985 woodbine avenue toronto

Galen Weston-owned developer to replace Toronto supermarket with condos

A substantial condominium development could soon replace a grocery store next to Woodbine subway station in Toronto, including a tower now planned to rise twice as tall as initially proposed a few years earlier.

Plans are in motion to redevelop an assembly of properties spanning from 2078-2106 Danforth Avenue and wrapping around Woodbine to include 985 Woodbine Avenue, a site home to a Valu-Mart supermarket, as well as a parking lot to the northeast fronting Strathmore Blvd. and Cedarvale Ave.

The proposal from the Weston family-owned Choice Properties REIT seeks to level the existing buildings on site and replace them with a pair of residential buildings containing 632 condominium units and 28 rentals.

A previous plan dating back to early 2019 called for a pair of buildings reaching heights of 15 and 9 storeys. The current plan, resubmitted at the tail end of 2023, more than doubles the ask of the taller building from the proposal tabled years earlier, with the updated scheme proposing heights of 35 and 10 storeys.

A full redesign scraps the previous vision from Turner Fleischer Architects for a more fleshed-out design from architects superkül featuring a mix of typologies and finishes that break up the massing of the development into more digestible volumes.

The vast increase in proposed density comes amid a provincial push to implement Transit Oriented Communities on lands adjacent to planned and existing rapid transit routes, including the TTC's Line 2 Bloor-Danforth that runs right next door to this proposal site.

While the existing grocery store would be demolished pending approval of the proposal, there are hints that the developer intends to open a new grocery store on this site in the future.

A retail component of 2,148 square metres includes two retail spaces, one of which measures a generous 1,625 square metres — more than enough space to house a smaller-format grocery store.

While the proposal's density and inclusion of rental housing are positives, the attached parking component seems out of step with the entire reasoning behind transit-oriented development and the increased height being asked of planners.

The plan calls for an underground parking garage housing 152 parking spaces for residents and visitors, who could realistically board a train in the adjacent Woodbine Station in the same amount of time needed to find their cars and exit a parking garage.

In addition to the parking spaces, a whopping 740 bicycle parking spaces are included in the mix.

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