As the City of Toronto continues to flesh out its much-anticipated Housing Now initiative, staff are seeking zoning approvals for a site at the intersection of Bloor and Islington.

Proposed for the site in question — a City-owned, triangular parcel of land municipally known as 3326 and 3330 Bloor Street West and 1240 and 1226 Islington Avenue — is a multi-tower rental and condo development, as well as a new public street linking Bloor Street West and Islington Avenue and a relocated TTC bus terminal on the northern portion of the property.

Bloor and Islington Housing NowMassing of the proposed development. (City of Toronto)

Bloor and Islington Housing NowProposed site layout. (City of Toronto)

A report from Interim Chief Planner and Executive Director of the City Planning Division, Kerri Voumvakis, that will go to City Council on April 17 lays out the plans in greater detail.

Voumvakis explains that the development concept consists of three buildings, including four towers, across two development blocks bifurcated by the proposed public street.

Across those four towers, 1,415 new residential units are proposed, 33% of which — so, 471 units — are planned to be affordable rentals provided through the Housing Now initiative. Voumvakis iterates that those units would remain affordable for at least 99 years thanks to a host of Open Door incentives, including development charge exemptions, waived planning application, building permit, and parkland dedicated fees, and the exemption of municipal and school taxation over the 99-year term.

Bloor and Islington Housing NowOpen Door incentives for the Bloor-Islington site. (City of Toronto)

The remaining two-thirds of the proposed unit count — at 944 units — would be split down the middle as market rate rentals and market condominiums.

Plans also include a 9,946-sq.-m non-residential component that will be programmed for community, commercial, and retail uses. As such, Voumvakis writes that “the development concept supports a complete community in this part of Etobicoke Centre.”

As for next steps, Voumvakis is recommending that City staff work with CreateTO and development partners to hash out a development timeline and devise a lease agreement.

Bloor and Islington Housing NowRendering of the propose looking north from Bloor Street West. (City of Toronto)

Bloor and Islington Housing NowRendering for TTC bus terminal and subway entrance. (City of Toronto)

The Bloor-Islington site is one of 22 sites approved by Council for redevelopment through the Housing Now program, which is defined as “an approach to city-building whereby City-owned lands are used to facilitate private sector, or non-profit development of affordable rental, market rental and ownership housing within mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented communities.”

Last month, a progress update from CreateTO's Chief Executive Officer, Vic Gupta, revealed that development approvals are now in place for 10 of the 22 sites identified across the city, with three expected to kick off construction at some point this year. Those three sites are: 5207 Dundas Street West, 50 Wilson Heights Boulevard, and 140 Merton Street.

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