Sibling Rivalry: Yonge and Bloor vs. Yonge and Eglinton
Yeah, there’s a lot of talk about the intersection of Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave. Some are calling it Yonge and Eligible. Others say it will be crowded like Tokyo in 10 years—as if the rest of Toronto won’t be.
Now, the intersection that used to be the marker downtown residents vowed never to go north of may soon battle Toronto’s most iconic intersection for centrality.
Or so says Peter Freed, the youthful and visionary founder of Freed Developments, who we can thank for much of the redevelopment along King St. West. He and partners CD Capital are poised to do big things at Yonge & Eg.
“It’s a mature neighbourhood going through a renaissance of development,” said Freed. “It’s arguably the centre of the city transit-wise.”
“What!” cried Yonge and Bloor.
“It’s okay Peter,” consoles Eglinton Ave. “Just wait until they see my spanking new LRT.”
The Crosstown LRT is currently under construction and will run along Eglinton Ave. from Black Creek to Kennedy.
Ten of its eleven kilometres will be underground. Riders will surface at Laird Ave. to continue east toward Kennedy. It should be completed by 2020.
And that’s not all. The intersection itself will change dramatically over the next decade, with every corner home to something sparkly and new.
RioCan is giving the northeast corner a $100 million overhaul, and in partnership with Metropia and Bazis they are building the ECondos towers across the street that will hold over 900 units.
To the southwest, the old bus barns will be used as a part of The Crosstown LRT project, with something tall definitely on top of it.
Everyone from Tridel to Minto is up there building something tall and shimmering on the side streets.
Freed and partner CD Capital are betting that they’ll win their argument with Yonge & Bloor.
The partners recently launched 155 Redpath, a block northeast of Yonge & Eg, and are expected to introduce another project across the street at 150 Redpath later this year.
They also purchased the old Art Shoppe building at 2131 Yonge, just south of Eglinton. The details of the Art Shoppe condo project are still being hammered out, but the renderings are certainly in keeping with Art Shoppe’s design esthetic.
155 Redpath has some rather on-trend features, the most important of which is its sensitivity at ground level.
According to Freed, the developer and its architectural team, Architects Alliance, “wanted a fresh vision. One of the big moves we made was taking the ground floor and not putting any units on it. We elevated the first floor with very tall ceilings and made it very open. You can literally see through the building.”
They invested heavily in landscaping, ponds, and water features. “The tower is supposed to feel like it’s sitting on top of a park.”
Keeping an open, green feeling at walking level helps maintain the uptown feel of the current neighbourhood.
The area is one of the city’s strongest rental markets. Those developing the area hope to turn those renters into buyers.
“People are attracted to transit and schools,” said Freed.
Unlike many areas in the downtown core, 155 Redpath’s younger residents will go from rather good Eglinton Junior Public School to downright excellent Northern Collegiate, one of the best high schools in Toronto proper.
If you care about schools, you will be happy to know they will release some family-sized units in the 1,200 sq. ft. range later this month.
Freed said they will be building to LEED standard, but are still working out which level and if they will try for Toronto’s Tier 2 green standard.
• Studio to two-bedroom, 396 – 850 sq. ft. (first release)
• 9-foot ceilings
• 470 units, 36 storeys
• Architect: Architects Alliance
• Interiors: Johnson Chou
• Starting from mid-$200s
• Sales centre and model suite 2239 Yonge St.
• 9th floor outdoor pool & hot tub, BBQ area
• Fitness centre
• Party room with kitchen, dining and lounge areas
• Library and meeting areas