In the heart of Toronto’s Cabbagetown, a marquee overlooking Parliament Street has quite clearly seen better days. And its days may be numbered. Pending approval of an application filed with the city in mid-March, the one-and-a-half-storey building at 509 Parliament Street, as well as its two-and-a-half-storey neighbour at 505-507 Parliament, could soon be reimagined into a residential mid-rise.

The development application, prepared on behalf of Streetwise Capital Partners, outlines plans to construct a 10-storey mixed-use building on the site, which would involve retaining the western elevation of 509 Parliament and removing 505-507 Parliament. The new development would reach a height of 33.61 m, excluding the mechanical penthouse. It is expected to contain 6,809 sq. m in total gross floor area (GFA), 406 sq. m of which would be used to accommodate three retail units, to be located at grade, while the remaining 6,403 sq. m would be dedicated to residential.

For the residential component, 85 units are planned, including three studios, 59 one-bedrooms, 15 two-bedrooms, and eight three-bedrooms. Twenty-six vehicle parking spaces and 90 bicycle parking spaces are also planned.

Proposed development for 109 Parliament, Toronto Cabbagetown

In addition, three amenity spaces have been proposed, with 229 sq. m to be located indoors on the building’s ground and underground levels, and 68 sq. m to be located on the 10th-floor terrace, extending along the western face of the building.

According to a Cultural Heritage Evaluation Report, prepared in support of the application in March, 509 Parliament was once occupied by the now-defunct Carlton Theatre. The theatre was shuttered in 1954 and thereafter converted into a recording studio for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) until 1956. In 1995, the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (CCDT) converted the building into a dance school.

After close to 30 years in the Cabbagetown location, CCDT has revealed that they will move to a new location in September 2024, although they are yet to release any further details.

Despite carrying “some nominal heritage value,” the subject site is not designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and has not been listed on the city’s Heritage Register, despite being recommended for inclusion and endorsed by the Toronto Preservation Board.

Heritage significance aside, the site is well-situated in the city’s Cabbagetown-South St. James Town neighbourhood, where it is proximate to current and forthcoming transit, including the future Corktown Station of the Ontario Line. In addition, the site is well-served by a “growing mix” of cycling infrastructure. A number of other mid- and high-rise developments are slated for the area.