Opened in 1966, Scarborough’s Agincourt Mall has become a local landmark on the northwest corner of Kennedy Road and Sheppard Avenue. Through the years, the surrounding area has experienced significant growth and is now home to thousands of residents, making the mall a community staple. But like many neighbourhood malls in Toronto, Agincourt has suffered from aging infrastructure, changing demographics and shopping trends.
Markham, Ontario-based North American Development Group (NADG) plans to reinvigorate the fading icon with a major redevelopment project that will create a vibrant, mixed-use community of low- and high-rise residential units, retail spaces, and acres of public parks and greenspaces. Neighbourhood parks will replace concrete pavement, complete streets will make walking, cycling and driving safer for residents, and locals will benefit from increased employment opportunities and a greater selection of stores, cafes and restaurants.
“Agincourt Mall provides a unique city-building opportunity to create a vibrant mixed-use community which builds on the retail history of the site,” says Steven K. Bishop, vice president of Development Services at NADG. “The essence of neighbourhood shopping centres is evolving and much like the Shops at Don Mills, a fading indoor mall will be transformed into a new mixed-use environment where retail will connect with the public realm.”
NADG originally presented its plans for the site in 2017 and subsequently held a series of public consultations, open houses, and a design charrette with local residents and city committees. Additionally, the City of Toronto’s Agincourt Mall Planning Framework Review (AMPFR) was launched in the fall of 2017 to examine ways to manage future growth of the community, taking into account street design, open spaces, land use, transportation networks and density.
After several revisions based on public consultations and recommendations by the AMPFR, NADG has revealed an updated master plan that was approved by Toronto City Council last summer. The amendments include upgrades in Privately Owned Publicly-Accessible Spaces (POPS), streetscape design and enhanced transportation corridors that better integrate cycling, pedestrian and transit infrastructure.
“We spent some time strengthening the east-west connection linking the community to Cardwell Avenue and the Agincourt GO station,” explains Bishop. “So we’ve moved one of the east-west roads further south, added a POPS and created a nice trail through the public park.”
The development’s gross maximum density was also reduced to 3.5x from 4.1x in the original application with a total of 4,400 units planned, along with 25,000 square meters of retail, 10,000 square meters of office space and a significant amount of community and greenspace.
“We’ve got over half a hectare of POPS space scattered throughout the project which we thought was an important aspect and 1.46 hectares of dedicated parkland,” says Bishop. “We’ve also established a second public park along Sheppard Avenue to create a really strong public realm as well as landscaping along that stretch to transform and make it more pedestrian-friendly.”
The community’s central park remains on the west side of the site but has also received some key changes including a readjustment of the road that once circled it. The northern portion has been removed and the road now extends north towards the existing Agincourt Public Library. The change not only allows pedestrians to access the library without having to cross a street, but also opens up an opportunity to introduce a new cultural hub between the park and library.
Details on the residential buildings haven’t been announced yet, but key partners include architects Giannone Petricone Associates, landscape architecture and urban design firm Janet Rosenberg & Studio, and transportation, planning and engineering firm BA Group.
For more information on the Agincourt Mall Redevelopment visit reinventagincourtmall.com.