A new “restaurant row” will replace the World’s Biggest Bookstore

A new “restaurant row” will replace the World’s Biggest Bookstore

An artistic rendering of the upcoming culinary compound at 20 Edward Street An artistic rendering of the forthcoming “restaurant row” at 20 Edward Street
 

We learned last fall that the World’s Biggest Bookstore was being sold to Lifetime Developments, the company responsible for Toronto’s Liberty Market Lofts and Four Seasons hotel. Now we know the fate of the retail landmark, which has stood on the corner of Yonge and Edward streets since 1980. According to a recent press release, Lifetime intends to convert the 64,000-square-foot space into the city’s newest “restaurant row.”

Paracom, the broker behind the sale, describes the project on its website as follows: “With 250 [feet] of frontage, leading architectural firm Turner Fleischer has designed a cutting edge building that will afford up to [four] of the world’s best restaurateurs and their designers the extraordinary chance to custom finish a space.” The culinary compound will feature “soaring ceiling heights” and “multi-level patio opportunities,” which, based on the artistic renderings attached, appear to include lattice-framed rooftop terraces. No specific restaurants have yet been attached to the project, but we’re betting the prime location has plenty of culinary entrepreneurs salivating.

The announcement comes at an interesting time. Not long ago, plans were approved for the construction of a massive modern condo development on the site of Toronto’s existing restaurant row—i.e. the touristy strip of eateries on the south side of King Street, just west of John. As for Restaurant Row 2.0, it aims to be operational by TIFF 2015.