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Major retail development could be coming to Front St.

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 9, 2012

Globe and Mail Retail Mall FrontTwo real estate giants could be cooking up a new high-end shopping centre in the image of the Eaton Centre for the Globe and Mail lands at Front and Spadina once the newspaper moves to its new offices, according to the Business News Network.

The so-called "mini Eaton Centre" will be a joint investment between Riocan and Allied Properties REIT and will, apparently, feature 500,000 square feet of "unique" retail space similar to the offerings available in Yorkville.

It's difficult to know how much stock to put in this story: there are several unverified details from a single, unnamed source and the copy stresses that "zoning and plans are not yet in place." From that, it's hard to tell if it's anything but an idea in someone's head.

A planner at the City of Toronto told me, as far as he's aware, no-one has submitted official paperwork, sketches or renderings for the project, and neither real estate company has revealed plans for the site beyond their intention purchase the area from the newspaper.

The Globe and Mail published an article earlier this week confirming they were in talks with Riocan and Allied Properties REIT after a deal with Mattamy, a homes developer, fell through. The story describes the proposal as a mix of "office, retail and residential space," stressing that living spaces would be "secondary."toronto northern railwayThe site was formerly home to the Northern Railway Offices building, the management headquarters of the now defunct Northern Railway of Canada designed by W. G. Storm, the man also responsible for St. Andrew's Church and parts of University College. The Globe and Mail is moving to a purpose built headquarters next door.

Photo by Derek Flack

Discussion

26 Comments

Todd Toronto / November 9, 2012 at 10:35 am
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Not a bad idea. That area doesn't want for residential, but it's still sorely lacking in retail.
Al / November 9, 2012 at 10:47 am
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That would be fantastic if it happens. It would really transform that area.
Jer / November 9, 2012 at 10:49 am
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What is going in on the corner where the Toyota dealership is? Would make sense for all of that to get redeveloped together since they are side by side.
lowrez / November 9, 2012 at 10:50 am
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This is scary. Riocan is responsible for a lot of really bad developments in the city and suburbs.
lowrez / November 9, 2012 at 10:51 am
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also LOL at the idea of Mattamy building anything in an urban environment.
Jer / November 9, 2012 at 10:59 am
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Turns out that The Globe and Mail is just moving next door, they are building (or having a building built) on the Toyota lands (old toyota dealership):

http://gleanernews.ca/index.php/2012/03/16/the-globe-and-mails-great-idea/#.UJ0nbcVFkZk

I can't see how that area will support multiple towers/etc. Traffic is already crazy around there, front street is limited by the tracks to the south.

I guess Globe and Mail will have a lot of say into whoever they end up selling it to because they will be located right next to their old site. Also means that the new offices will probably have to be build before anything happens with the existing G & M site.
Daryl replying to a comment from Jer / November 9, 2012 at 11:02 am
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Globe and Mail's new office building:
http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2012/02/first-look-new-globe-and-mail-offices
Arrow / November 9, 2012 at 11:08 am
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For this to be a good idea, I propose:
- Downtown Relief Line, with stop at CityPlace
- Front Street extension to Liberty Village, to ease traffic on King & Lakeshore
- Convert ugly CityPlace pedestrian bridge into ugly car bridge, to ease traffic on Spadina & Bathurst
- Front/Spadina pedestrian scramble intersection

Failing and of this and we're looking at a logistical nightmare.
yes replying to a comment from Arrow / November 9, 2012 at 11:44 am
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Wouldn't that all just make too much sense!
Aaron / November 9, 2012 at 11:57 am
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Downtown malls, casino/convention centres, towers in the park.. cutting edge urban renewal ideas from the 70's and 80's. Forget about infrastructure, that can be tossed on the 'To be studied for the next 30 years' pile. Must ensure that the developers make a quick buck. After all, it's their city.
Developer replying to a comment from Aaron / November 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm
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Buy the lands yourself if you don't like what people are putting on them. Otherwise, shhhh.
hop / November 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm
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Can it be an Eataly?
Miss Kris replying to a comment from Arrow / November 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm
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"Front Street extension to Liberty Village, to ease traffic on King & Lakeshore"

How do you expect that? You gonna displace the rail tracks or plow through Fort York? Neither would surprise me.
Arrow replying to a comment from Miss Kris / November 9, 2012 at 01:01 pm
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The Front Street Extension has been a part of the plans for nearly 20 years. David Miller cancelled the project in 2008.

http://www.toronto.ca/waterfront/front_extension.htm
Arrow replying to a comment from Miss Kris / November 9, 2012 at 01:03 pm
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Might I add, the FSE was cancelled to make way for plans to tear down the Gardiner on the east-end. How's that project coming along?
MrsPotato replying to a comment from Jer / November 9, 2012 at 02:06 pm
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For those who never go by this corner, the Toyota dealership is long gone. It was ripped down a few weeks ago.
Matrix replying to a comment from MrsPotato / November 9, 2012 at 02:19 pm
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I live across from the corner, the cars were relocated two weeks ago to a lot on Wellington, and the building was demolished this week. But thanks for trying.
the lemur replying to a comment from Arrow / November 9, 2012 at 02:20 pm
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How would one 'make way' for the other if they're separate from each other?

The FSE was cancelled because city council decided it couldn't afford to buy land to do it - land that happened to be owned by a councillor at the time.
Arrow replying to a comment from the lemur / November 9, 2012 at 02:32 pm
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When I said 'make way', I was referring to budget reallocation. Sorry if it implied physical location.
the lemur replying to a comment from Arrow / November 9, 2012 at 02:58 pm
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Ah, I get it. The Gardiner being the perenially unresolved issue that it is, even if the city did have the money to proceed with that AND an extension to Front, the guy who owns the land needed to do that decided to sit on it and watch it appreciate.
Yaris / November 9, 2012 at 04:48 pm
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Toyota is moving to a new spot at the corner of Front/Portland where that parking lot or electrical company is.
McRib replying to a comment from Matrix / November 9, 2012 at 04:50 pm
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yeah man, you tell her!
kn / November 9, 2012 at 06:07 pm
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build a huge hawker's market. http://www.laupasat.biz/home.html all independent hawker's from every culture in TO. or another market like St. Lawrence market wouldn't be bad either.
ChefAldea / November 9, 2012 at 07:56 pm
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This is an absolutely horrible idea! Why on earth does our city need another (mini)mega mall? What could it possibly offer?

This area gets enough criticism because of City Place. It's right by the water, but it's a concrete mess of high rises and vertical neighborhoods.

The casino advocates offer urban green space along with their buildings. If this new mall doesn't offer something truly unique - Yorkville doesn't count, sorry - then this proposal should be rejected.
yes!! replying to a comment from hop / November 9, 2012 at 08:08 pm
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I second the Eataly!!
Josh / November 10, 2012 at 10:16 pm
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The old Globe and Mail, she ain't what she used to be, she ain't what she used to be, she ain't what she used to be

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