The Church-Wellesley Village is home to an eclectic blend of architecture — rows of heritage homes meld into low-rise pre-war apartments, with the occasional modern façade sprinkled in. And soon, a new condo tower could be added to the mix, rising right above the very heart of the neighbourhood.
A new development application has been submitted for a 28-storey, mixed-use tower at the northeast corner of Church Street and Wellesley Street East.
Spanning 505 to 509 1/2 Church Street and 68 to 78A Wellesley Street East, the majority of the site is currently occupied by William McBean Terrace, a two-and-a-half-storey heritage building constructed in 1878. Ground-level commercial spaces, including a Pizza Pizza and Ho’s Place Hairstyling, sit below 17 rental units.
The rentals will be fully replaced within the development, which will create a total of 258 new residential dwellings under the new address of 68 Wellesley Street East. The units will be comprised of 95 studios, 87 one-bedrooms, 50 two-bedrooms, and 26 three-bedrooms.
With a total gross floor area of 17,523.3 sq. m — 16,903.4 sq. m of which is allotted to residential — the tower also includes approximately 387.6 square meters of ground-level retail space and, notably, an expansion of The 519. Currently located at its namesake address further north, The 519 offers programming and services to support the 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
The proposed expansion of The 519 would create 232.3 sq. m of community space on the second floor of the development, and would enjoy a dedicated lobby off of Church Street. The space is being provided as an in-kind community benefit by the developer.
Designed by BDP Quadrangle, the development will preserve the second floor façade and mansard roof of William McBean Terrace. The historic features will remain “iconic elements” of the design, helping blend the modernity of the new structure with the character of the surrounding streets.
A three-storey, metal-panelled base will sit atop the heritage building, its copper colour matching the new street-level frontage. The crisp white tower will be balanced above, its curved balconies creating a wave-like effect above the iconic corner.
There will be no vehicle parking within the new development, although there will be three pick-up and drop-off spots, as well as 295 short- and long-term bicycle parking spaces. The site is also steps from the Wellesley subway station.
For the development to proceed as proposed, an Official Plan Amendment will be required in order to exempt the site from specific massing and shadowing provisions, as Barbara Hall Park and The 519 are protected from shadow impacts brought on by new developments.