CORE Architects will be the AOR for “The One”
“The One” will be Canada’s tallest building at 318 metres or 1,043 feet tall. It will be taller than the current record holder First Canadian Place at 978 feet and 72 storeys as well as the proposed Mirvish+Gehry 1,000 foot West Tower.
The podium will feature eight floors of retail, restaurant, and cafe space designed around Foster’s diagrid. An atrium to the east will feature an indoor-outdoor wall which will face onto Bloor Street. Below ground, a connection to the PATH and TTC has been designed along with parking for 600 valet spaces. Directly above the retail podium, an amenity area will be accessible by a bridge on the twelfth floor for the residents of the 560 residential suites.
The proposed development is in keeping with the planning and urban design framework established by the City of Toronto Official Plan, the Bloor-Yorkville and North Midtown Urban Design Guidelines and the Tall Building Design Guidelines, all of which support intensification and a tall building on the site given its proximity to existing transit services. From a land-use perspective, the mixed-use intensification proposal is supportive of city policy directions relating to transit-supportive intensification. The Toronto Official Plan specifically encourages residential intensification in mixed-use areas in the downtown.
From a built form and urban design perspective, the proposal will create a distinctive and high-quality addition to the Toronto skyline. The height and massing of the tower will respect and reinforce the existing and planned built form context of the Midtown area, which includes numerous tall buildings within the Yonge/Bloor “height peak”. The proposed tower will be well spaced from other existing and planned towers, well separated from any low-rise residential properties, street, parks or open space. Accordingly, the proposal conforms with the built form and massing policies of the Official Plan and is generally in keeping with the relevant urban design guidelines.
At 84 storeys, “The One” will take pride of place in an array of towers within the Yonge and Bloor “height peak” that includes 1 Bloor Street East (75 storeys), 382 Yonge Street (78 storeys), and 50 Bloor Street West (71 storeys). The project has been designed in keeping with the principles outlined in the Tall Building Design Guidelines. The top will feature distinctive cladding and subtle geometry adding a distinctive presence to the city’s skyline.
The tower, with a 31-meter square floor plate, will be a slender proportion in relation to the 314-meter height. The tower has been dimensioned and placed to minimize shading and wind impact and to allow existing towers to retain view corridors (eg., setback from the south property line so as to not block the east views of 35 Balmuto Street).
The base of the project minimizes the impact of parking and servicing by placing access via a laneway off of Balmuto Street. The location of servicing away from the public Yonge/Bloor public realm allows for a high-quality pedestrian environment unencumbered by curb cuts and vehicle activity (valet drop-off and passenger loading all takes place in a vehicle concourse on P2). The uninterrupted storefronts of the base integrate with existing streetwall buildings along Yonge Street to the south. The structure of the building has been designed as a ring of perimeter ‘mega-piers’ which will provide column-free space capable of accommodating a wide variety of retail and cultural tenants. At street level, the intent is to maximize public uses and storefronts to create a truly pedestrian realm. Hence, the main lobby for the residential condominium will be located away from the street level. Elevators will travel from the P2 valet concourse and street level to the Level 12 ‘Sky Lobby’, where residents transfer to the tower elevators.
Area Specific Policy 225 of the Official Plan encourages pedestrian walkways at and below grade. “The One” significantly improves the street-level pedestrian experience by widening the sidewalks (to 7m on Bloor Street and 9 meters on Yonge Street) and maximizing street frontage devoted to public and pedestrian-interest uses. The project also features a 9.6 meter-wide entrance courtyard accessed from Bloor Street and two below-grade PATH connections and a shopping concourse.
“The One” fulfills Official Plan goals to promote mass transit and pedestrian modes of travel and reduce auto dependency. Located at the crossroads of the city’s two major subway lines, “The One” integrates well with the system. The building’s P1 retail concourse provides an indoor conditioned environment with access to TTC. This retail-lined concourse also augments and extends the below-grade PATH pedestrian network, forming the most easterly spur located south of Bloor Street.
The tree canopy, after 5 years of landscape installation, will exceed Tier 1 requirements for shading of on-site walkways. The bike-parking ratio conforms to Tier 2 standards and is conveniently located in an underground mezzanine above the P2 parking level.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions/Energy Efficiency
Tier 2 Best Practices commissioning will be used as per the LEED Canada NC 2009 Rating System.
Fritted glass will be strategically placed throughout the elevations of the tower for bird-collision mitigation. Along with enhanced bird-friendly glazing, overhangs will contribute to further reduction of collisions. Many units will have “winter gardens” and untempered balconies that can be opened or closed to provide control of natural ventilation.
A construction waste management plan and tracking system will be implemented. The building will have triple chute waste management conforming to Tier 2 standards.
“The One” has been designed by a world-class architecture firm, befitting the international reputation of the Bloor and Yorkville area as the nexus of high-end shopping and hospitality offerings. The One’s eight retail levels, rising to 49.8 meters above street level, will create Toronto’s most distinguished indoor downtown shopping experience.
The site forms the gateway to both the so-called “Mink Mile” and downtown Yonge Street. Its stature and architectural features are commensurate with this urban role.
The landscape design for the public realm at grade adopts the elements of the Bloor Yorkville Streetscape Guidelines and extends them to the building face on Bloor Street and down Yonge Street to create an intersection treatment for Yonge and Bloor. The signature streetscaping features include granite paving, granite curbs, granite benches, signature tree grates, and street trees. With respect to urban heat island reduction at grade, the granite paving on Bloor Street will be shaded by the new building while the granite paving on Yonge Street will be shaded by a combination of the building and the new trees within five years of construction.
The street trees are located to clear underground utilities and allow for continuous soil trenches to meet Urban Forestry requirements for soil volume. Large native shade tree species will provide robust growth and be drought tolerant once established. Trees will be watered during the establishment period. Sidewalk space has been enhanced by building setbacks to allow for wider clearways. The wider public realm clearway on Yonge Street allows for street tree planting and seating, set back from the curb.
The One has been designed to take into account the heritage storefronts to the south along Yonge Street. The massing steps down from the top of the tower (314.15 meters) to the top of the retail base (49.8 meters), providing for the transition to the top of existing retail storefronts.
The difficult decision to dismantle Stollerys has allowed the project designers to expand the sidewalk width from Toronto’s early 20th century 3.5-meter width to a more generous 9.0 meters, befitting current needs and uses. At the same time, the valuable heritage of Stollerys will be preserved. Elegant decorative stone panels have been stored and catalogued and will be incorporated into the development at a later date.
Furthermore, the project incorporates the existing heritage façade at 774-776 Yonge Street, retaining its arch-windowed masonry edifice within the retail base. The ground floor will be restored with period cornices and shop windows appropriate to its age. This building has been a part of the streetscape of Yonge Street for over a century (and can be seen in archival images dating from 1912 and 1975). The base of the new building will wrap around the heritage building in a manner that will accentuate its details. Historic research and detailed examinations are underway to support the retention of this important heritage component of Yonge Street.