In 2017, a trip along Toronto's Eglinton Avenue East still takes us through seemingly suburban areas marked by large surface parking lots, strip plazas, big box stores and wide roads. By late 2021, things should change. Pedestrians will emerge from the Crosstown LRT's Laird Station, walking along a more complete street featuring with shops, cafés, and restaurants, before arriving to the site of 939 Eglinton Ave East. That's the vision, at least, and a rather optimistic one, given the site today (below). Nonetheless, a new development proposal could prove an early step in bringing greater urban density—and at least some street-facing presence—to what remains a car-oriented site. 

939 Eglinton Avenue East, Page+Steele/IBI Group, Diamond Corp, TorontoThe existing site looking north, image courtesy of Apple Maps

Just over four years has passed since it was announced that Diamond Corp would be redeveloping the commercial plaza at 939 Eglinton Avenue East in 2013. Revising earlier visions for the site, a new rezoning submission was received by the City in February, along with a Part Lot Control Exemption to split the site into three parcels. This would be for the development of three mixed-use condominium buildings ranging in size from 16 to 28 storeys, in addition to retail along Eglinton, and townhouses along Brentcliffe Road and within the proposed mews space in the middle of the site. At the north and south end of the mews would be a pedestrian archway.

939 Eglinton Avenue East, Page+Steele/IBI Group, Diamond Corp, TorontoGround level rendering looking south, image via submission to the city of Toronto

The majority of the existing commercial building would be demolished, while the portion situated at the southern end along Vanderhoof Avenue would be retained, along with limited surface parking. A new east-west driveway splits the site, with proposed buildings "A" and "B" on the north end, and the taller building "C" to the south. Building "A" will be 20 storeys tall, reaching 225 feet, with building "B" reaching 16 storeys and 185 feet, and building "C" capping the site at 28 storeys and 302 feet. To the east of building "C," a new public park is also planned, totalling some 524 m² in size.

939 Eglinton Avenue East, Page+Steele/IBI Group, Diamond Corp, TorontoAerial rendering looking south onto the site, image via submission to the City of Toronto

In terms of massing, buildings' "A" and "B" rise incrementally in height through a series of step-backs, attempting to create a mid-rise feel along Eglinton. Designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group, the buildings feature red brick cladding throughout the mid-rise volumes facing Eglinton, while building "C" sees the red brick rise the length of the tower. At ground level, the base of each building will feature a combination of stone and precast elements.

939 Eglinton Avenue East, Page+Steele/IBI Group, Diamond Corp, TorontoSection looking at the northern facade and mews, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The gross floor area (GFA) of the development is 74,140 m², with just under 4,000 m² of retail space, and 2,417 m² of office uses, with the majority of space dedicated to the residential component. 985 residential units are planned, split into 590 one-bedroom and 395 two-bedroom suites. Four levels of underground parking would contain the majority of the proposed 885 vehicular parking spaces, with the smaller surface lot at the south east end of the site accounting for the remaining spaces. Additionally, 887 bicycle parking spaces will be provided for the residents of 939 Eglinton, with 99 additional spots provided for visitors. 

939 Eglinton Avenue East, Page+Steele/IBI Group, Diamond Corp, TorontoSection facing the western facade of the site, image via submission to the City of Toronto

We will keep you up to date as more information becomes available. Additional information can be found in the dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts on this proposal? Feel free to leave a comment in the space provided on this page, or join in the ongoing conversation in the associated Forum thread.