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BIG coming to Toronto’s King West

Colourful architecture by Elka Nilsson on

Earlier this week a press release went out announcing that Allied Properties REIT (TSX:AP.UN) had established a joint venture with Westbank to redevelop 489 – 539 King Street West here in Toronto.

“What is so exciting here is that Allied has over time assembled 620 feet of frontage on what is fast becoming one of the most interesting streets in Toronto,” said Ian Gillespie of Westbank. “With this scale, we have a unique opportunity for world-class city building.”

Westbank is relatively new to the Toronto market. Their first project was the Shangri-La Toronto in 2012. But since then they’ve entered the city in a big way with high profile projects like the redevelopment of Honest Ed’s at Bloor and Bathurst.

But what excites me the most about this King Street project is that they’ve selected Bjarke Ingels Group as the design architect. I’ve written about BIG a few times before and I’m a huge fan of their/his work. So I’m pumped to see what gets proposed here. It will not be typical.

There are a few heritage buildings on the site. And it looks like some (but not all?) will be preserved. 

Based on this post and discussion on, it’s not clear whether 489 King Street West will be preserved and incorporated into the new build (as was the case with a previous design). I sure hope it is though.

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