Fu­ture of York­dale could in­clude 14 tow­ers

Coun­cil­lor calls the­o­ret­i­cal pro­posal for mall site ‘daunt­ing’

Bayview Post - - News -

Ox­ford Prop­er­ties is seek­ing an of­fi­cial plan and zon­ing amend­ment to ac­com­mo­date three re­de­vel­op­ment sce­nar­ios for the York­dale Shop­ping Cen­tre site over the next 20 years.

All three plans in­clude a range of re­tail, of­fice, ho­tel and res­i­den­tial uses with a net­work of pri­vate streets. Each in­cludes an eight-storey ho­tel, six of­fice build­ings and seven res­i­den­tial build­ings rang­ing between two and 38 storeys on the 30-hectare site.

The pro­posal was submitted in the spring of 2017, less than a year af­ter the mas­sive 300,000-square­foot, $331 mil­lion ex­pan­sion was com­pleted.

Coun­cil­lor Josh Colle, of Ward 15 Eglin­ton-Lawrence, said res­i­dents are right­fully con­cerned about in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion due to the pre-ex­ist­ing trans­porta­tion and ac­cess is­sues al­ready sur­round­ing the site. How­ever, he noted that, al­though the pro­posal may be “daunt­ing,” it has given City of Toronto’s plan­ners a glimpse of what the com­pany’s long-term plan may look like.

“What they’re do­ing is to show what in the­ory could be on the site over decades and then why they need zon­ing to do that. It may be just re­tail; it may be noth­ing; it may be any num­ber of things,” said Colle.

He noted there’s been a num­ber of re­de­vel­op­ment pro­pos­als submitted for shop­ping cen­tres across the Greater Toronto Area.

“They’re try­ing to Ama­zon­proof them­selves. That’s the trend I think you’re see­ing around the world: what can you cre­ate to keep the busi­ness model go­ing?” said Colle. “The city’s job is to make sure that what­ever is built, when­ever it is built, makes sense from a plan­ning per­spec­tive.”

He said the pro­posal will re­quire a multi-year, multi-faceted com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion.

“The chal­lenge of where we are right now is what do you con­sult on? Th­ese the­o­ret­i­cal vi­sions of what York­dale might look like is dif­fi­cult,” he said.

Ox­ford Prop­er­ties has also ap­pealed the Duf­ferin Street Sec­ondary Plan, which out­lines he ap­pro­pri­ate height and den­sity of de­vel­op­ment projects along Duf­ferin, to the On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal Board. A hear­ing has yet to be sched­uled.

“The de­vel­op­ment pro­posal for the area sur­round­ing York­dale Shop­ping Cen­tre is in the very early stages and many decades away. There’s a great deal of work to be done with the city and the com­mu­nity as this pro­posal evolves,” said Adri­enne Simic, spokesper­son for Ox­ford Prop­er­ties.

The pos­si­ble re­de­vel­op­ment of the York­dale Shop­ping Cen­tre site is still years away

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