Posted: Mar 28, 2007, 10:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Condo would be country's tallest TheStar.com - News - Condo would be country's tallest
Councillor lauds 80-storey proposal for Yonge, Bloor
March 28, 2007
If a proposed condo development at the corner of Yonge and Bloor becomes a reality, it would not only be the country's tallest residential tower but also a bold new symbol of urban living.
Stacked to the sky.
That's precisely why city Councillor Kyle Rae lauds the proposal from a Kazakhstan-based developer to build a tower nearly 80 storeys tall at 1 Bloor St. E. at the intersection's southeast corner.
"It's the intersection of two subway lines," he says. "It's where there's already intensification."
Having so many people living atop a bustling public transit junction speaks of civic efficiency, even if the Toronto Transit Commission has yet to deal with the massive swell of fresh commuters.
And Rae expects little political resistance.
The City of Toronto had already approved a 60-storey building at the site, to be built by Nastapoka Holdings, four years ago.
Earlier this year, the property was sold to Bazis International, which will hold a news conference at the Manulife Centre next Thursday to unveil its plans.
In the meantime, Rae doesn't expect the jump from 60 to 80 floors to be dramatic.
"The previous approval had a lot of retail and a movie theatre ... and they take up a lot of height," he says.
Leaving the theatre out of the plans buys the developer about four extra floors for residential and hotel use.
Rae claims the originally approved height of 205 metres will not change.
But he, like many, is awaiting further information.
"I don't have a lot of detail yet," says consultant Vickie Griffiths of Vicbar Marketing, which counts Bazis as a client but has been referring media to the company itself. "I'm still waiting to get info from them."
The developer has yet to release renderings of the proposed building, and did not return calls to its local office yesterday. The address is, however, listed on UrbanDB.com, a website that registers city developments. It lists Toronto's Roy Varacalli as the architect.
According to the website, 1 Bloor E. will comprise 79 floors, above and below ground.
The site is near a 34-storey condominium building Bazis is already developing at Balmuto St. If the tower does get built at Yonge and Bloor, the building may earn another distinction – by blotting out a few other towering eyesores, according to Rae.
"I sorely would like to hide the Royal Bank building on the northeast corner," he says. "It's brutal. Hiding that building at the northeast corner by this one on the southeast corner would, I think, be a gracious thing to do.
"I'm in favour of masking the unfortunate."