A retail plaza in Scarborough’s Golden Mile neighbourhood could be transformed from a big-box store hub into a high-rise residential community.
Last week, an application was submitted to city planners to redevelop the existing RioCan-Scarborough Centre at 1966-1980 Eglinton Avenue East into a mixed-use community. The new project would build 2,434 units within four buildings ranging from 12 to 48 storeys in height, plus new retail space, streets and a public park.
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According to the application’s planning rationale, authored by HUNTER & Associates Ltd, an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) application was originally submitted for the property back in 2015. Five years later, a revised OPA was provided to the city, with ambitions to build a master-planned community with 4,915 homes spread over multiple high-rise towers. The OPA application is under appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal. This most recent application from the Canadian developer, RioCan, would apply to the west half of the overall property and OPA lands.
The total development site spans 26.4 acres. The western half of this property, which represents the recent application, encompasses 14.8 acres. Fronting onto Eglinton Avenue East, the site is between Warden Avenue and Birchmount Road, and is home to stores such as LA Fitness, Al Premium grocery store, McDonalds, Value Village and Staples.
The planning rationale states the proposal would demolish the existing stores and parking areas over time, “as lease and business obligations permit.” The development would then be rolled out across four phases.
Between the four newly proposed buildings — A1, B1, A2 and B2 —, the project would deliver 2,434 units, broken down by 1,404 one-bedroom, 786 two-bedroom and 244 three-bedroom suites. The residences would be tenured as condos according to the application’s project data sheet. However a “mix of tenures are envisioned,” for the project as per the rationale, which will be officially determined through the design development and marketing stages.
The first two phases of the development would see the creation of the A1 and B1 buildings, each 48 and 40 storeys in height. This phase would also include building a portion of the project’s north-south public streets. In phase three, the balance of the north-south streets would be finished, while the 38-storey A2 structure and a section of the public park would be created. In the final phase, the 12-storey mid-rise B2 building would be constructed along with completion of the park.
Buildings A2 and B2 on the north side of the property facing the park would be residential, while the mixed-use A1 and B1 buildings near Eglinton Avenue East would feature residential space on the ground floor.
A four-level underground garage under each building would provide 1,912 parking spaces.