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Crosstown LRT spurs massive redevelopment proposal

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 6, 2014

Celestica redevelopment torontoThe owners of a sprawling industrial complex at the corner of Eglinton and Don Mills are hoping to redevelop part of the site into a new residential area of high rise towers and townhomes, office, and retail space in time for the arrival of the Crosstown LRT.

According to Urban Toronto, the Celestica electronics property is a little over a quarter occupied with buildings, the rest of it composed of massive amounts of surface parking and blank storage areas.

The property was originally developed in 1951 as the headquarters of IBM Canada. The computer company spun-off its electronics manufacturing division in 1994, forming Celestica, the current owners of the site. The company makes telecommunications equipment, aerospace products, and navigation systems.

Celestica would not move as part of the current proposal, though its current buildings would be demolished. Large swaths of unused land, much of it surface parking, will be given over to a small village of roughly eight mixed-use buildings, a community centre, and hockey arena. Several new streets, including a short westward extension of Wynford Drive, are shown in the preliminary report due to go before the city's Planning and Growth Management Committee tomorrow.

The electronics company would re-locate to a new facility on the east side of the property and the remainder of the land re-zoned for mixed use.

An underground stop on the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT is due to be built on the southwest corner of Eglinton and Don Mills, potentially increasing the value of Celestica's fallow land.

What do you think of the proposal?


Max height: 40 storeys
High rise buildings: 8
Residential units (all 3+ bedroom): 2,897 (294,950 square metres)
Office space: 77,136 sq. m.
Retail space: 9,105 sq. m.
Institutional space: 7,089 sq. m.
Parking: 930 vehicles

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.



Elvis / August 6, 2014 at 12:16 pm
Some 3+ bedrooms that's nice to hear for once
toronto / August 6, 2014 at 12:30 pm
are you guys covering the election or not? Soknacki made a pretty important announcement today. I know its not about ford but if you are covering the election this may be worth writing about...
Rob / August 6, 2014 at 12:39 pm
First the Aga Khan Centre and now this, Don Mills and Eglinton will look much different than when I worked there some years ago. Good for the neighbourhood! I think these changes and the LRT will improve it greatly.
Andrew / August 6, 2014 at 12:51 pm
This development strongly suggests that putting LRT on Eglinton is a really bad idea. We should have built a higher capacity subway. Putting tens of thousands of new residents at Eglinton & Don Mills will make the LRT severely overcrowded.
James / August 6, 2014 at 12:54 pm
I love that there are people actually putting some thought into things before they develop, although I suppose it's a bit easier when you have some space to work with.
thanks. replying to a comment from Rob / August 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm
Thats what that Louvre looking thing is!

I was certain it was Church of Scientology building a new breeding ground for insanity.

Glad to hear its a bit less insane.
yep / August 6, 2014 at 12:59 pm
Seems like a god re-use of this property. It is a wasteland right now with the current sprawling underused complex which is over-paved - as long as they do keep the green space that seems to be included in the drawing above. Great idea to build it here with the crosstown coming to the neighbourhood.
Rob Ford / August 6, 2014 at 01:34 pm
LRT! LRT!! LRT!!! What I always said...I mean subways, subw....
Sophie / August 6, 2014 at 01:39 pm
What are all of the people riding the Eglinton cross town going to do when they arrive at Eglinton station? There is no room for them on the over crowded subway.
Nick replying to a comment from Andrew / August 6, 2014 at 01:39 pm
@Andrew, perhaps the increased development at Eglinton and Don Mills will spur the building of the Relief Line running down Don Mills and along King or Queen (if we're talking subways that's be the better one to build; don't pull a Ford or Harris and try to turn back time on this much needed line, please)
Todd replying to a comment from Sophie / August 6, 2014 at 01:53 pm

Create new transit line, create new bottleneck.

This will continue to happen as long as suburban policy continues to dictate the city. We need subways downtown, we need efficiency, whatever mode, to get to these subways radiating out of downtown.

This will only get worse. Sell that midtown condo by 2020.
SHN / August 6, 2014 at 01:54 pm
Developers actually suggesting 3-bedroom units? Family-friendly and community-oriented development proposals? Man, this must be what heaven looks like.
Rob Ford / August 6, 2014 at 02:06 pm
Sophie replying to a comment from Todd / August 6, 2014 at 02:19 pm
I agree - when (if) I do buy a condo, I hope to be in walking distance of my life because I don't see public transit as being a reliable mode of transportation and driving will be much worse.

I heard the mayor of Richmond Hill on the radio the other day saying how he would like to see the subway extended to highway 7! Apparently they have the funding to make it happen.

It makes me a little sick to think about just because the line is already so over crowded and I don't see any solution in sight - only things that will make it worse.
Andrew replying to a comment from Nick / August 6, 2014 at 02:23 pm
We shouldn't be building a low capacity LRT line that forces us to build an expensive subway to relieve its own capacity problems west of Don Mills (not just the Yonge line capacity problems). Putting tens of thousands of new residents at Don Mills/Eglinton probably will cause this line to be overcrowded on opening day. Building the DRL would cost at least $5 billion.

