DEVELOPERS ARE USING MORE IMAGINATION THESE DAYS – AND THE RESULTS ARE SHOWING

An application has been submitted to the City of TORONTO asking approval for a 29-storey tower at #210 Bloor Street West, across from the Royal Ontario Museum. The two-storey, well-known Remenyl House of Music occupies the site presently.

The building would be served by a three-level underground parking garage containing 80 spaces for residents, accessed by a pair of car lifts at the rear. Designers – Core Architects for Tribute Communities.

SIDEWALK LABS has released its development plan for Waterfront TORONTO’s Quayside neighbourhood, near the intersection of Parliament Street and Queens Quay East. The idea behind the plan is to integrate smart technologies into a mixed-use, mixed-income ‘digital’ community.

Among the innovations – sustainable mass-timber construction for all buildings, including several towers. Environmentally friendly, Quayside would be home to the single largest concentration of mass-timber buildings in the world. Quayside would be connected to downtown by the future Waterfront East LRT.

For a detailed look at the draft go to https://sidewalktoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/18.11.29_Quayside_Draft_Site-Plan.pdf

Mayor JOHN TORY – “The Quayside plan includes 40% below-market housing – with 20% affordable housing and 20% middle-income housing – which is encouraging, as is the fact that under this plan 3,900 jobs would also be in this neighbourhood.“

<WATERFRONT EAST as it looks today>

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U. OF T. PROF. RICHARD FLORIDA SAYS TORONTO IS A ‘CITY STATE’ & SHOULD START ACTING LIKE ONE

Speaking at the Urban Land Institute symposium on TORONTO this week, RICHARD FLORIDA, urban thinker and professor at the Rotman School of Management & the University of TORONTO’s school of cities, said this city must begin thinking seriously about a new model for growth. <PHOTO ABOVE – University of Toronto>“Once you pass the mark of 5 or 6 million as a metropolitan region, up to that point you can grow by (urban) sprawl, but somewhere you hit a wall and you can no longer grow or scale in the same traditional way.” <Greater TORONTO (GTA) now has a population close to 6-million.>

He also noted that in terms of total economic output, the Greater Toronto Area — including the Golden Horseshoe — is responsible for about “$700 billion” (U.S).

“Which means our … region is equivalent to that of SWEDEN. So we are a city state, a mega region. We are a powerful global city with lots of assets to build on,” he said.On the negative side, Florida pointed out that TORONTO is among the most unaffordable cities in the world. 40% of Torontonians, the “creative class”, make $75,000 to $100,000 annually; 50% of residents earn $30,000 a year. “Our city is not as divided along ethnic lines or along lines of nationality, but it is divided by socioeconomic class, giving us our own kind of spin on poverty,” he told the audience.FLORIDA went on to talk about traffic congestion, the high cost of housing, and the need to invest in public transport.

On the positive side, he said, we are inoculated by a social safety net, “health care that works, public education that works” and a city that compared to others around the world is “relatively safe.”

AMAZON PLANS TO PICK TWO ‘HQ2’ CITIES, SAYS THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

According to The Wall Street Journal, AMAZON will spread its new offices across a pair of locations – not just one. A person familiar with the matter says AMAZON will split the coveted second headquarters evenly. This will allow the company to collect more of the best available tech talent – 25,000 would make up each workforce.Amazon is in advanced talks with several cities, but hasn’t made a final choice on which two cities it has chosen. According to The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, Crystal City (Virginia), New York City and Dallas were on top, but no official announcement has been made.

TORONTO is the only Canadian city in the running.

RENTING A PLACE TO LIVE IN TORONTO ISN’T FOR THE FAINT OF HEART – SOME STATISTICS FROM ‘NOW’

$1,803
The average rent for a one-bedroom condo
Less than 1%
The current vacancy rate. A healthy rental market requires a rate of 3 to 5%
47%
TORONTO residents who spend more than 30% of their income on housing
47%
TORONTO households that are renters
120 days
Advance notice a landlord is required to give a tenant for renovations
1.8%
Provincial increase guideline for 2019
40,000
The number of affordable rental units Mayor John Tory promises to build in 12 years

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PARTNERS WITH INDIA’S TATA TRUSTS TO RESEARCH CITIES & ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Part of a School of Cities alliance in either MUMBAI or BENGALURU, the research and entrepreneur centres will open in 2019. University of TORONTO undergraduates, graduate students and faculty will have the opportunity to experience “real local engagement and activity” on site in India.

U of T’s priority these days is to increase global partnerships. The study of cities is part of an international project created by the Indian philanthropic organization TATA TRUSTS. It’s not the first time the University has worked with the charitable organization. This time the partnership will connect India’s “smart city” priorities with U of T’s “thought leadership” and its School of Cities.

<PHOTO ABOVE – University of TORONTO St. George Campus>

<PHOTO BELOW – Aerial view of GURUGRAM, India, by Sanjeev Verma, GETTY IMAGES>

TORONTO’S NEW SUNLIFE FINANCIAL & HARBOUR PLAZA TOWERS HAVE BEEN FITTED INTO SOUTHCORE

The One York mixed-use complex by Sweeny&Co Architects contains a Class ‘A’ office building, connection to the PATH underground tunnel system, and two residential towers of 63 and 67 storeys. All three towers were mostly leased or sold in the early stages of construction, allowing the trio to rise without phasing.

The office tower, completed in 2016, is aiming to cut energy consumption to less than half that used by traditional office buildings.

MISSISSAUGA, TORONTO’S NEIGHBOUR, LANDS A CBS TELEVISION PRODUCTION CENTRE, OPENING – 2019

America’s CBS (the Columbia Broadcasting System) has decided to build a 260,0000 square-foot production centre near Pearson International Airport in MISSISSAUGA. The hub will include six sound stages, production offices and other support facilities.

CBS currently produces 63 series, including Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Hawaii Five-0,The Good Fight and The Late Late Show with James Corden. It shoots Star Trek: Discovery and In the Dark in TORONTO, but has several other productions in CANADA, including one for the reboot of Charmed.

The Mayor of Mississauga, BONNIE CROMBIE, says the studio will be the first of its kind in her city “and a major investment for this industry. I ’m proud that our months of hard work to secure this investment has finally paid off.”

DAVID STAPF, president of CBS Television Studios, said in a statement – “The TORONTO area specifically has provided our series with diverse and appealing locations as well as production infrastructure and craft expertise that cannot easily be found.”

With expansion announcements this year from PINEWOOD Studios, CINESPACE and MARKHAM MOVIELAND — which will feature the continent’s largest sound stage — TORONTO can truly promote itself as Hollywood North.