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North York City Centre (Yonge & Sheppard)

Jamziz

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This area has come a long way over the past 10-15 years and now with the Sheppard subway extension finally maturing with development moving in there's a lot more coming.

The surrounding area has some prime real estate for development (see attached map) however I haven't read any official plan that calls for the rezoning of these spaces. In fact many of the houses located within the zones I've marked red have been knocked down and rebuilt for bigger houses with no intention from the city to further develop this area.

Google map of the area.

On the west side is Beecroft rd that has been marked for expansion north to Finch. East of Doris Ave to Willowdale represents ten minute walking distance from 3 subway stations (Finch, North York Centre and Sheppard - marked with a blue circle).

Anyone know of any existing plans to develop this area?

 
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M.R.Victor

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I know there are no such plans, but it's always been a personal fantasy that the city should add a subway stop at Willowdale and allow high-density development to occur around that station. It's located roughly halfway between Yonge and Bayview and I feel it would greatly improve the perception of walkability and conectedness in the area and would change the north-south linear nature of NYCC into a more downtown-like condition
 

James

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I know there are no such plans, but it's always been a personal fantasy that the city should add a subway stop at Willowdale and allow high-density development to occur around that station. It's located roughly halfway between Yonge and Bayview and I feel it would greatly improve the perception of walkability and conectedness in the area and would change the north-south linear nature of NYCC into a more downtown-like condition
That'd be an interesting proposal. I'm not convinced it will make a huge difference though, as the area around Willowdale is much different than the area around Yonge St. It may end up being like a Bessarion station. Along Sheppard, there really isn't too much happening between Willowdale and Bayview. On the other hand, perhaps something like this just might help revigorate that stretch because it's prime for redevelopment.
 

NorthYorkEd

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We have been living in NYCC for almost 6 months now (transplants from Halifax, NS). We love it. As suburbanites who wanted to try a more urban lifestyle, it is the perfect mix of urban living with the "comforts" of the burbs. The main stretch on Yonge provides plenty of retail and food/drink options, Mel Lastman Square is always buzzing with activity, the population is very diverse and generally friendly, and there is easy subway and highway access (though traffic is an issue, but where isn't it in the GTA?). Not to mention the huge library and Empress Walk complex, which provides a Loblaws and Cineplex practically right outside our door.

If you want a more quiet walk, you can head over to Beecroft or Doris or explore any of the small parks and residential streets.

Only complaints would be the traffic on Yonge and Sheppard (especially east-bound towards Bayview), the lack of available family physicians (compared to dentists, who are on every corner), and a lack of decent pubs. And much of North York looks like hell; old, worn, and in disrepair. Seems to be lots of apathy when it comes to property maintenance and upkeep.

I think as Hullmark, Gibson, and some of the other condo projects come online that there will be even more to offer. We are currently leasing a condo but would certainly consider purchasing in this area. It is not downtown, but is downtown enough for us.
 

NorthYorkEd

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For the experts and people who have an interest in this area:

Considering the amount of development that this area is now seeing, how do you see the future of this neighborhood unfolding? I get the feeling that North York has traditionally been a suburban area that warranted little interest or admiration from urbanites. Just curious if opinions are changing and if there are any thoughts as to the benefits and/or challenges this area will face now and in the coming years.
 

James

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There's definitely a major change to this area that has been occurring for the better part of the last 10 years. The consistent development of high-rise condo buildings along with a revamping of the Yonge & Sheppard intersection is certainly changing the face of the area in significant ways. The area has been booming for years. The residential homes on the east side of Yonge are still being torn down and rebuilt. Single family homes are commanding higher and higher prices to rival those south of the 401. Earl Haig Secondary School is still sought-after and, in part, driving the housing demand.

It's also important to recognize that there are still a lot of areas to the west and east of Yonge St that have potential to be developed. The big downside, in most people's opinion, is the traffic congestion. Even with the number of people taking the TTC, there are still a large number who drive. All the small arterial streets just can't sustain the number of people in the area during rush hour.
 

lead82

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The area is booming with condo development but the public space has not been maintained and needs improvement. I imagine the day when the median can be extended north to at least Finch if not Drewry and south to Avondale.