LRT makes absolutely no sense for a line that is mostly underground and where most of the above ground section is a low density area that is primarily big box retail east of Don Mills. The underground section costs as much a subway but has far lower capacity. We could have build an Eglinton subway that doesn't go east of Don Mills and that has much higher capacity for significantly less than this overly expensive LRT line with too little capacity. No other city would ever consider building something like this, LRT was chosen solely because of politics.
Chris replying to a comment from Andrew / August 6, 2014 at 02:33 pm
What are you, Rob Ford's transit advisor or something? Your sheer ignorance on this topic would do the Mayor proud.
Rob replying to a comment from Andrew / August 6, 2014 at 02:37 pm
You're talking out of your ass, Andrew. Where do I start:

1) Projections show (granted, according to the Crosstown) ridership will peak at 5400 passengers/hr by 2031. An LRT can transport up to about 15K passengers/hr. A subway, to be viable, needs at least 20-30K passengers/hr.
2) The tunnels for the underground portion are larger than the existing subway tunnels we have in the city currently, because the need to have space for electrical wires to give power to the trains. So, it's large enough to accommodate a subway should "this line to be overcrowded on opening day" and we need to run subways - but, again, reference point one to counter your absurd claim.
3) While an DRL is going to cost a few bucks, it addresses the issue of overcrowding, and, one would hope, would run (roughly) from Don Mills/Sheppard to somewhere in the west end to link up to the Crosstown. The passengers using the Crosstown and the DRL will now have better options than a bus, or line 1 and 2.
4) "No other city would ever consider building something like this, LRT was chosen solely because of politics." Seriously? While there is a lot of political meddling - hey, if you're building it, you would want a say too - check the facts. This wasn't something everyone settled on. LRT is coming to Toronto, whether you like it or not. It won't be just on Eglinton, it'll be along Finch and Sheppard. This technology is making a comeback and is already in use in many other places around the world - some cold climates (like Toronto) and others warmer.

So, please, stop with the nonsense.
TJ / August 6, 2014 at 02:37 pm
It looks like a good proposal.
3 bedroom condos are great in theory but 2 problems exist with them now. First, its ridiculous for a 3 bedroom condo to be 800-900 sq ft. That is the new trend that I have seen and a "master" bedroom is not so master at around or just less than 100 sq ft (no walk-in closet) while the other bedrooms range from about 70-90 sq ft.
Second, with condo fees being around $0.55-60/sq ft plus locker (~$20/locker/month) and parking fees (~$45/parking spot/month), the maintenance fee for a larger 3 bedroom at say 1000 sq ft would run close to $650-700 a month. I know for a fact that many people would choose to avoid a condo who those types of fees.
Personally, I think condo fees should be calculated differently to ease the burden for larger units; either lower the $ per sq ft at a certain size or revamp how it is calculated in order to promote or allow people to buy units with more bedrooms.
Rob Ford / August 6, 2014 at 03:27 pm
LsuRbwTay! Whadda ya think, Dougpaininthearse? LRT+subway=LsuRbwTay!
thanks replying to a comment from Rafa / August 6, 2014 at 03:31 pm
Hence the "bit less insane"
Doug replying to a comment from Sophie / August 6, 2014 at 03:33 pm
The Richmond Hill subway extension *will* happen, it's just a matter of when. It's been part of Metrolinx's 'Big Move' plan from the start, the final environmental assessment was completed and approved five years ago, and plans are already well along.
W. K. Lis / August 6, 2014 at 04:09 pm
This is another reason for a Yonge Relief Line (AKA Downtown Relief Line) that reaches Eglinton at Don Mills.
tommy replying to a comment from Doug / August 6, 2014 at 04:53 pm
Don't follow the hype. The Yonge extension is still a pipe dream for 905 mayors. Wishful thinking wont add "60% additional capacity" to the line that is already bogged down during rush hour. Plus, extending the line to Richmond Hill, which already has it's own GO Train station, doesn't make a lot of sense.

YRT already struggles with the highest subsidy and highest transit fares in Canada, if not North America. How would they ever support a subway without Toronto taxpayers bailing them out. The Spadina extension makes sense with multiple transit connections and destinations, making transit better for the entire area. Yonge has no east/west connections and very limited foot traffic - it's fine with bus traffic for the foreseeable future.
Huuk / August 7, 2014 at 09:06 am
This space should be for detached houses. Why on earth do they need that kind of density on that space? Its 3 new streets, just put in 3 and 4 bedroom homes, not CONDOS. This is not a cool area for the young and hip, this could be a great family area by the time its completed. Just Greed from the developers looking for stack people on top of each other, even in the suburbs.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Andrew / August 7, 2014 at 09:12 am
This development strongly suggests that putting LRT on Eglinton was a really good idea, idiot, since anyone insisting on a subway would have seen no new transit at all, leaving this and the rest of Eglinton underdeveloped.

Now we have real transit infrastructure coming (similar half-tunnel LRTs are common in LA, Seattle, Newark, etc. Learn to read.) and real development. Yes, we need more subway lines too but this is still a big win.
Kenneth replying to a comment from LRT Perfection / August 7, 2014 at 04:21 pm
Now they just need to build a Yonge Relief Line LRT!!!!!
Justin Bernard replying to a comment from Andrew / August 7, 2014 at 07:50 pm
What're you talking about, Andrew? This development is EXCACTLY why LRT is being built along Eglinton. Not only to transport riders, but to stimulate development along Eglinton.
And enough with calling the LRT "low capacity". The ECLRT is expected to be capable of 15'000 pph, well above the projected demand for the corridor.
It's amazing that people are so ignorant that they only consider subways as viable rapid transit.
Moaz Ahmad / August 8, 2014 at 12:08 am
Great idea. Any efficient use of space is welcomed. The LRT should probably run underground all the way to Don Mills...but for the $80 million for an underground station at Leslie...but this development won't overwhelm the line. Don Mills-Eglinton is going to be a great transit hub in the future, with the Crosstown, the Don Mills & City Line (a.k.a. DRL), Don Mills LRT, and the Midtown GO Line. Cheers, Moaz
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