Marlin Spring Updates Lake Shore and Windermere Proposal

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Plans for two condo towers on a wedge-shaped site along the shores of Humber Bay in Toronto’s Swansea area have been reworked and resubmitted to the City. Earlier this month, rezoning applications were submitted to redevelop properties at 1978 at 2002 Lake Shore Boulevard West, the last vacant parcel of land that could be redeveloped in the area south of the Gardiner Expressway.

The irregularly shaped 4,505 sq m property has an expansive 181 meter long frontage on Lake Shore Boulevard West, a main thoroughfare. Public parks and recreational pathways run along the waterfront directly south of the site. The proposed development represents an opportunity to fill a missing piece of the urban fabric along Toronto’s western waterfront and provide better integration between the site and the surrounding public realm.

Area development background, image by City of Toronto Development & Brook McIlroy

The plans for the project designed by Graziani and Corazza Architects were originally proposed by Marlin Spring Developments in 2017 after purchasing the site from Build Toronto. The first design was for 21 and 26 story towers and 607 residential units. UrbanToronto last reported on the project in October 2018 as the project evolved somewhat.

Looking northeast from previous design from 2018, image by Graziani + Corazza Architects for Marlin Spring Developments

The consulting team continued to explore other design approaches to incorporate City feedback and feedback gathered from community members. A refined 2020 submission seen above involved two 21-story towers located on a 7-story podium element.

This latest submission reflects other comments and provides a tower and podium form with revised tower shapes, orientation and sizes, representing an enhancement of the proposed building’s relationship to the public realm and surrounding built form. The curved shapes of the towers draw inspiration from the waves of the nearby lake, while creating a new landmark to anchor the footbridge site.

Looking northwest towards the latest version of the proposal, image by Graziani + Corazza Architects for Marlin Spring Developments

The GFA of the proposed development has increased slightly to 46,722m² of gross residential floor area and 139m² of ground level commercial space. The revised floors of the tower have more regular shapes and have been reduced by 21%, from 950 m² to 750 m². This approach will create more slender built forms and minimize impacts on view corridors. The height of the west tower remains at 65 meters, while the east tower has been increased from 65 meters to 122 meters. The different heights provide a transition from the height peak created by the Mirabella Twin Towers on Windermere Avenue to the east, to the height of the strata. Tower separation has increased by 43% from 35 meters to 50 meters, resulting in a more permeable tower and podium when viewed from the north and south.

North elevation, image by Graziani + Corazza Architects for Marlin Spring Developments

The sculpted towers provide visual interest from afar and the curvilinear podium approaches its immediate streetscape. The facades are clad with canopies and ribbon balconies of clear and sintered glass, accompanied by curved vertical metal fins at regular intervals. According to the docs, “From various vantage points, the fins create a more solid feel providing an anchoring base for towers…and open up as one gets closer for a more seamless and lightweight design. , bound to the public domain”.

Ground floor plan, image by Graziani + Corazza Architects for Marlin Spring Developments

The height of the base building has been reduced from 7 to 5 stories, which will improve the view corridor and the new building’s relationship with the public realm. It is similar in height to the podium of the Mirabella Twin Towers on the east side of Windermere Avenue, providing consistency to the street wall and framing Windermere Avenue.

The ground floor houses two residential lobbies, one each serving the east and west towers, as well as residential interior amenity spaces. The southeastern part of the ground floor is dedicated to retail and will activate the corner of the site further through a café terrace space.

6th floor plan, image by Graziani + Corazza Architects for Marlin Spring Developments

A 200m² POPS (Private Publicly Accessible Space) at the northwest corner of Lake Shore Boulevard West and Windermere Avenue will provide flexible seating areas, decorative paving and flower beds with new trees. Residential amenity space has been increased in the new scheme, providing 1,223 m² of indoor amenity space and 1,451 m² outdoors, the latter being an outdoor terrace between the two towers located on the 6th floor/ base building roof.

The new project includes 611 units (instead of 556) offered in a mix of 44 studios (7%), 257 one-bedroom (42%), 216 two-bedroom (35%), 89 three-bedroom (15%), and 4 T4 (1%).

A three-level underground garage could accommodate 262 vehicles (instead of 284) and 612 bicycles (instead of 558) bikes – to promote active transportation.

The TTC serves the area on The Queensway, a short walk north of Windermere Avenue from the east end of the proposal, along with the 501 streetcar and the 77 and 80 buses.

You can learn more from our database file for the project, linked below. If you wish, you can join the conversation in the associated project forum thread or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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