Another mega-project is about to make a splash on Toronto’s waterfront.
In a press conference on Thursday, Daniels Corporation unveiled its plans for a $700-million mixed-use development at the site that used to house the massive nightclub the Guvernment. The extensive proposal includes four towers, hundreds of thousands of square feet for residential, office, and educational uses, and an extension of Waterfront Toronto’s acclaimed Sugar Beach.
The Daniels waterfront project is billed as “City of the Arts,” and will house several arts-related organizations. Among them are the arts-development organization Manifesto, Artscape, The Remix Project, talent agency Last Gang Records, and entertainment law firm Taylor Klein Oballa LLP.
The development will also house a new RBC location, possible educational facilities from OCAD and George Brown, and the new Daniels Corporation offices. Phase one is projected to be complete in spring 2018.
There is also a significant residential component. Phase two includes two residential towers, including the proposed 48-storey Lighthouse Tower. Combined, these will feature 650,000 square feet of residential space and 900 suites.
For public space, design expert Ken Greenberg has been hired to oversee the public-realm elements of the project, which is one of the first for the fledgling East Bayfront community. Claude Cormier + Associates, the landscape architecture firm behind Sugar Beach, will design an extension of Sugar Beach for “outdoor gatherings of music, dance, and celebration,” according to the press release. There will also be an east-west pedestrian corridor called “The Yard” that will include cafés and retail between lower Jarvis and Richardson. It is also intended as a site for festivals in the summer.
Optimistic city-building notwithstanding, the area has its challenges. Despite hopes from developers for an East Bayfront LRT, and the city manager’s efforts for a provincially aided Waterfront LRT, the transit line doesn’t have much momentum. This could mean the development of an unnecessarily car-reliant community if the accompanying infrastructure is not built out in time.