A downtown Toronto camera store may soon be replaced by a soaring 60-storey condo tower, according to a development application recently filed with the City.

Architects at IBI Group have designed a 701-unit tower for developer CentreCourt that would rise at 119 Church Street, the current location of a Henry's camera store. Earlier this year, the store announced it would be closing and moving to a new location just a few blocks away after occupying the Church Street location for 47 years.

Sitting at the corner of Church Street and Queen Street East, the developers are eyeing the lot not just as an opportunity for a condo units, but for commercial space as well, with the plans calling for 582 sq. m of retail on the ground floor. As it stands right now, the site, which is home to the Henry's store, a McDonalds, and a mix of residential rental and commercial units up above, is "underutilized," according to the development filings.

Screen shot 2022 08 26 at 12IBI Group

The tower would be built atop a three to four-storey podium that would incorporate the existing brick building at 89 Queen Street East as well as portions of the existing buildings at 119-123 Church Street. In addition to the retail space, the podium would include a bike room, mail room, and 941 sq. metres of indoor amenity space.

The building's amenities would include features like a children's play area and seating areas with moveable chairs. But it's not just the human residents who would get all of the perks, with the plans also calling for a pet-friendly area and dog run.

Up above the podium, the residential units will be split between one-,two-, and three-bedroom units, with one-bedrooms comprising the overwhelming majority (71%). Unfortunately for residents hoping to park their car in the building, they won't be able to, with zero residential parking spaces proposed. There will, however, be eight visitor spots and 701 bicycle parking spaces.

Screen shot 2022 08 26 at 12IBI Group

The development application presents the tower, which will total 44,936 sq. m, as a new transit-oriented community. It would be conveniently located near the future Corktown Station along the Ontario Line, which is being built immediately east of the site.

CentreCourt will need to acquire a zoning by-law amendment from the City before they can move forward with the project. The existing rental units on the property, of which there are 17, would need to be replaced by the developer. Planning documents state, however, that they have not yet determined whether the units would be located on- or off-site, in a location within a 100-metre radius.

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