A first look at what Daniels Corporation wants to build where the Guvernment used to be

A first look at what Daniels Corporation wants to build where the Guvernment used to be

What it is: Four waterfront towers east of Lower Jarvis Street, the tallest of which would top out at 48 storeys. (This is where the Guvernment nightclub complex used to be before it held its last party in January.) The first phase of the development—called “Daniels Waterfront: City of the Arts,” a name that reads like it was written by George Lucas—would consist of two smaller towers with offices, retail and a “creative hub” with space for arts and cultural organizations. The first commercial units are supposed to be ready in 2018. The second phase would include more than 900 condos, as well as space for a school like OCAD University to use.

Pedigree: The developer is Daniels Corporation, a company with a stellar reputation at city hall, thanks in large part to its work on the Regent Park revitalization.

Most promising feature: The location couldn’t be better. Waterfront Toronto has been trying to build up ex-industrial East Bayfront for years, and this project, if it goes ahead as envisioned, will bring huge amounts of residents and office workers to the area. The influx of activity could force city hall to make some long-delayed transit improvements on Queens Quay East, too.

Risk factor: If that new transit doesn’t get built soon, all those new residents, workers and students may need to bring cars with them, which would mean bad things for traffic congestion in the area. City planners may try to constrain the scale of the project for that reason.

Likely opposition: There aren’t enough people living in the neighbourhood for any crossed-arm opposition to happen, but the owners of the Redpath Sugar plant across the street may not be thrilled by the prospect of all their new neighbours constantly complaining about the smell.

Will it happen? Definitely. As a result of an Ontario Municipal Board settlement, all the zoning approvals are already in place. And mayor John Tory made an appearance at the project announcement this morning, which is huge.