Photos: James Bombales
Project: Galleria on the Park
Builder(s): Elad Canada
Architect(s): CORE Architects and Hariri Pontarini Architects
Loved by locals but in dire need of a facelift, Toronto’s Galleria Mall is an aging landmark that will soon be replaced by Galleria on the Park, a sprawling master-planned community by developer Elad Canada. The shopping mall opened its doors on the corner of Dufferin and Dupont Street in 1972, and its brown brick facade, dim interiors, and tan-hued tile flooring have largely been untouched since. In 2015, Elad Canada purchased the property and announced major plans to redevelop the 20-acre site into a mixed-use community with approximately 2,846 residential suites (including 150 affordable units), 300,000 square feet of retail space and a new 8-acre public park.
After years of public consultations, the first phase of the project was launched last September, with site prep and demolition following shortly after. Managed by York Demolition, the demo phase is being split into stages with crews working on the mall’s western section first. Meanwhile, the eastern portion of the mall, which includes a FreshCo, Planet Fitness, Rexall, PetValu and a TD Bank, remains open.
Views from the northern and southern parts of the site show that much of the main building has been demolished with piles of concrete, steel and rubble scattered throughout. Only a small section of brick facade remains along Dupont Street, while a demolition claw tears down the last piece of the western building facing Emerson Avenue.
The southernmost structure which once housed an LCBO and the Happy Bakery & Pastry will be the last part of the building to be demolished.
The first phase of the redevelopment features a modern, CORE Architects-designed tower called Galleria 01 Condos with interiors by U31. The 29-storey residence houses 267 units and will be clad with dark, rich metals and materials that pay homage to the industrial character of the neighbourhood. It will also share a podium with Galleria 02 Condos when the second phase is released. When complete, residents will have access to 40,000 square feet of commercial space spanning two storeys in addition to all the private amenities offered within the condominium complex.
The final community masterplan also includes a brand new Wallace Emerson Community Centre. At 95,000 square feet, the facility will double the size of the existing community centre which currently sits on the southeast corner of the site. Designed by the internationally-recognized architecture firm Perkins and Will, the community centre will be among Toronto’s largest, offering a range of family-friendly programming and activities.