Galleria Mall, Honest Ed's, Eglinton Square, and now Scarborough's Golden Mile. Toronto's older malls and shopping destinations are becoming subject to development plans as urban space becomes increasingly scarce and the city's vertical growth continues. Often characterized by sprawling footprints of low-slung boxes and parking lots, many of the city's older, car-oriented retail hubs are now obvious targets for intensification to developers, with master-planed communities now envisioned to replace—or intensify—a number of Toronto's 20th century shopping centres. 

Golden Mile Shopping Centre, Toronto, by Choice Properties REITThe Golden Square Mile Shopping Centre site, looking east from Victoria Park, image via Google Maps

On Eglinton Avenue East, the Golden Mile Shopping Centre is the latest retail cluster to face a development application. Choice Properties REIT recently submitted plans to the City for a mixed-use community to replace the aging big box plaza, with the proposal coming in the wake of the recently announced redevelopment proposal for neighbouring Eglinton Square.

Golden Mile Shopping Centre, Toronto, by Choice Properties REITA preliminary massing model, looking southwest, image via submission to the City of Toronto

With the Crosstown LRT's O'Connor, Pharmacy, Hakimi Lebovic, and Golden Mile stops set to serve the neighbourhood, much of Eglinton's parking-heavy Scarborough streetscape has quickly become viable for relatively high-density redevelopment. Alongside the recently announced plans for Eglinton Square and the Golden Mile Shopping Centre, multi-tower proposals at 1891 Eglinton East (2012) and 1966-2050 Eglinton East (2016) are in various stages of the planning/development process. 

Golden Mile Shopping Centre, Toronto, by Choice Properties REITThe site (in yellow) with other proposals in dark purple, and other potential redevelopment sites in light purple, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Contributing another major step towards what could be a major transforation of the area, the newly announced Golden Mile redevelopment calls for a broadly similar program of retail, public space, and high and mid-rise residential buildings as proposed at Eglinton Square to the south. A total of 11 buildings ranging in height from one to 32 storeys are proposed, with a more fine-grained street grid replacing much of the surface parking. 

Golden Mile Shopping Centre, Toronto, by Choice Properties REITThe site plan, click for a closer view, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Maintaining some of the mall's existing retail uses, a new grocery store (replacing the existing Loblaws) and surface parking lot is planned mid-block. A new mid-block street will also provide access to a small public park, while the surrounding built form will feature a mix of mostly residential and some commercial space; with offices planned above the grocery store and in a three-storey commercial building. 

Golden Mile Shopping Centre, Toronto, by Choice Properties REITA view of the street-level, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The project's total 273,428 m² GFA is composed of 242,799 m² (89%) of residential space, 25, 127 m² (9%) of retail, and 5,502 m² (2%) of office space. While a total of 2,500 residential units are planned, the type of tenancy has not yet been determined; the planning rationale notes that a mix of any or all of market-rate condominium, market-rate rental, affordable rental, affordable ownership, and senior housing is being considered. 

Golden Mile Shopping Centre, Toronto, by Choice Properties REITLooking north, the Eglinton Avenue frontage, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Alongside the new grocery store, meanwhile, the Giannone Petricone-designed master plan—which is still quite preliminary—calls for additional street-fronting retail to front some of the buildings facing Eglinton and Victoria Park. By moving the big box store mid-block, the design attempts to frame the site with a more urban street-level experience.

Golden Mile Shopping Centre, Toronto, by Choice Properties REITAnother view of the mid-block street level, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Set to be built out in phases, the project would see the new grocery store built out as the first part of the new community, with residential towers and additional office uses set to follow. Following the relocation of the retail space and the demolition of the existing mall, the new public park will be flanked by a trio of high-rise residential buildings, with the final residential towers—and stand-alone office building—eventually slated to fill out the west end of the site. 

Golden Mile Shopping Centre, Toronto, by Choice Properties REITThe proposed phasing, image via submission to the City of Toronto

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available, and details of the plan begin to take shape. Until then, further information is available via our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space one this page, or join the conversation in our associated Forum thread.