A proposed 80-storey condo tower at the corner of Yonge and Bloor in Toronto would be the tallest residential tower in Canada if approved, and the design is already polarizing people in the area.
Developer Sam Mizrahi showed off plans for the massive tower, dubbed The One, at a community meeting on Wednesday night. The building would shoot up at the corner where the Stollerys building stood for more than 100 years before it was controversially torn down earlier this year.
People in the neighbourhood already had mixed feeling about the project on Thursday morning.
"In keeping with the rest of the corner maybe that might fit in … but it certainly will take away from the culture of Toronto," said one woman.
Another man was more impressed with the new design than the old Stollerys building, which he called a "lowrise eyesore."
The proposal, which Mizrahi hopes could be finished as soon as 2018, would have eight storeys of retail shops, 600 parking spots and some 560 residential units. Mizrahi said he thinks the building would put Toronto on the international map.
The tower, if built as planned, would stand 318 metres tall.
For those familiar with Toronto skyscrapers, that's taller than the First Canadian Place tower, the massive (and city council-approved) Mirvish-Gehry towers set to rise from King Street West and the recently finished 78-storey Aura condo located at Yonge at Gerrard St.
Only the CN Tower, at 553.33 metres, would be taller.
Elsewhere in Canada, only Calgary's Bow tower, at 237.5 metres, and Montreal's 1250 René-Lévesque, at 226.5 metres, come close.
Designed by Foster + Partners — "starchitect" Norman Foster's company — and local firm Core Architects, the building's design features glass clad in an almost argyle-pattern of support beams.
No official plans submitted to council
But for now, area Coun. Kristin Wong-Tam said it's still just the developer's "dream" as far as city council and staff are concerned.
"Right now all that's before planners are some images," Wong-Tam told CBC Radio's Metro Morning, noting that while it's an "attractive, modernist" building there are still plenty of studies required before work begins.
The height of the building, she said, would cast a significant shadow. City staff will also have to study the building's impact on transportation and other aspects of urban life in the area.
While Torontonians are accustomed to height in the area, she said, "There are no shortcuts at the city of Toronto" that would allow the building to go up without detailed study.