In the fall of 2016, Lucas Manuel (Partner at Slate) and I traveled to Chicago in order to meet with Jeanne Gang and the rest of the studio. Our objective was simple: We were looking to find an architecture firm that we could partner with and do something very special with at Yonge + St. Clair. We wanted to start from first principles and rethink what a tall building could be in Toronto.
Studio Gang was at the top of our list.
During our meeting and studio tour, Jeanne and her team asked a number of poignant questions about our vision for the area, our goals for the project, and our commitment to sustainable design. So much so that when Lucas and I left the meeting we both looked at each other and said: “That wasn’t us interviewing them. That was them interviewing us.”
It was obvious that they were committed to high quality architecture, environmental sustainability, and overall community building. And it was equally obvious that if we, Slate, weren’t committed to the same, then we weren’t the client and partner for them.
It has turned out to be a great partnership. Over the last three plus years, the team has remained committed to living up to the promises we made to each other in that first meeting in Chicago. And on many occasions, that has meant taking the more difficult path and fighting for what we believe is great design and great city building.
Since 2016, we have held and/or participated in multiple community visioning sessions with Councillor Josh Matlow and key stakeholders from the community. Two pre-application meetings with City Planning. Two big and public community meetings. A design charrette for the Yonge + St. Clair area. And five meetings with a local “community working group” that was formed following the bigger community meetings. Our application was also before the City of Toronto’s Design Review Panel (DRP) at the end of 2018, where it was unanimously supported (though with some constructive feedback).
It has been a long road working to create Studio Gang’s first project in Canada. One that I like to think started in a jazz bar in downtown Chicago (it actually started much earlier). And so I am thrilled to announce that City Planning, City of Toronto, are now recommending approval of One Delisle! Their report is public and the project will be considered by Toronto and East York Community Council this Thursday, March 12, 2020.
If you would like to speak at or submit a comment to Community Council — ideally in support of the project — please email the City Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Myself and the team hope to see many of you at City Hall this Thursday morning at 10:00AM.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the project, here is a summary from City Planning:
This application proposes to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-law to permit a 44-storey (143 metres plus a 7-metre mechanical penthouse) mixed use building with 293 dwelling units and 159 parking spaces within a 4-level below ground garage at 1-11 Delisle Avenue and 1496-1510 Yonge Street. A 2,506 square metre public park will be secured off-site on the rear portions of 30 and 40 St. Clair Avenue West. The Official Plan Amendment also redesignates a portion of the subject site from Apartment Neighbourhoods to Mixed Use Areas.
The proposed development is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement (2014), conforms with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2019), conforms with the applicable policies of the Official Plan and the Yonge-St. Clair Secondary Plan, and is consistent with the Yonge-St. Clair Planning Framework and Tall Building Guidelines. The proposal also meets a number of significant public realm and built form objectives, some of which are outlined in the Yonge-St. Clair Planning Framework, including: securing a 2,506 square metre public park in close proximity to the Yonge-St. Clair intersection; wider sidewalks along both Yonge Street and Delisle Avenue; enhanced street landscaping; restoration and relocation of an existing Art Deco façade; a pedestrian scale base building in keeping with the main street character of Yonge Street; a north/south midblock connection between St. Clair Avenue West and Delisle Avenue; high quality architecture; and consolidated access and servicing for the block.
This report reviews and recommends approval of the application to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-law.
Images: Design by Studio Gang. Renderings by Norm Li.