In the 32 years since Promenade Mall opened on Bathurst Street in Vaughan, north of Toronto’s city limit, both the retail landscape and demand for suburban land has changed. The 2017 departure of bankrupt anchor tenant Sears, which occupied almost 20% of the mall’s space, was a further blow to the mall’s already declining traffic. Now, a redevelopment proposal looks to create an architectural centrepiece, while making the mall both less auto-centric and more transit and pedestrian-oriented, and introducing significant new residential density steps from the revitalized shopping centre.

Shortly before Sears' bankruptcy filing, the property was acquired by Liberty Development, who are now advancing redevelopment plans. The Phase 1 Plan that was just submitted to the City of Vaughan contemplates modernization and expansion of the existing mall, physical improvements for existing retail tenants, and an increase in the number of potential shoppers. While some of this intensification is proposed through alterations to the existing mall, the bulk of the changes would involve building out of the sea of surface parking that currently encircles the property.

Promenade Mall revitalization, Liberty Development, WZMH Architects, VaughanPromenade Mall revitalization, image via submission to City of Vaughan

Designed by WZMH Architects, the first phase of the plan includes three residential apartment towers with heights of 28, 30, and 35 storeys, as well as a 28-storey, mixed-use building containing offices and a hotel, with a combined gross floor area of 144,613 square metres. The first phase would involve the demolition of 18,756 square metres of existing 89,479 square metres of space space in the south and east portions of the mall, while adding 15,773 square metres of new retail space.

Promenade Mall revitalization, Liberty Development, WZMH Architects, VaughanPromenade Mall revitalization, image via submission to City of Vaughan

The three proposed residential towers would contain a total of 1,066 units. The first two would respectively rise 35 and 30 storeys from a shared six-storey podium occupying the current footprint of the former Sears space. Their proposed total unit count is 748, including 363 one-bedroom units, 337 two-bedroom units, and 48 three-bedroom units. To the north of the existing mall entrance, the third residential tower is proposed to rise 28 storeys and contain 318 residential units, including 265 one-bedroom units and 53 two-bedroom units. The combined hotel and office building, would house 24,392 square metres of office uses and 15,203 square metres of hotel space, spread across 156 suites.

Promenade Mall revitalization, Liberty Development, WZMH Architects, VaughanTowers proposed in Phase 1 of Promenade Mall revitalization, image via submission to City of Vaughan

Significant public realm improvements are also on tap for the site. Landscape architects Schollen & Company have devised a plan that creates a pedestrian-friendly gateway plaza to the site's Bathurst Street frontage, an outdoor amphitheatre at the west end of the property, and a pedestrianized north-south High Street fronted by commercial uses. Phase 1 is dashed in red below.

Promenade Mall revitalization, Liberty Development, WZMH Architects, VaughanSite plan for Promenade Mall revitalization, image via submission to City of Vaughan

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.