In Toronto’s Midtown neighbourhood, a master-planned community could deliver thousands of new homes and mixed-use space to the area.
On December 21st, 2020, a Zoning By-Law Amendment application was submitted to city planners seeking to redevelop the site known as Canada Square, a 9.2-acre stretch of land comprising several buildings south of the major Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue West intersection.
The application’s planning rationale, authored by Urban Strategies Inc, explains that Canada Square has been subject to an extensive history of planning and design within the city, including a comprehensive study composed by the City of Toronto in 2009. The Canada Square that currently exists saw the majority of its development between the 1960s and 1980s and is now a destination for downtown retail and a transit hub. It will also be a future major stop on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
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The project team consists of multiple architects, and is overseen by Oxford Properties Group, a Canadian property owner and developer headquartered in Toronto. Owned by OMERS, Oxford Properties is behind a number of significant global retail, residential and office projects, including Condominiums at Square One District in Toronto and Fifteen Hudson Yards in New York.
If approved, the development would see the creation of five mixed-use buildings containing 2,701 new residential units, plus 653,412 square feet of non-residential area including new retail, office and community space.
Of the 2,701 proposed residences, the breakdown would include 282 bachelor suites, 1,194 one-bedroom, 954 two-bedroom and 271 three-bedroom units. The application’s project data sheet or planning rationale does not specify the tenure of the residences, whether they will be dedicated as condos, purpose-built rentals, or a mix of the two.
The five proposed towers, ranging from 45 to 70 storeys in height, would sit above two- to seven-storey podiums that would offer a mix of uses. The northern portion of the site would be reserved for the tallest tower of the five, T1. Topping out at 253.5 metres and 60 storeys, the mixed-use T1 tower comprises a two-storey lobby below 28 floors of office space and 32 storeys of residences.
The four other towers would be integrated and oriented at the site’s southern portion, centred around an oval-shaped courtyard. Towers T2 and T3 would reach heights of 70 and 60 storeys, connected by a seven-storey podium that would run the length of the residential block and contain retail space fronting Yonge Street. T4 and T5, reaching heights of 45 and 55 storeys, would provide grade-related townhomes looking onto Berwick Avenue and a new ‘L-shaped’ street.
A large open space would be located at the centre of the site. Approximately 50 percent of the development would be dedicated to open space, including new plazas, parklands and a Central Community Green, which would sit atop a new seven-bay bus terminal and TTC station entrance.
“Canada Square will be the centre of activity in the Midtown community, a place for people to gather, live, work and connect with the surrounding city,” reads the planning rationale.