We have heard what community members, neighbourhood associations, BIAs, residents, city planners and others had to say about 625 Church and our design and planning have evolved to better meet those needs.
A few examples include:
Heritage: Original plans for 625 Church already retained the west façade of the existing building in entirety and, based on community input emphasizing the importance of retaining the original character of the building, we evolved our design to also retain the entire north and south façades, with minor adjustments to the windows to bring in additional natural light. We’re proud to incorporate the existing building into the development in what is one of the largest in-situ heritage preservations in Toronto’s history.
Architecture: In further effort to preserve the architectural features of the building, we also revised the design based on community input to eliminate massing and balcony cantilevers over the heritage building and integrate generous setbacks to the proposed tower structure above. This evolution ensures 625 Church continues to complement the historical character of the neighbourhood and support its future potential as a growing, vibrant community.
Housing: 625 Church is a mixed-use development that will offer the suite of living options the community has expressed interest in, including 100 percent rental units with more than 40 percent being 2-3 bedroom units well suited to families, a range of indoor/outdoor amenities, as well as below ground parking.
Streetscape: Original plans for 625 Church had already accounted for a range of pedestrian and community-friendly design elements, including pedestrian walkways, retail frontage, and shared spaces. Feedback from the community led to expansion of those offerings in our design including:
- Enhancing pedestrian connectivity through the community off Church Street by integrating differentiated unilock paving and hardscape design signals to create a safe, European-style shared space between slow-moving vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
- Integrating a Privately-Owned Publicly-Accessible Space (POPS) along the south side of the property between the pedestrian walkway and the façade of the building that will be coordinated with new boulevard improvements along Charles Street East and provide publicly accessible seating and congregating space.
- Ensuring loading and servicing areas are accessed via a rear private laneway located off Charles Street and Hayden Street and that service functions, such as waste collection and moving, are fully contained within the building at all times.
We remain committed to involving the community in our ongoing planning and design process to ensure 625 Church continues to deliver value and vibrancy to the neighbourhood. Community members will have additional opportunities to inform the site plan and property management issues throughout the Site Plan Approval process, such as materials and lighting used, landscape planting species and design, ensuring safety and noise concerns are addressed, and additional community services and facilities that are integrated into the site. If you’re interested in becoming a part of the process, please sign up for our newsletter to receive project updates and invitations to future events.
Thousands of people have been invited via to participate in our community engagement for 625 Church since 2018. Their feedback has already informed and supported enhancement and evolution of our design, with some examples detailed here. We are continuing our dialogue with the community, including ongoing discussions with community groups and providing project updates to our mailing list and via our website. You can review our progress-to-date below.