It’s been over a decade since a bold giraffe print design was painted on a building on the northwest corner of Bloor and Dundas, heralding what would turn out to be an ill-fated project known as Giraffe Condos.
Giraffe Condos was launched in 2007 and was due for completion in 2012, but a decade later that original painted design remains, as neither Giraffe nor any of the many subsequent proposals planned for this site have come to fruition, although it may very soon. change as another design was filed for the historic site at 1540 Bloor St W.
What was initially envisioned as a 27-story condo tower was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (a predecessor of the current Ontario Land Tribunal) where she failed to gain approval, forcing promoters back to the drawing board.
The Giraffe saga was reignited in 2018 when Timbertrin (a partnership between developers Trinity and Timbercreek) purchased the plot of land for $35 million, and it wasn’t too long before a new plan surfaced for the old Giraffe site.
With huge changes to the area since a project was proposed for the site, the developer didn’t change too much in terms of height with its 2019 proposal, calling for a 25-storey tower designed by IBI Group architects , this time populated largely by rental units instead of condos.
The following year, the project was again appealed over the city’s head after planners failed to reach a decision on the application within the required time frame, which led to a revised submission in 2021.
This plan reduced the tower’s height to 27 stories and ultimately resulted in a late 2021 settlement between the developer and the city that approved the tower in principle.
A new app with what looks like the 200th design of this site was filed this year, with the latest changes resulting from the recent settlement.
The current plan includes 354 rental units, including 342 new suites and 12 more to replace existing rental units on the development site, in accordance with municipal rental housing replacement bylaws. These are planned in a mix of 12 studios, 220 one-bedroom units, 88 two-bedroom units and 34 three-bedroom units.
At street level, 663 square meters of retail space is on offer to help keep the corner of Bloor and Dundas alive and bustling.