Victory Soya Mills Silo Master Plan

Location
Toronto

Client
Castlepoint Realty Partners

Date
2013 to present

Overview

The Victory Soya Mills Silo Site Master Plan is a comprehensive development plan for three mixed-use blocks (commercial, retail, and residential uses) in the Keating Channel Precinct Plan’s west quarter. The master plan includes approximately 1 million square feet of developable gross floor area, of which approximately 90% would be residential uses. As part of a negotiated settlement with the City of Toronto, a full 12% of the residential area will be dedicated for affordable rental housing.

SvN was retained to prepare a development master plan for the purposes of negotiating a settlement for the amendment of an area specific zoning by-law proposed for the sites; and to form the basis for a multi-phased development that will anchor the eastern end of Toronto’s Waterfront. The three blocks include a significant Heritage Designated Structure – the Victory Soya Mills Silo, built circa 1920 – as well as a substantial portion of the future Waterfront Promenade. SvN’s services included architectural design for all structures on the site, coordinating a response to the adaptive re-use of the heritage structures, preparing a planning and urban design rationale for the City, and participating in all pre-OMB and OMB settlement proceedings.

Castlepoint Numa and Standard Life’s shared objective was to create a vibrant waterfront community inclusive of high quality rental housing, affordable housing, retail spaces, commercial office space as well as quality private open spaces and connections to future public spaces. SvN’s approach included looking at deployment of the density across the site to assure the proposed built-form met our clients’ efficiency and marketability objectives while surpassing Waterfront Toronto’s expectations for the buildings to contribute to the Waterfront’s character as a ‘spectacular space’.

SvN’s design ensures access to daylight in all residential units, creates more direct waterfront views, and includes thoughtful integration with grade level open spaces to produce a high quality retail environment. SvN’s multi-tower scheme also introduces a sculptural building along the waterfront, rearranging density in the central block to allow for the tallest tower along the eastern waterfront.

The master plan formed the basis for a settlement between all parties that is in the final phases of negotiation. SvN’s understanding of both public objectives (Waterfront Toronto and City of Toronto) objectives as delivered through the Precinct Plan and Secondary Plan, and their integration of these objectives into the ‘client objective’ driven solution, is a critical part of the master plan’s success.

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Expertise

We provide feasibility planning, development advisory and approvals risk management for public and private clients. As an interdisciplinary team that contributes to the design and architecture of a project, we are able to identify risks in early design development and conceptual site layout stages. We help to shape and form the thinking on site layout and building design in a way that reduces and minimizes the amount of approvals required. We give our clients a comprehensive view of planning approval milestones within the project's life cycle, so they can anticipate the timing and resources required to support various approvals within the overall construction schedule.
We undertake site analysis studies, from site scale up to secondary plan scales.  We work with developers and public agencies such as Build Toronto and Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corporation to complete due diligence and Highest and Best Use Studies for their lands. 
We apply our thorough understanding of the provincial and municipal regulatory context to develop studies and public policy instruments for local, provincial and federal governments and First Nations. These include: zoning by-laws, official plans, municipal development plans, local official plans, secondary plans, neighbourhood plans, and urban design guidelines.
Housing is a core focus of our business. We design innovative and adaptable buildings and master plans that respond to the immediate and future housing needs of diverse communities and all levels of income. We have a history of initiating and realizing housing projects that fill critical gaps in the market, and that are sensitive and adaptable to evolving cultures and contexts.
We prepare comprehensive plans for new communities ranging from high-density urban infill projects in areas subject to intensification, through to responsible greenfield development. Starting with an assessment of the local environment, we develop plans and designs that build on the history of the site, while identifying opportunities for sustainable growth.
We have a long history of planning and designing the public realm of cities, including streets, building facades, public places, the space between buildings and open spaces. Our team has pioneered significant aspects of the “complete streets” concept, demonstrated through landmark projects like the St. George Street Revitalization, the Bloor Street Transformation and the Six Point Interchange Reconstruction.