Isabella Street is one of downtown Toronto’s quieter residential stretches, running between Yonge Street and Sherbourne Street and into the St James Town neighbourhood. Given its walking distance to several TTC stations, older homes and mid-rise apartments are beginning to give way to new wave of taller residences. Projects in development are reaching staggering heights compared to existing ones, with one of the tallest being a 69-storey tower recently proposed at 135 Isabella Street.
Looking southwest to 135 Isabella Street, designed by BDP Quadrangle for KingSett Capital
Developer KingSett Capital has submitted Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Approval applications for a high-rise at a site located within walking distance of iconic city spots including Toronto Reference Library and Allan Gardens. The rectangular property, approximately 2,385m² in area, is situated on the south side of Isabella Street in between Jarvis and Sherbourne streets. It is currently home to a 9-storey rental building from the 1960s, whose residents would be given first crack at rental replacement units in the new building.
Looking south to the apartment building currently at the site, image retrieved from Google Street View
Located just 360m from Sherbourne subway station and approximately a 10-minute walk from both Wellesley and Bloor-Yonge stations, the proposal leverages its location within a recently designated Major Transit Station Area to justify its height and density ask. The east downtown area has a number of recent developments around 50 storeys on nearby blocks, with a dozen more either proposed, or under construction within just 200m of the site.
Looking southeast to 135 Isabella Street, designed by BDP Quadrangle for KingSett Capital
The design by BDP Quadrangle, calls for a height of 234.97m with a total gross floor area of about 52,547m². At the base, a 6- and 8-storey podium would frame Isabella Street, offering public realm improvements such as an expanded sidewalk, public parkland of about 358m² in area, and POPS (Privately-Owned Publicly accessible Space) along the west side of approximately 635m².
Looking south to the public realm, designed by BDP Quadrangle for KingSett Capital
The tower would house 770 residential units, including 80 replacement units for the existing apartment building. With six elevators proposed, the site would go beyond the threshold of 1 elevator per 100 units, with each elevator servicing about 128 units, indicating potentially long wait times.
Looking southeast 135 Isabella Street, designed by BDP Quadrangle for KingSett Capital
For residents, the design includes 2,695m of amenity space, including 1,155m of outdoor amenities proposed for the second floor and for the three reveals at levels 9, 25, and 45 of the tower.
An aerial view of the site and surrounding area, image retrieved from Google Maps
The proposal includes two levels of underground parking with 32 spaces, each equipped with an electric vehicle charging outlet. Of these, 23 spaces would be for the replacement units, while no visitor parking spaces are included, highlighting the focus on nearby public transit. In addition, 857 bicycle parking spaces are proposed, including 154 short-term spots.
Height map of buildings proposed and under construction around the site, image from submission to City of Toronto
In addition to its proximity to multiple TTC subway stations, the site is well-served by cycle tracks on Wellesley Street East, Sherbourne Street, and Bloor Street East. There are also two Toronto Bike Share stations within walking distance, and 10 publicly accessible bike spaces are included in the proposal in front of the proposed POPS.
The site plan for 135 Isabella Street, designed by BDP Quadrangle for KingSett Capital
With an enhanced public realm and focus on public transit over vehicles, KingSett’s proposal for 135 Isabella Street aims to utilize its location as another step in the evolution of this old Toronto neighbourhood.
UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more about it from our Database file, linked below. If you’d like, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.
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