Eglinton Connects

Location
Toronto

Client
Metrolinx

Date
2012 to 2015

Overview

Eglinton Avenue exists at the centre of the City of Toronto, and binds together a series of diverse neighbourhoods. The proposed Eglinton Crosstown LRT will fundamentally change the balance of transportation along Eglinton, spur development along its length, and create a series of new place-making opportunities. SvN co-led Eglinton Connects with Brook McIlroy and developed the Built Form Zoning Recommendations and Guidelines as well as the Streetscape Design for 19 km of the 26 km LRT corridor, from Jane Street to Kennedy Road. In parallel with this process, SvN supported the City of Toronto in a review of the preliminary designs for the LRT stations and station areas, in preparation for Metrolinx’s issuance of the RFP document to consortia to deliver the Eglinton Crosstown line.

The Built Form Guidelines are built upon the City’s Avenues and Mid-Rise Performance Standards as a starting point and then tested a series of “Focus Areas” where more intense development was appropriate, due to the intersection of transit infrastructure and larger sites for redevelopment and intensification. The final recommendations have been codified in a new comprehensive and set of site specific zoning by-laws for Eglinton Avenue that will guide both private and public investment along the new LRT corridor.

The Streetscape Design will accommodate all users – pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and motorists – in new, complete streets. Specific, context sensitive designs were developed for both the below-grade and surface segments of the LRT. The proposed designs include strategies for consistent, healthy, urban trees; broader sidewalks; safe cycling routes; public art; heritage buildings; integrated parking; consolidated over-head utilities; and a series of new public plazas at all station locations. The work was developed through an integrated EA process that advances the urban and engineering designs through an iterative, multidisciplinary process.

The project has been awarded the Institute of Transportation Engineers for the Toronto Section Project of the Year Award 2013 and the Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence in the City and Regional Planning category.

More information, including project materials, can be found on the City of Toronto’s Eglinton Connects portal.

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Expertise

We develop community sustainability plans, environmental management plans and climate change adaptation plans for public, private and non-profit sectors.We have focused extensively on the displacement and resettlement of communities affected by natural disasters, wars, conflicts and poverty.
We have a long history of planning and designing the public realm of cities, including streets, building facades, public places, the space between buildings and open spaces. Our team has pioneered significant aspects of the “complete streets” concept, demonstrated through landmark projects like the St. George Street Revitalization, the Bloor Street Transformation and the Six Point Interchange Reconstruction.
We plan and design multi-modal transit hubs and corridors including station area plans, LRT corridors, transit stations and border crossings. We take a systems approach to the planning and design of infrastructure, integrating multiple development priorities while preserving and enhancing the quality of the overall landscape. Key projects include the Fort Erie Gateway Master Plan and the Allen District Urban Guidelines & District Plan.
We prepare detailed Design Guidelines for municipalities in order to advance the policies, goals and objectives of Official Plans and Official Community Plans, specifically those related to the design of streets, parks, open spaces and buildings. We apply our combined technical and design expertise to the creation of effective and comprehensive guidelines.