Developer proposes 22-storey, 162-unit highrise at Bank and Slater

A Montreal-based developer hopes to add more new units to the downtown core’s growing stock of apartment dwellings with a proposal for a 22-storey highrise near the corner of Bank and Slater streets.

In a planning application recently filed with the city, Broccolini says the mixed-use tower at 208-212 Slater St. would include 900 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, with communal amenity space on the next three floors and 162 apartment units on the remaining storeys.

Bank and Slater
Broccolini's render of a proposed 22-storey highrise on Bank Street.

A two-storey mixed-use building that now occupies the site would be demolished to make way for the new development. Because the red brick structure is a designated heritage building, Broccolini must apply for special permission to redevelop the site under the Ontario Heritage Act.

According to a report prepared by Commonwealth Historic Resource Management and submitted to the city by Broccolini, the current structure was built in the late 1890s and is part of the Bank Street Heritage Conservation District. 

The building has been designated a Category 3 heritage building under the provincial act, “which means that it contributes to the character of the streetscape, but its architectural value is not significant,” the report says. 

The developer acknowledges that a number of other heritage buildings in the district have been torn down to make way for new development in the past few years, noting city staff are concerned the Broccolini project could result in “further erosion” of the area’s heritage character.

However, the consultants’ report says Broccolini’s plan to put red brick cladding on the proposed highrise’s podium would be a “creative solution” to help reflect “the character of the heritage buildings” nearby on Bank Street.

The proposal “will add to the street life and energize the heritage commercial businesses along Bank Street,” the consultants added. “The development will be a comfortable integration into the neighbourhood and a positive addition to the revitalization of this section of Bank Street.”

In keeping with a recent trend at new downtown developments geared toward transit users, the proposed project does not include any parking spaces for residents but will feature 81 spaces for bicycles. A visitor parking lot would have space for 18 vehicles.

Noting the site’s location near the Parliament LRT station, the developers say city zoning bylaws don’t require parking for residential or retail uses.

“The limited provision of parking is deemed to be appropriate given that the subject property is located 200 metres from rapid transit and is in close proximity to several amenities, and that the proposed development will provide sufficient bicycle parking,” the application says.

Broccolini is requesting minor zoning variations related to parking, but the developer says the building’s proposed height of 68.7 metres falls within official plan guidelines for the area and would have no “adverse impacts” on views of the Parliament Buildings.