Future of Yorkdale could include 14 towers
Councillor calls theoretical proposal for mall site ‘daunting’
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