What’s next for Quayside? The resumes of the four teams vying to reimagine Toronto’s waterfront could offer a clue

The builders and designers behind Toronto’s The One condominiums, Montreal’s New Vic and a Smithsonian museum in Washington are among the people hoping to fill the void left by Sidewalk Labs to develop the sprawling Quayside lands on Toronto’s east coast. .

The portfolios of the four shortlisted teams vying for the opportunity to remodel Quayside range from the construction or design of new social housing units to lakeside condominiums, elegant office towers and attractive public spaces.

As part of the request for proposal (RFP) process, the teams, consisting of well-established local developers joining forces with high-profile architects, several of whom have international credentials, are gathering their visions for the future of the 12 voids. . -acre parcel of land that Google’s sister company, Sidewalk Labs, abandoned last year.

Waterfront Toronto, the tri-government corporation that owns most of the land on Quayside, located near Parliament Street and Queens Quay East, will decide the finalist early next year, a spokesperson recently said.

Critics suggest that new development on Quayside cannot just be about condos and retail stores, but must include public connections to the shoreline, as well as vibrant spaces for recreation and cultural events.

“We are trying to establish ourselves as a global city with significant development in front of the sea. We have failed on that front in many ways to date, ”says Shauna Brail, associate professor at the Institute for Management and Innovation at the University of Toronto.

Our boardwalk is less accessible than other cities, he goes on to say.

“We have been slow. You can see many great examples in the last 15 to 20 years of changes to our waterfront and accessibility improvements, but we still have the Gardiner Expressway wall and the wall of tall towers that closes access to the water, ”Brail says .

“So here (Quayside) is this incredible opportunity to do things right, well and effectively on the waterfront and we can’t waste it again,” he adds.

The four shortlisted collaborations for the Quayside remodel are:

  • Quayside Impact LP, a team made up of Dream Unlimited Corp. and Great Gulf working alongside lead architects Adjaye Associates, Alison Brooks Architects and Henning Larsen
  • Daniels Corp and Hullmark Developments Ltd., along with lead architect Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.
  • Hines Canada Management II ULC, featuring Hines Canada joining forces with Tridel Builders Inc. and lead architect Foster + Partners
  • KMT Quayside Developments Inc., a collaboration between Kilmer, Mattamy Homes and Tricon, with lead architects MVRDV and Cobe.

Assistant Professor Petros Babasikas, director of the architecture studies undergraduate program at T University’s John H. Daniels College of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, says teams of developers and architects promise the possibility of a ” Integrated Design “for Quayside – An approach that considers not only private development and condominiums, but the public domain as well.

“For me, the integration of architecture, urbanism and different programs (public, civic, commercial and market uses) will be the main driver here and hopefully that is a balance that developers and architects can achieve by doing your proposals to (Waterfront Toronto) “. Babasikas says.

As part of the Quayside process, proponents are not allowed to speak to the media or the public about their proposals.

But looking at the backgrounds of some of the RFP participants could provide some ideas about the directions teams might take.

“I think the results of each of these (four) collaborations, architecturally at least, will be very interesting,” says Babasikas.

“Some of these firms are really innovative and their portfolios are based on experimentation,” he adds.

Quayside Impact LP

Dream Unlimited was one of those behind the mixed-use housing development in the Las Canarias district east of the city center.

Team: Dream Unlimited Corp. and Great Gulf, with Principal Architects Adjaye Associates, Alison Brooks Architects and Henning Larsen

Notable buildings: Canary District (Dream), One Bloor (Greater Gulf), Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture (Adjaye)

Dream Unlimited, a member of the Quayside Impact team, is a leading real estate firm, with $ 12 billion in assets spanning North America and Europe.

Dream is one of the members of the partnership with the three levels of government that created the mixed-use housing development of the Canary District east of downtown in West Don Lands.

The George Brown College residence at Cherry and Front streets, and adjacent to the Cooper Koo YMCA building in the Canary District area, is a Dream creation, known for its large glass windows.

Great Gulf, Dreams’ partner in the Quayside field, has developed several iconic buildings in the city, including the Monde condo building on the waterfront, with its distinctive undulating design. Great Gulf is also the developer of the One Bloor condo skyscraper at Yonge and Bloor.

On the architectural side of that team, UK-based Alison Brooks Architects have designed mixed-use developments that have received praise.

