Thursday, 10 October 2013

Preview: 65-Storey Tower to Rise at Toronto Eaton Centre

Cadillac Fairview proposes a new residential tower atop a historic 4-storey podium building.

A rendering of the proposed development at 2 Queen Street West
The north-west corner of Queen and Yonge houses a historic commercial building that has seen a succession of tenants over the years. Cadillac Fairview is proposing a new rental tower at this site that will restore and utilize the facade as part of the new building's base.

The new tower will be designed by Zeidler Partnership Architects and contain 475,000 square feet of space with 580 rental units. The bottom two storeys of the podium will contain retail space. Above that will be building amenities including a terrace on the fifth level. The tower will have no parking spaces (though bike parking will be available) and is a significant injection of residential rental space into the Toronto market. The building will connect to the Eaton Centre's facilities and sits atop the Queen subway station.

Rendering of the tower with nearby buildings

An article in The Grid outlines the fascinating history of 2 Queen Street West. The site was the home of men's clothing retailer Philip Jamieson whose store included large plate glass windows and a round corner entrance (his advertising would reference "The Rounded Corner").

According to the City of Toronto heritage designation, the Philip Jamieson Building is an example of a late 19th century commercial building with Classical detailing. Its design is Renaissance Revival with differing window shapes on various levels and Classical motifs.

The Philip Jamieson Building in 1897

Later occupants of the site included Woolworth's, who operated here between 1912 and 1980. Woolworth's covered the building with a metal skin that was removed in the 1980s. The exterior is currently partially restored and partially covered. Currently the home to an Atmosphere sportswear store, 2 Queen Street West was the Toronto home of Tower Records from 1995 to 2001.

The corner of Queen and Yonge Streets in the 1970s
Prior to the construction of the Toronto Eaton Centre, Eaton's encircled the site with store frontage on both Queen Street and Yonge Street. According The Grid, a former landowner had a stipulation in her will baring the sale of the property to the Eaton family, for reasons unknown.

[Historical images via the City of Toronto Archives and the Toronto Public Library, renderings via Cadillac Fairview]