Quebec company aiming high with proposal for trio of mixed-use towers in Orléans

Orleans highrises

A vegetation-covered parcel of vacant land near the future Trim Road LRT station could become the site of mixed-use towers soaring more than 30 storeys high under a proposal recently submitted at City Hall.

According to planning documents, a Quebec-based numbered company is looking at building as many as three highrises at the 8.6-acre property on the northeast corner of Trim Road and Jeanne d’Arc Boulevard North, just north of Highway 174. The first phase of the multi-stage project would see two buildings of 28 and 32 storeys connected by a four-storey podium. 

The development would include about 524 residential units and roughly 6,000 square feet of commercial space. The developers list a number of potential users, including a convenience store, microbrewery, restaurant, spa or grocery store. 

The plan also calls for nearly 470 parking spaces, nearly all of which would be located in an underground garage or the podium. The builders say they are also seeking zoning approval for a commercial parking garage “given that the Trim LRT station will be the eastern terminus of the City’s LRT system and there may be a desire to increase the park and ride opportunities in the immediate area.”

The developers are also leaving room for a potential second phase that would feature a third highrise of 30 storeys with an additional 270 residential suites and 5,000 square feet of retail space. Located at the eastern end of the property, the third building would be connected to the 32-storey tower via another four-storey podium.

The property is located less than 275 metres south of the Trim LRT station, which marks the eastern end of the under-construction O-Train Confederation Line expansion, which is expected to be completed by late 2024.

Speaking on behalf of the developers, planning consultant John Smit said the proposal represents exactly the kind of mixed-use project the city says it wants to see near transit nodes.

“This site is a great candidate for more intense development,” said Smit, calling the plan a “dynamic, high-intensity” development that would bring much-needed new jobs and additional housing to the east end.

The site is designated an “Urban Employment Area” under the current Official Plan and zoned “development reserve,” meaning it’s cleared for development but is subject to restrictions based on the specific uses proposed for the site. 

The developers are seeking to have the lands rezoned for residential use and redesignated for mixed-use purposes under the city’s new Official Plan, which is expected to be finalized next year.

“Clearly, we feel that there’s an opportunity for some significant profile (at the site),” said Smit, noting that just a few hundreds metres east, Brigil is in midst of developing a mixed-use community that’s ultimately expected to include six residential towers as well as commercial space.

Smit, who retired last year from his previous role as the city’s head of economic development, did not want to name the developers behind the proposal. He said more details about the project will be revealed as it comes closer to fruition, including architectural drawings and a full site plan.  

“We’re very much (in the) early stages right now,” Smit said.