Huge plans for Westin Prince Hotel
A new proposal calls for two residential towers and office building on York Mills by Jessica Wei
A recently submitted proposal to develop the area around the Westin Prince Hotel near York Mills Road and Don Mills Road suggests a drastic change to the opulent heritage-listed hotel and its surroundings.
The application, submitted by Haven Developments on Oct. 30, proposes a mixed-use redevelopment that includes two residential towers with heights of 32 and 26 storeys, a new eight-storey office building, a public park overlooking the existing ravine lands and an additional 38,164 square metres of above grade parking as well as a rear addition to the existing hotel, which includes 10 new storeys of hotel as well as recreational amenities.
The hotel was built in 1974, designed by Ron Thom (designer of Massey College and the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo) and Reno C. Negrin Associates. It remains the only four-star hotel in North York and was listed in the Toronto Heritage Register in 2010. “It’s a beautiful hotel,” said councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, in whose ward the hotel is located. “It probably needs to be spruced up, and I think the owners want to do that.”
Currently under review by City of Toronto staff, this would be the third large-scale development currently proposed in the Don Mills area, joining a pair of towers (34 storeys and 14 storeys) at Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East and a joint redevelopment master plan headed by Diamond Corp, Lifetime Developments and Context Developments to turn the former Celestica campus into a mixed-use community encompassing 3,887 new residential units and 120,000 square feet of retail at Don Mills and Eglinton Avenue East. This intersection has been newly dubbed “Don Mills Crossing.”
“We have a couple of big battles right now,” said Erik Kalm, president of Don Mills Residents Inc. “We’re going to be spending a lot more time on [the Westin Prince project] in the new year. From what I’ve seen of it, we are concerned about the height and the density.”
As for how this project would impact the greater community, both Minnan-Wong and Kalm said it’s too early to tell.
In a statement to Post City, Jordan Teperman, executive vice-president of Haven Developments, wrote, “We are working with the city and various stakeholders to create an appropriate project that meets the needs of this great community.”
“It’s a beautiful hotel. It probably needs to be spruced up.”