There will certainly be enough people living at the corner to support fast casual restaurants. But the neighbourhood has plenty of those, and some real restaurants would be great, as there's a shortage in the area.
Regarding ground level occupants - the new Ikea that opened downtown at the Aura had signs promoting PenguinPickUp locations to get your furniture delivered. One location on the poster was marked as being at Lower Sherbourne and Front Street. There is no such location listed on their website. Could they be possibly be opening up a storefront at ground level in this building? The only other location I can think of might be Time & Space across the street, but that seems like a longer way away from being ready to open.
The Silva cells are both new and not common. Most street trees fight for life and they die young
Silva cells are now a required standard in new build streetscapes, unless it can be shown to be impossible.
However, you are quite right that that is relatively recent, Bloor's (Yorkville) re-do was the first large-scale installation that I can recall though there may have been a few small ones earlier.
So they started to become normative in about 2011; and became a required standard sometime in the last few years.
The average life for a Toronto Street Tree in the old City (to distinguish from those in wide soft boulevards) is about 7 years.
Wow, 7 years is not a long time! How does this number change with trees planted in Silva cells?