On September 27th, a seemingly full-formed plan for a community of high-rise towers suddenly hit the news. Transforming a vacant 15-acre lot through a $1.5 billion redevelopment, the M City project promises to add over two acres of public park space to what will become part of Mississauga's urban core. For the time being, however, the site remains a remnant of Mississauga's suburban—and ex-urban—20th century geography.
Located at the southwest corner of Burnamthorpe and Confederation Parkway, the long, almost 500-metre block stretches nearly to Mavis Road. Once part of a huge tract of land owned by the companies that eventuality became Rogers Communications, the site was intended to house a radio transmitter when Ted Rogers purchased the lot—for $170,000 (not adjusted for inflation)—in 1960.
While Rogers passed away in 2008, plans to redevelop the site as an urban community have been in the works since 2007, by which time Mississauga's urban core was beginning to stake a more urban identity. Partnering with established land developers Urban Capital, Rogers' newly founded Real Estate Development arm is undertaking a project of ambitious scale.
Intended to house some 6,000 residents, the new community is in line with the goals of Mississauga's Downtown21 master plan. It encourages the creation of a more connected and pedestrian-friendly street grid along with mixed-use, mixed-income buildings to replace the sea of parking lots that surround Square One—itself a relic of another planning era—with new urban density and LRT transit.
Prepared by New York City's Cooper, Robertson & Partners, the plan for the site depicts a cluster of towers and podium structures encompassed by a greenscaped pedestrian realm. Meanwhile, the south end of the site will effectively contribute a northern extension to the existing John Bud Cleary Park, consolidating the new green space into a larger park. The project's landscaping is appointed by The Planning Partnership.
While the plan for the site depicts a relatively finalized layout for the towers and park space, most of the buildings have yet to be designed. 9 of the 10 towers depicted in the renderings are not indicative of final designs, though at least some of the aesthetic diversity depicted will be achieved by using a variety of architectural firms for individual towers.
Meanwhile, the undulating 51-storey tower at the northeast corner of the site depicts a finalized design, with the Core Architects-designed building—interiors by Cecconi Simone—set to be the project's first phase. Featuring some 700 units priced from approximately $200,000 to $700,000, construction of the tower could start as soon as early 2018.
Fronting Grand Park Road just west of the site, the plan also depicts Pinnacle International's paired Grand Park Towers, which form a separate—and soon to be completed—project (below). With the high-rise Grand Park Towers now standing tall to the west, and Mississauga's growing Downtown surrounding Square One immediately to the northeast, the site is close to the heart of the city centre.
The 15-acre M City lot is the last undeveloped parcel of its size in the area. Smaller undeveloped lots from the area's past as a farming community remain in isolated pockets around the City Centre, while a significant stretch of strip plazas still lines Burnhamthorpe Road's southern shoulder to the west. Mississauga's choice to create a new downtown in the 1970s did not result in a quick change to the suburban mindset that allowed low-rise tract home developments to continue to be built nearby the site, but with changing times, Mississauga's plans for the remaining and redevelopable lands is now decidedly urban, and more pedestrian and future-friendly.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available, and the planning and design process for the project continues. In the meantime, further information is available through our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space below, or join in the ongoing conversation in our dedicated Forum thread.