Urban Strategies has been retained by Westbank to assist with approvals for the redevelopment of their recently purchased land holdings at Bloor and Bathurst, including Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village. Currently at the pre-application stage, we have been working with Westbank, Henriquez Partner Architects and Janet Rosenberg Landscape Architects to develop a concept for the site that is sensitive to the cultural significance of Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village but that also capitalizes on the unique opportunity presented by such a large site at the edge of the downtown and adjacent to higher order transit.
The current concept utilizes a series of almost 40 ‘micro-towers’ with diverse facade treatments that transition in height from the corner of Bloor and Bathurst back towards the residential neighbourhood to the south and west. Designed to give the appearance of an area that evolved over time, this built form allows the proposal to maintain fine grained, main street retail at grade along Bloor and Bathurst with a significant residential component above. Westbank has proposed purpose-built rental for the entire residential component, which includes a diverse mix of nearly 1,000 units. A public market, similar to St. Lawrence Market or Granville Island is proposed for the interior of the site, spilling out onto Markham Street. Many of the historic buildings on Markham are preserved, and supported by a new streetscape designed for street closures, festivals and other public activities. The project also contains significant sustainability components and will be constructed to meet LEED Platinum certification.