Initial Glimpse into The Future of Two Yonge Street Proposals

Initial Glimpse into The Future of Two Yonge Street Proposals


By: Brandon Leal, UrbanToronto, Published Tues Feb 10 2015

In a city undergoing massive transformation like Toronto, old landmarks which have found a place in our civic minds are always subject to the winds of change. Yonge Street and its eclectic mix of old, new, tall, and short has been Toronto’s main shopping and leisure street for much of the city’s 200+ year old history. Now on the docket of change for this ever-changing street are the former site of The World’s Biggest Book Store and 480 Yonge, best recognized for its historic fire hall clock tower.

Last year’s demolition of The World’s Biggest Bookstore marked the end of an era for a long-lived building. Before its book selling days, the building housed Olympia Bowling, downtown Toronto’s first 10-pin bowling alley. It was then bought in the 1980 by book selling magnates Jack and Carl Cole, and turned into the super-sized bookshop we came to know and love.

Owner Lifetime Developments had originally planned turn the site into a restaurants destination designed by Turner Fleischer Architects. By dividing up the site and bringing in top quality chefs and restaurateurs the goal was to service the large crowds pulsing through the downtown core and around the Yonge-Dundas Square.

Plans have changed however and Lifetime is now proposing a 35-storey slab-style mixed use project designed by architectsAlliance. Though still in its infancy, the proposed tower would rise 122 meters and consist of 629 units including 90 three bedroom units. The residential component will sit atop a 3-storey 18.5m commercial podium base holding 8,832 square meters of retail space. Reminiscent of the modernist-slab style buildings, retail is being proposed.

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