Mixed-use condo and retail building to soar 75 storeys above Yonge and Bloor
Many of the world’s great cities are designed in a grid pattern, with numbered or lettered streets working outward from a centre point. Toronto has developed more organically than that, but if an epicentre had to be named, it would most certainly be where Yonge and Bloor Streets cross.
That’s where uptown meets downtown. It’s where the two main subway lines intersect at their busiest points. And it’s where people from all walks of life cross each other’s paths on their way to and from imposing office towers, universities, libraries and cultural institutions.
And in less than two years, it’s going to be the home of a sleek new skyscraper condominium paired with three levels destination fashion shopping and dining, the likes of which have never before been seen on Bloor Street.
A renewed city centre
The 75-storey project, simply named One Bloor, is being developed by Great Gulf, which has a 40-year history of building single-family homes in Canada and experience in the high-rise industry since the 1990s. Its sister company, First Gulf, is renowned for its office, retail and industrial work.
“So you get this great synergy between two different companies, that are owned by the same folks, that do retail as well as residential,” says Alan Vihant, Senior Vice-President of High Rise at Great Gulf. “When it comes to true mixed-use development, we really know how to put retail and residential together well.”
To the west of One Bloor, the street is lined with high-end Yorkville retailers and restaurants, but just east of Yonge Street, Bloor Street tends to lose its cachet. Vihant says One Bloor will change all of that.
“There were no significant heritage buildings here. There were fast food restaurants and T-shirt shops,” he says. “The retail didn’t really feel like it was part of the Bloor Street experience.”
The whole building and the area around it will tell a different story to residents, shoppers and passers by when One Bloor is complete. Granite sidewalks will wrap around the building, airy mezzanines will welcome shoppers and the sculpted, soaring tower will draw the eye upward.
“We designed the retail area very consciously,” Vihant says. “We thought a lot about how it will serve the building and the community around it.”
Public versus private
While anyone will have full access to the public part of One Bloor, the truly astounding parts will be reserved for residents and their guests. And one of the building’s best attributes – the view – will get better and better as you ascend.
“What makes One Bloor unique is that we were able to secure zoning for the site to make the building quite prominent and tall,” says Vihant. “So views are quite phenomenal in every direction.”
Another factor in the great view is the building’s location: The natural elevation of Toronto increases the farther you get from Lake Ontario, so a 75-storey building at Bloor Street seems much higher than the same building would at Front Street.
To improve the already breathtaking view, Great Gulf used a type of glass called curtain wall, instead of the more common window wall, to clad the building. These oversize sheets of glass, which are normally used in big-budget office or institutional buildings, wrap right around the corners of the building to provide unobstructed views. They’re also higher performance than standard windows in terms of energy efficiency and the seal they provide.
“So when you’re standing in these suites you get the real outdoor experience while still being indoors,” Vihant says.
The suites are designed by Cecconi Simone to let in as much natural light as possible, making sure that it gets deep into the units. The designers are working with a lush palate of materials, such as warm wood and natural stone, integrating cabinetry and appliances seamlessly. At the luxury level – the three penthouses and suites on the highest floors – buyers will be able to add many custom features as well.
Apart from the individual suites, the condominium’s amenities space is also private, not open to the public. This includes a gorgeous garden on the seventh floor, at the base of the tower, designed by award-winning landscape architecture and urban designer Janet Rosenberg, as well as fireplaces, daybeds, TVs and a pool that flows from inside to out.
The spa area will include a hot tub, a cold plunge pool and other features that would more commonly be found at a five-star commercial spa, not a private residence.
Discerning buyers at all levels
The size of One Bloor – 789 suites in total – ensures that there will be a vibrant mix of residents living there. From first-time buyers who want to be at the centre of the city to well-heeled buyers looking for luxury at 75 storeys.
Suites range from 530 square feet to 1,727 square feet and are priced from $524,990 to more than $1.8 million.
And in order to help the residents quickly and conveniently make the connection from ground level to their suites – whether they live on the eighth floor or the 75 – One Bloor features state-of-the-art, ultra-fast elevators connected remotely to every resident’s key fob.
“As you pass through a scanner area, your fob is scanned and a digital sign will direct you to the correct elevator bank and the correct elevator that will get you to your floor in the quickest manner possible,” Vihant says. “If there are three or four people waiting and two of them live between floors 60 and 70, they will be directed to one elevator together and bypass the first 60 floors at high speed.”
That means less waiting around at busy times of the day, and more time to just enjoy the view.
One Bloor: A sculpted glass high-rise building featuring high-end retail and restaurants, private spa and luxury condominiums.
Location: South-east corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets.
Units: 789, with about 90 per cent sold.
Move-in date: December 2014