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Golden Growth: 2200 Eglinton Avenue East

SvN is working with Scarborough District Community Planning Staff at the City of Toronto to develop a Secondary Plan for the Golden Mile. This Secondary Plan will build on SvN’s previous work with the City in developing the Eglinton Connects Planning Study. The Golden Mile Secondary Plan will provide a vision and comprehensive planning framework for a complete community in the Golden Mile area, centred on Eglinton Avenue East and extending from Victoria Park Avenue to Birchmount Road. The Secondary Plan will support both existing and future employment, mixed use and residential uses in the area.

Novae Res Urbis has profiled one of several proposed developments within the Golden Mile Secondary Plan study area, demonstrating the potential for transformative change within the area and the need for an updated policy framework that aligns with the significant investment in transit infrastructure that is occurring with the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit line.

Reprinted from Novae Res Urbis Toronto, Friday August 24, 2018:

A new development proposal provides a glimpse at how the upcoming Eglinton Crosstown LRT will transform the Golden Mile.

DREAM Asset Management Corporation proposes to develop a 6.4-ha site at 2200-2206 Eglinton Avenue East into a large mixed-use community.

“I think that [we need] a multi-purpose utilization of that site along that corridor,” says Ward 37 Scarborough Centre councillor Michael Thompson. “We need to ensure that there are people living, working, playing, [that they have] recreational facilities and everything along that corridor because of the communities along there.”

DREAM’s proposal divides the site into three blocks, with a new public street. It proposes a maximum gross floor area of up-to-287,000 m2, which would retain a minimum of 14,400 m2 of non-residential floor space and would add 3,700 residential units and 4,180 m2 of ancillary retail space.

While no maximum height is defined, DREAM proposes that the height of all buildings drop down to four to six storeys as they approach the street, and that they be tapered to allow more sunlight at street level and to create a pedestrian-scaled environment.

“I wouldn’t want to see a mass series of simply high-rise, which would be rather unfriendly to the community,” says Thompson. “I’d want to see a combination of development. I want to see… a combination of townhouses, along with high-rises, of course integrated with the commercial component where jobs and retail and so on are blended into a mix, so creating a community. I wouldn’t simply want to see an area where there was… [just] high-rises and podium type of parking, things like that.”

DREAM’s proposal is intended to take advantage of the upcoming Eglinton Crosstown LRT, currently planned to be completed in 2021.

Thompson says that protecting the more than 1,000 jobs on the site has to be included within the final proposal in order for him to support it.

City staff has initiated a Golden Mile Corridor Study to help determine exactly how the area should be developed. Being undertaken by SVN Architects + Planners, the study is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2019. Development proposals for the area could be approved by late 2019.

“Ultimately, the study outcome will be to come up with a secondary plan to guide future development in the area,” Scarborough District senior planner Francis Kwashie told NRU. “[The study team] intends to come up with urban design guidelines. They’re also working on a transportation master plan… In addition to that, they also intend to come up with a parks and open space strategy that will look at the built form, look at the streetscape, pedestrian environments, cycling, and also come up with a public art strategy. So it’s a very comprehensive planning exercise and that framework should guide any development… So for 2200-2206 Eglinton, it will be evaluated within the context of this planning study.”

He says that while the specific requirements for the area might not have been determined, much higher densities than currently exist will be needed to support the LRT.

“From a planning standpoint… that’s typically an area where we will support growth,” Kwashie says. “Most of the lands there… the built form is essentially one to two storey buildings with vacant parking spaces in the front. So there is development potential.”

He says that the aim of the secondary plan will be to create complete communities, with an emphasis on preserving and creating employment space.

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