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Five St. Joseph Brings Big Change to Yonge Street

Toronto Mixed-Use

A new mixed-use project is setting the standard for future development along Yonge Street between Charles and College Sts. Five St. Joseph shows how to mix history and density.


MOD Developments CEO Gary Switzer (snapped across from the site with project partner Graywood Developments’ David Hamilton) tells us the city looked to Five as a template for how development should occur along the underdeveloped parts of this section of Yonge. The project incorporates heritage architecture (like the four-storey brick facade of the old Rawlinson Cartage warehouse building on St. Joseph Street, seen below) while adding density via a new 48-storey glass condo. Gary says the city loves the tower’s deep setback. “It preserves the historic scale of Yonge.”


The condo tower (below) sits 30 metres back on the site, behind a stretch of five rebuilt and restored 19th century buildings along Yonge. These will house a 4k SF RBC Royal Bank and a 2k SF Aroma Espresso Bar at the corner of Yonge and St. Joseph, with residential units on the upper floors. There'll be 7k SF of retail in the new structure built behind the warehouse facade, including a large restaurant, with additional food-related retail along St. Nicholas St., which runs along the western portion of the site. “This area is under-serviced by interesting restaurants,” Gary says.


Five St. Joseph and neighbouring condo developments are increasing the area's population and spurring demand for better retail space, says David, noting that Five is attractive to bigger-name tenants because it provides them with “commercial certainty.” The opposite is true for properties across the street, he notes, where retailers exist on month-to-month leases and landlords are reluctant to invest in upgrades, “because they know the wrecking ball is coming someday.”