Another big skyscraper could be coming to downtown Toronto, with a proposed 54-storey building overlooking the waterfront.
The two-story Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre could be transformed into a glassy skyscraper and skybridge.
On September 4, a proposal was put forward by from QuadReal Property Group and private real estate company Barney River to redevelop the conference centre at 11 Bay Street into a imposing golden tower with retail stores, office spaces and ballrooms.
The conference centre is connected to the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, which is one of the biggest in the city, by a pedestrian bridge.
The proposed 9,580 square metre conference centre is proposed with “new and modernized facilities” that will consist of a 1,900 square metre main ballroom, a 900 square metre junior ballroom, and 5,700 square metres of “meeting rooms, pre-function area, and back of house spaces.”
“It will maintain the symbiotic relationship with the Westin Harbour Castle hotel, capitalizing on the hotel’s 977 rooms to attract conventions to Toronto and ensuring a high level of hotel occupancy,” the proposal adds.
There will also be pedestrian access along all three entrances, including to the office lobby from Harbour Street and Bay Street, to the first and second floor retail from Bay Street, and to the conference centre lobby from Bay Street and Queens Quay West.
“Renewed streetscapes and generous boulevards will be achieved through enhanced ground floor setbacks, and ground floor uses that are active throughout the day and into the evening, creating a vibrant and animated public realm,” the proposal says.
The development also includes second floor PATH connections, providing the missing link in a direct route from Union Station to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.
The building’s exterior has also been designed with both solid and glazed material to minimize heat loss.
According to the documents, the conference centre plans to reopen to visitors by 2024, and the office tower will be in use by 2025.