A building on the corner of Huron Street and College Street is in the midst of demolition as Shiu Pong Group, a real estate developer, plans to replace the current low-slung, multi-purpose residential building with a new 17-storey residential building with retail space on the ground floor.
For this project, Shiu Pong’s plan will produce 142 dwelling units as well as retail space on the street level. The new building is replacing Tasty’s Caribbean Restaurant and Catering and the College Variety, among other restaurants and shops.
Prior to demolition, the Huron and College building housed 15 residential units. During the demolition and construction of the new building, the owners are required to assist the displaced tenants with appropriate living arrangements. Additionally, the tenants must be offered appropriate residence options in the new building at affordable rates.
Since the proposed number of units would exceed the density allowed for the area, the City of Toronto required a specific application to include the site in the “Mixed-Use” category rather than in “Neighbourhoods.”
In addition, the company’s plans put the 17-storey building at 52 metres in height, 36 metres higher than the maximum allowed in the city bylaws. The Staff Report nonetheless recommends that the demolition and construction of a new building be allowed.
Shiu Pong also had to go through a long process of assessing the building’s potential impact on the neighbourhood. A Committee Consultation meeting, held back in October 2013, brought up issues such as parking, and whether the initial building scheduled for demolition was a heritage site.
According to the heritage impact report, the building is not listed under the city’s inventory of heritage sites, nor will it have any impact on any surrounding heritage sites. However, the staff report suggested a design plan that would incorporate the current building into the design of the podium of the new building.
Following review from Shiu Pong, their solicitors agreed to work with Urban Design Staff and City Planning to “respect the heritage ‘look’ of the street” in the revised plans for the podium. The new, incorporated design will feature the terracotta panels from the original building in the three-storey podium base of the building.
While no specific timeline was included in the staff report, Shiu Pong would be required to erect a residential building within two years of the commencement of the project or face financial sanctions until construction was completed.
Shiu Pong has built other residential buildings in the past, including Six 8 Plus in Etobicoke and Design Haus, both of which are currently sold out.