The firm was nominated for an award in 2017 for designing Ely Court, a regenerated housing initiative that converted a dilapidated public housing project in North West London, UK, into three contemporary mid-rise housing blocks containing around 44 units.

Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, Principal of Adjaye Associates, has been knighted for his community-oriented designs known around the world. His work includes the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

Hines Canada Management II ULC

Hines has partnered with Canadian real estate investment, development and asset management company Ivanhoé Cambridge to develop the massive CIBC Square office complex near Bay and Front streets.

Team: Hines Canada and Tridel Builders Inc., with lead architect Foster + Partners

Notable buildings: CIBC Square (Hines), Aqualuna (Tridel / Hines), The One (Foster + Partners)

Hines and Tridel are well established real estate developers in Toronto. Hines is the global firm partnering with Canadian real estate investment, development and asset management company Ivanhoé Cambridge to develop the massive CIBC Square office complex near Bay and Front streets.

Tridel has a broad portfolio that includes working with Hines on large oceanfront condo skyscrapers: the Aqualuna, Aquavista and Aquabella buildings.

Tridel is also the driving force behind the Alexandra Park redevelopment, a 12- to 15-year-old redevelopment that is taking place in the 7.2-acre community near Bathurst and Dundas streets, where just over 400 rental-oriented units are under construction. to income (RGI). replaced, nearly 400 RGIs renovated and 1,540 new condos on the market created.

Tridel was also selected late last year by Toronto Community Housing to take over as the new developer on the remaining phases four and five of Regent Park’s revitalization.

Foster + Partners, the architectural leader with Hines and Tridel on their Quayside proposal, designed The One, a mixed-use residential building to be completed in a few years at Yonge and Bloor. Once completed, it will become the tallest building in Canada at 80 stories.

Daniels Corp. and Hullmark Developments Ltd.

Daniels Corp. is best known for partnering with Toronto Community Housing to launch Regent Park's multi-million dollar master planned revitalization.

Team: Daniels Corp. and Hullmark Developments Ltd., with lead architect Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.

Notable buildings: Revitalization of Regent Park (Daniels), Montreal’s New Vic (Diamond Schmitt)

The Daniels Corp. and Hullmark Developments team sees two major players in Toronto’s development landscape joining forces.

Daniels is best known for partnering with Toronto Community Housing to launch Regent Park’s multi-million dollar master planned revitalization. Formerly a massive group of public housing buildings, the community is now a mixed housing community with condos, townhouses, new public housing buildings, a new park, a large new pool, a bank, restaurants, and more.

Hullmark has developed several interesting buildings in the city, including a half-rise timber-framed office in Liberty Village.

Diamond Schmitt Architects, one of Canada’s leading architecture firms, partnered with those developers at the Quayside RFP. They created the design for the New Vic, a project in Montreal that involves transforming the former heritage buildings of the Royal Victoria Hospital into a new campus for McGill University.

KMT Quayside Developments Inc.

The Silodam, designed by MVRDV, is a multi-colored apartment block located in the port of Amsterdam.

Team: Kilmer, Mattamy Homes and Tricon, with lead architects MVRDV and Cobe

Notable buildings: Amsterdam Silodam House (MVRDV)

KMT Quayside Developments, a collaboration of Kilmer, Mattamy Homes and Tricon, is a union of firms with portfolios and experience that includes rental housing, commercial development, investments and infrastructure.

On the architectural side of the team, Holland-based MVRDV has designed housing developments across Europe, including the eye-catching Silodam, housing units contained in a multi-colored apartment block found in the port of Amsterdam.

Danish architectural firm Cobe designed two of three scheduled mixed-use buildings for Toronto’s West Don Lands area, buildings slated to house hundreds of rental units, 30 percent of which will be affordable.

Senior managers from Waterfront Toronto, in addition to representatives from the city and CreateTO, an agency that manages the city’s portfolio of real estate assets, make up the evaluation committee for the RFP process for Quayside.

The evaluation committee will make recommendations to a steering committee, which in turn will make a recommendation to the Waterfront Toronto board of directors.

“Waterfront Toronto continues to work with shortlisted proponents during the RFP stage of the process and we look forward to selecting a preferred proponent for development (Quayside) in 2022,” said Carol Webb, a spokesperson for Waterfront Toronto, in a recent statement.


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