Huge changes could be coming to Scarborough Town Centre
Newly-surfaced development plans for the Scarborough Town Centre suggest that one of Toronto's most controversial (and least cost-effective) transit projects is coming ever closer to fruition—and bringing with it some major upgrades for the east end mall.
Oxford Properties, the real estate company which owns the STC, just requested approval from the city to demolish a Cineplex theatre complex on the site's southeast corner and rebuild it elsewhere on the property.
Replacing it will be a massive new transit hub, built to accommodate the contentious one-stop Scarborough subway extension.
The new Scarborough Centre Subway Station will itself bring a whole new look to the area with 400 metres worth of glass canopies, a 28-bay bus station, and a green roof — but it's only the beginning of what developers have planned for the area, as it turns out.
Benign as it may seem on the surface, the cinema relocation project is apparently just one small part of "perhaps one of the most ambitious redevelopment schemes Toronto has ever seen."
Indeed, a much larger master plan is in the works for the mall and the property it sits on.
By the time all is said and done, the STC could be surrounded by up to 36 new residential towers ranging in height from 20 to 65 storeys high.
New pedestrian promenades, public park space, retail units, parkades and "residential villages" would replace all of the surface parking on site, much like what's been proposed for Toronto's Dufferin Mall.
The entire project site would be divided into what Urban Toronto calls "four main character areas," including a retail core, an urban core, and a high-density neighbourhood of high-rises meant to act as a buffer between Highway 401 and a new public park.
The mall itself would remain in place, but as part of the larger redevelopment. Plans are still in the conceptual stage, however, so not much is known about how (and if) Oxford will change it.
Phase 1 did reveal that a new, 10,400-square-metre cinema building is set to be constructed on the northeast corner of Scarborough Town Centre, next to what used to be Sears.
A new "raised exterior pedestrian walkway" would furthermore connect the Cineplex to the mall, which sounds just lovely on a snowy day in December.
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