A Toronto mall is about to be demolished for a futuristic new community
Several of Toronto's vast car-centric shopping malls have embarked on ambitious plans to transform into residential-anchored communities, a shift brought on by declining brick-and-mortar business and skyrocketing land values.
Plans have been in the works to redevelop the 26-acre Agincourt Mall at Kennedy and Sheppard since 2017, the owners calling for a full demolition of the shopping centre and the phased construction of a new mixed-use community on its vast suburban site.
When those plans advanced with an updated vision in 2019, owner North American Development Group (NADG) predicted a 2021 construction start. That goal never came to be, and years later, this process is only now nearing the finish line as the project team works with the City to finalize a plan.
Now in its sixth year of planning, NADG and its team have announced the next steps for the first phase in a long-term redevelopment that would see the current mall demolished and replaced by ten towers containing residential and office space, townhomes, as well as new parkland.
The new community is planned to include over 4,300 residential units spread across ten towers ranging in height from 11 to 43 storeys, as well as townhome units. A range of unit types would populate this new community, including condos and affordable housing dispersed across the site.
Steve Bishop, NADG's Vice President of Development Services, says that "The current retail mall, situated on 26 acres of land, will be transformed into a safer, pedestrian-friendly community with wide sidewalks, new bike paths, public spaces and enhanced connections to the surrounding community."
In 2022, city council approved zoning by-law amendments sought by the developer, and NADG is currently in talks with the City to secure Site Plan approval for the massive redevelopment's first phase. This marks one of the final steps in the planning and approvals process before shovels can hit the ground.
Phase 1 of the long-term redevelopment will see a pair of residential towers rising 26 and 42 storeys from a shared six-storey base housing 659 new residential units and 13,000 square metres of retail space.
Though the majority of the mall is destined for demolition, key tenants and staples of the community — a Walmart and a grocery store — are to be relocated into new space on the site and integrated into the community.
Future phases will bring new retail, a mix of large-format shops, a supermarket, and restaurants to the community. A retail promenade will act as the backbone of this new shopping and dining destination, lined with cafes, landscaping, and places to congregate.
A pair of public parks will be dedicated to the city within the plot, combining for 3.7 acres of the total site area.
In addition, a group of four privately-owned publicly-accessible spaces and a multi-use path will add to what is promised to be a rich network of public spaces for residents of the new buildings and existing high-rises surrounding the site.
"Our original vision of transforming Agincourt Mall into a vibrant community to live, shop and work, is coming to fruition and we are pleased to be advancing our Phase One Site Plan Application with the City of Toronto," says Bishop, who predicts that "The end result will be a great addition to the Agincourt community."
All of this new residential density would be supported by the recently-renovated Agincourt GO Station, which is planned to offer all-day, two-way service in the coming years as part of a broad expansion program led by Metrolinx.
North American Development Group
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