Huge towers to swallow up Toronto mall parking and feature new subway station
It's an era of change for both the shopping mall and transit in Toronto, two coinciding jolts of acceleration for public transportation and deceleration for declining retail hubs in the region.
Both trends are crossing paths at Scarborough Town Centre, a mall that is attempting to bolster traffic by redeveloping wide swathes of surface parking, hoping for a critical mass that will keep the shopping centre vibrant for a new era.
And this redevelopment plan is perfectly timed for the coming Scarborough Subway Extension, a tunnel-boring machine now steadily grinding forth for the three-stop extension of the Line 2 Bloor-Danforth subway.
In the middle of this extension, Scarborough Centre will replace the existing Line 3 station of the same name and the nearby terminus at McCowan with a higher-capacity, more direct connection to the city centre, while also helping to support all of the planned density that has already begun to engulf the mall.
Developer Oxford Properties has filed plans with the city seeking approval for the second phase of its long-term community masterplan on a site at the west side of McCowan Road, just north of Progress Avenue, on land occupied by Scarborough Town Centre surface parking.
The plan calls for a pair of Sweeny &Co Architects-designed towers rising 53 and 51 storeys, housing a mix of rental units, commercial retail space, and, most notably, a new entrance for the future Scarborough Centre subway station placed along McCowan Road.
A wide pedestrian plaza would frame the station entrance and offer pedestrians some buffer space between the station and the busy suburban arterial.
Entering from a ground-level vestibule, escalators would connect to a TTC concourse below the tower base, feature direct access to the subway platforms below, as well as a pedestrian tunnel planned to move commuters below McCowan Road between the on-site secondary entrance and main entrance across the street.
The two towers' residential components would combine for 1,078 rental units, planned in a breakdown of 92 studios, 573 one-bedrooms, 305 two-bedrooms, and 108 three-bedroom units.
With a subway station built right into the base, the project doesn't really need much in the way of parking, planning just 235 spaces for cars and 834 spaces for bikes in its multi-level parking garage, which includes two underground floors and five levels above grade shielded from view by the tower bases.
The newly-proposed towers and subway connection are just a few elements in the long-term plan to build out the mall lands with 21 blocks of transit-supported development containing over 11,600 new homes.
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