You're probably right, and now that I think about it there have been several new condos built on the west side of Yonge replacing strips like these. That "Firkin block" though I believe is a unique case, as I *think* it's on top of the Sheppard-Yonge station box as I remember peering into the tunnels when the Sheppard line was built and that entire area was opened up to the elements. Same with the Green P car park behind which I suppose means I can drink at that Firkin for *another* 25 years...
If you ever ridden the Yonge Subway in North York, you’d know it’s straight as an arrow - just like Yonge Street. north of 401 to Finch tail track, Yonge Subway is directly under roadway of Yonge Street! - including that “Frickin block” just north of Sheppard.
FYI, with proper support - you can build condo tower directly on top of subway tunnels - as to be done at Menkes’ 4800 Yonge - southwest corner of Yonge & Sheppard where westbound Sheppard to southbound Yonge turning subway cut diagonally though the site.
Within North York, generally the redeveloped sites along Yonge Street were formerly large site or contain large sites making land assembly easier. Older blocks like “Frickin block” contains numerous smaller storefront lots owned by different owners,.... lots of small expensive lots make it very costly,... dealing with multiple owners make it logistically challenging,..... thus, it very difficult to assemble the large lot required for large developments - at least with current economics. One day if these retail property tax and rent becomes so expensive it’s impossible for most retail to operate there - owners maybe more willing to sell these smaller lots - this seems to be happening downtown Yonge Street where property value, rent and taxes are much higher. Hence, the larger lot assembly and development applications/construction along Yonge downtown.