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Development Profile: The Well

The Globe and Mail lands in Toronto, located between Front Street and Wellington Street, west of Spadina Avenue, have been in play for quite some time. But since the Globe and Mail confirmed last year that it would be moving its headquarters to a new First Gulf office building on King Street East, the lands opened up as a prime redevelopment opportunity.

Earlier this week I discovered the plans. It’s a new mixed-use neighborhood called The Well. And it’s a partnership between Allied Properties REIT, RioCan and Diamond Corp, with the master plan design being prepared by Hariri Pontarini Architects.

Here are a few photos.

Wellington Street looking east:

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Wellington Street looking west:

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Laneway looking south into the development site:

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And here are some high level stats:

  • 7.7 acre site (Globe and Mail lands)
  • Encompasses Draper Street, which is a heritage designated street
  • Approximately 500,000 square feet of retail space
  • More than 1,000,000 square feet of commercial office space
  • More than 1,000,000 square feet of residential space

From the early renderings, the project looks incredibly promising. Wellington Street East is a great street, but the south side of it is currently a mess. With a new lining of well designed midrise buildings on it, the street could be spectacular.

I like that there seems to be a focus on creating a fine grain network of streets and laneways. And it’s making me think that this stretch of Wellington could work really well as pedestrian only. Both ends of the street terminate in a park (Victoria Park on the west and Clarence Square on the east), which would make it a really beautiful (dumbbell shaped) urban space.

This is something Toronto doesn’t have today. This could be our opportunity.

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