Massive residential development proposed for Toronto rail corridor

A team of developers has announced plans to build a 3,500-home community on former railway land in downtown Toronto.

The companies behind the plan are three local outfits: condo-specialist Craft Development Group, residential developer Kingsmen Group and investment firm Fengate Asset Management.

The masterplanned community, to be called the Orca Project, will be built on 6.5ha of land in a railway corridor, and will come with an elevated railway park.

Safdie Architects, best known for its Raffles City in Chongqing, and PWP Landscape Architecture have been named as designers.

Real estate website Storeys notes the development, if it receives planning permission, will set a precedent for large-scale residential construction occupying space above rail corridors. Craft acquired air rights for the site in 2013 from the Canadian National Railway.

The development will take the form of six linked towers, and will offer affordable housing, open green space as well as retail and entertainment venues where the corridor passes between Bathurst Street and Blue Jays Way in the central North York district of the city.

A 36-storey office building and approximately 48,499-square-feet of retail space have also been proposed for the site.

A press release from Fengate comments that the project is "focused on addressing ever-increasing housing demands in Toronto, providing new transit-oriented and family-friendly options in the heart of the city, and reclaiming a significant amount of urban space utilized by the rail corridor".

It adds that Orca will also incorporate "state-of-the-art technology in support of energy efficiency and a healthy environment throughout the complex".

A video of the scheme can be seen here.

Image: A rendering of the planned scheme (CNW Group/Fengate Asset Management)

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