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Master(ful) Plans: The GTA’s Next Mega-Projects

Standalone condo towers are so 2020

By Stefan Novakovic

It’s not just about condo towers anymore. Kicking off Toronto’s already roaring ’20s, developers are thinking bigger, with mixed-use, masterplanned communities set to transform the GTA. So how will it all look? Pretty good. Combining transit, public space and lots of street-level activity, this new wave of mega-projects is poised to define the next urban decade.

GTA Mega-Projects

A Dream on the Don

On the eastern shoulder of downtown, the site of the former Unilever soap factory meets the Don River as a concrete industrial shell surrounded by roughly 24 hectares of mostly vacant land. Not for long. In 2016, developer First Gulf revealed a plan to create a new employment hub here, situated next to a future subway station. Designed by KPMB with Henning Larsen, Adamson Associates, Urban Strategies and Janet Rosenberg & Studio, the mega-project envisions a high-rise nexus housing over 70,000 future employees, along with substantial new retail. Last September, real estate giant Cadillac Fairview purchased the site, likely expediting the development timeline. CADILLACFAIRVIEW.COM

GTA Mega-Projects

Brampton on the Rise

Brampton is growing up. At the corner of Main Street and Steeles Avenue, the surface parking and big-box retail of Shoppers World Brampton will soon give way to a new mega-project. Rich in public space and pedestrian amenities – designed by SvN and Quadrangle – developer RioCan’s vision for the mall prioritizes retail while adding some 5,000 residential units. The Quadrangle-designed buildings will vary in size and aesthetic, ranging from townhouses to a 28-storey tower. While the 30-year timeline means progress will be gradual, phase one could launch as early as this year. RIOCAN.COM

Not So Cookie-Cutter

Mr. Christie, you make good… urbanism? At the Humber Bay Shores, the former cookie factory’s 11-hectare site is framed by Etobicoke’s growing skyline – and a lacklustre streetscape. All of that’s about to change with First Capital Realty’s unveiling of a plan to develop 15 towers – topping out at 71 storeys – atop an animated public realm. Along with offices, a hotel and over 7,000 residential units, the mega-development by Allies and Morrison with Urban Strategies calls for new park space, retail – lots of it – and an integrated TTC streetcar loop to create a complete community. FCR.CA

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