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45-storey tower planned for busy Village corner

Zipperz may be forced out in favour of mixed-use condo building

A 45-storey condominium tower is proposed for the northeast corner of Carlton and Church streets. Credit: http://renderpornstar.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/renderporntease70carltonstreet

Gay nightclub Zipperz may soon be replaced with a 45-storey condominium tower at the northeast corner of Carlton and Church streets, according to a leaked rendering for the project on Urban Toronto.

“The glass-clad building, designed by Core Architects, starts with a squared-off seven-storey podium matching the height and bulk of Maple Leaf Gardens across the street to the west of it, and finishes with a sleekly rounded 38-storey, X-shaped tower above,” the article states. “The building’s podium is topped by a two-storey amenities suite with landscaped roof deck for the residents.”

Last month, Xtra reported that the owners of Zipperz might be forced to find a new home for the popular gay bar when their lease expires at the end of 2015.

Tribute Communities has already submitted an application for a zoning amendment and rental housing demolition in order to build a 38-storey condo tower on the site, which includes 70 and 72 Carlton streets, but not the large public parking lot behind the buildings. The application states that the tower would sit on a seven-storey podium with retail space at ground level, and it would have 202 parking spaces.

The proposal, for 600 units, is still in its early stages. Urban Toronto expects a community consultation will soon be called to consider the proposal. 

Paul Farrelly, vice-chair of development with the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association, says he doesn’t think the tower will change the culture of the Village, at least no more than any other condo has.

“Did Radio City change the Village? I think change is good,” he says. “It adds vibrancy to the Village, and the mix of people is good. But really, there’s fuck all you can do.

“Is the gay village just a passing phase? I think the gay village will always be part of this neighbourhood.”

Farrelly says he often hears from frustrated community members, and he admits he understands their concern that Toronto’s condo boom is out of control. “It’s the building of a tall Toronto. It just never seems to stop. Every week there’s a new building.”

On the bright side, Farrelly says, he sees this as an opportunity to create office space and jobs.

“This is a mammoth retail operation,” he says. “It’s not just housing.”

Farrelly suspects the condo will be marketed to Ryerson University students who will want to rent small, single units.

“It would certainly bring Ryerson kids to our doorstep,” he says. “Some of these units are only 400 square feet. There’s also study corridors on every floor.”