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Old February 2nd, 2008, 05:10 AM   #1
vancouverite/to'er
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TORONTO | Yorkville Plaza | 125m | 39 fl | 100m | 30 fl | U/C

If approved, expect a solid addition to downtown Toronto's skyline!



Developer seeks skyscraping condo towers at old Four Seasons site in Yorkville

Posted: January 31, 2008, 9:54 PM by Rob Roberts

By Kelly Grant, National Post

The Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville is going to be demolished to make way for a pair of skyscraping condominium towers whose proposed height already has city planners and some nearby residents on edge.

Menkes Development Ltd. has applied to erect two luxury 48-storey and 58-storey towers with as much as 65,000 square feet of retail space on the Four Seasons’ site at 21 Avenue Rd.

The current 31-storey hotel and the desirable land on which it sits are due to be vacated early next decade when the Four Seasons moves to its new flagship location at Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue.

The 21 Avenue application, filed Dec. 21, is important because it ramps up an ongoing tug-of-war over the future of Yorkville and the nearby Annex neighbourhood, two enclaves that boast some of the most expensive real estate in Canada.

“Yorkville is transitioning,” said Kyle Rae, the councillor who has represented this area for 17 years. “It can’t depend on American tourists anymore. It needs to build a base of residents that will support it. The alternative would be to freeze it in time and it will die.”

But even those who acknowledge Yorkville needs to lure more high-density residential buildings fear that a 58-storey tower — which could be more than twice the height of the current hotel — is simply too tall.

“When [the developers] came in, I said to them, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t know how you can justify going to 58 storeys,’ Mr. Rae said. “So I think they know that I have concerns with the height.”

Like Mr. Rae, city planners, the Annex Residents’ Association and Councillor Adam Vaughan, whose ward begins on the west side of Avenue Road, all fear the proposed condos could cast too long a shadow into the abutting residential neighbourhood.
Mr. Vaughan also worries the towers could sully the silhouette of Queen’s Park.
“Is it time in this city that we had a discussion around protecting iconic buildings? Yes,” he said. “Can you imagine building a row of condominiums behind the Eiffel Tower?”

Paul Bain, the acting manager for midtown in the city’s planning department, said that at least at the preliminary stage, the proposal would be rejected because of the height.

But Alan Menkes, the president of Menkes Development Ltd., said it is too premature to discuss ratcheting down the height.

He believes the project, which was designed by top architect Peter Clewes and includes a new public park, is an excellent fit for the area.

“The buildings that we’ve designed are light, slender point towers to really minimize the shadow impacts and maintain the view corridors as much as we possibly can,” Mr. Menkes said.

The proposal envisions 176 units in the 48-storey north tower and 216 units in the 58-storey south tower. The one and two-bedroom condominiums would range in size from 1,500 to 5,000 square-feet, Mr. Menkes said.

The plan also calls for a three-storey retail “podium” that would sit at street level on Avenue Road and wrap around Yorkville Avenue and Cumberland Street.

With Bloor Street West, Canada’s answer to New York City’s Fifth Avenue, immediately to the south, Mr. Menkes expects to attract one or two high-end retailers to the space.

“We want to attract — and we’re negotiating and talking to — international and American landmark retailers that could really put a special store in this location.”

As far as concerns about the height, Mr. Menkes said he is prepared to begin consulting with his future neighbours.

Mimi Fullerton, the vice-chairwoman of the Annex Residents’ Association, said her group is also prepared to talk. But she warns the 21 Avenue proposal cannot be considered in isolation; it needs to be looked at as a potential precedent for the area.

“Nobody’s stepping back and saying, ‘If we keep on producing these [high-rise condos] you’re going to end up with streets in darkness.’”


Last edited by vancouverite/to'er; January 3rd, 2009 at 06:38 AM.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 05:13 AM   #2
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EDIT^

Last edited by vancouverite/to'er; January 3rd, 2009 at 06:38 AM.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 05:20 AM   #3
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Two towers will be too close to each other. lacking privacy.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 06:40 AM   #4
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Probably only a few units per floor.. thus the walls facing each other are bedrooms...
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Old February 9th, 2008, 06:57 PM   #5
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This will be the biggest demolition of a toronto skyscraper !!

But the existing Four Seasons Hotel, will need to stay in operation for at least 4 years, so don't expect anything on this one for a while.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 09:31 PM   #6
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when all the current projects for Toronto Downtown are completed the city will have an damn awesome skyline!!
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Old February 9th, 2008, 10:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltrane74 View Post
This will be the biggest demolition of a toronto skyscraper !!

But the existing Four Seasons Hotel, will need to stay in operation for at least 4 years, so don't expect anything on this one for a while.
Yeah I know, what's even worst is the Nimbys are under the impression that it's somehow part of the Annex. I say, you're for it or for sprawl instead.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 08:55 PM   #8
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This proposal is dead on arrival according to the planning department. They aren't even going to dedicate staff resources to review the proposal in detail until the developer comes back with a substantially revised application.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 08:12 AM   #9
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omfg, another one bites the dust...
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Old February 15th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vancouverite/to'er View Post
omfg, another one bites the dust...
Well not really, the applicant will have to substantially revise the proposed development before any serious negotiations can take place. A public meeting is scheduled on Feb 21st, more information should be available at that time.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 09:10 PM   #11
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A bit forward isn't it, using this site and keep going on about paintings...........Very American, never shy...........
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 06:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in TO View Post
Well not really, the applicant will have to substantially revise the proposed development before any serious negotiations can take place. A public meeting is scheduled on Feb 21st, more information should be available at that time.
Last I've heard both towers have been scaled down significantly. The heights are very close to those of the twin tower U Condo development. Nevertheless the project's podium will be an incredible improvement over the current Four Seasons hotel (well..glamorous 70's bunker)
Amazing how Menkes seems to have come out of nowhere with so many beautiful ambitious projects.

Last edited by vancouverite/to'er; January 3rd, 2009 at 06:35 AM.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 02:19 PM   #13
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Do you paint then?.. I'd never have guessed?????????? I'm only kidding really........I do photography, I've had exhibitions, won an award once, and have a series of local scenes greetings cards, which aren't tacky like some I've seen around the place, but nice quality. You can check out my other hobby if you go to scale models and look for 'gregs models', kindly posted for me by Robin, 'Piginapoke'. Good luck with the paintings.X
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 07:22 PM   #14
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Thanks gwool. I'll definitely check those out
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Old January 8th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in TO View Post
Well not really, the applicant will have to substantially revise the proposed development before any serious negotiations can take place. A public meeting is scheduled on Feb 21st, more information should be available at that time.
How would one find out where and what time the meeting is scheduled? I suppose a height increase isn't in the offing.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 12:43 PM   #16
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Its canсeled?
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 12:22 AM   #17
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The height police seem to have argued that anything visible from south of the Legislature is too tall. Where do they think they are, Saskatchewan?
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Old April 21st, 2010, 06:47 AM   #18
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So is this officially dead, or are they re-working it to comply with the height police?
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Old April 21st, 2010, 11:39 AM   #19
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It's not dead. The design's being worked out as we speak. It has been shortened to below skyscraper status though.
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Old April 21st, 2010, 11:48 AM   #20
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Oh man, that would have been so awesome at 225m! But when you say "below skyscraper status" how short does that actually mean?
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