage providing 264 spaces would be connected to the existing building’s parking garage.

In the image above, another proposed 33-storey tower at the back of 2600 Don Mills Road is shown ghosted on the close side of the new street. That ZBA-approved proposal is subject to another planning application for which no SPA application has yet been submitted to the City. A third tower, 31 storeys, proposed for the block interior at the north end of the 1650 Sheppard Avenue East property, is not shown in the image above.

Additional information and images can be found in our Database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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