As a resident in NYCC, my view of traffic is that the main issue is the bottleneck of Yonge Street between 401 and Sheppard. The ring roads are incomplete and broken south of Sheppard. This forces all traffic onto Yonge street. Beecroft and Doris help ease traffic between Sheppard and Finch. To fix the traffic requires completing and expanding the ring roads further south and fixing the eastbound onramp to the 401. The 401 ramp is being studied now and if all goes well, construction should start in 2015.

For the ring roads, Doris needs to head south to meet Avondale. Avondale needs to be extended east and connect with Willowdale and Sheppard. There are more condos going up in that area and it no longer makes any sense to shelter the handful of houses from through traffic but force all the condo dwellers to only have 1 exit onto Sheppard.

Similarly on the west side, Beecroft needs to head further south and meet at Florence so that both ring roads can meet at the Yonge/Avondale /Florence intersection.

In addition to the road situation, I'd love to see more large parks, more diversity in retail in the area and some sort of cycling network. More schools are definitely needed here as all the schools are full and don't have room to expand.

Overall the area has improved and continues to get better.

There's definitely a major change to this area that has been occurring for the better part of the last 10 years. The consistent development of high-rise condo buildings along with a revamping of the Yonge & Sheppard intersection is certainly changing the face of the area in significant ways. The area has been booming for years. The residential homes on the east side of Yonge are still being torn down and rebuilt. Single family homes are commanding higher and higher prices to rival those south of the 401. Earl Haig Secondary School is still sought-after and, in part, driving the housing demand.

It's also important to recognize that there are still a lot of areas to the west and east of Yonge St that have potential to be developed. The big downside, in most people's opinion, is the traffic congestion. Even with the number of people taking the TTC, there are still a large number who drive. All the small arterial streets just can't sustain the number of people in the area during rush hour.
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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There's definitely a major change to this area that has been occurring for the better part of the last 10 years. The consistent development of high-rise condo buildings along with a revamping of the Yonge & Sheppard intersection is certainly changing the face of the area in significant ways. The area has been booming for years. The residential homes on the east side of Yonge are still being torn down and rebuilt. Single family homes are commanding higher and higher prices to rival those south of the 401. Earl Haig Secondary School is still sought-after and, in part, driving the housing demand.

It's also important to recognize that there are still a lot of areas to the west and east of Yonge St that have potential to be developed. The big downside, in most people's opinion, is the traffic congestion. Even with the number of people taking the TTC, there are still a large number who drive. All the small arterial streets just can't sustain the number of people in the area during rush hour.
This may be an old question, but how the heck did they approve that horrible 7/11/McDonalds on the corner of Yonge and Sheppard? It's not enough to undermine the whole revitalization but every time I see it just screams "inappropriate" given what's going on on the other corners.
 

ehlow

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This may be an old question, but how the heck did they approve that horrible 7/11/McDonalds on the corner of Yonge and Sheppard? It's not enough to undermine the whole revitalization but every time I see it just screams "inappropriate" given what's going on on the other corners.
I'm curious, inappropriate how?
 

salsa

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I think the McDonalds is meant to be a placeholder for a larger development in the long term, if I'm not mistaken. One day I would like to see the bus terminal moved underground and developed, like at York Mills.
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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I'm curious, inappropriate how?
Two-storey structure, very out of scale with everything around it. I know not everything has to be huge but it's literally adjacent to the subway stop. I guess the way it's angled provides some framing for the street but the site was vacant for a long time and it seemed odd, with the other corners getting mega-projects, they put a 7/11 there. The idea of it being a placeholder makes some sense.

It's still unbuilt in this Googleview but I think you can see why the lot looks primed for something bigger. I dunno, maybe the underground infrastructure there means they can't?
 

ehlow

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Two-storey structure, very out of scale with everything around it. I know not everything has to be huge but it's literally adjacent to the subway stop. I guess the way it's angled provides some framing for the street but the site was vacant for a long time and it seemed odd, with the other corners getting mega-projects, they put a 7/11 there. The idea of it being a placeholder makes some sense.

It's still unbuilt in this Googleview but I think you can see why the lot looks primed for something bigger. I dunno, maybe the underground infrastructure there means they can't?
Yeah I was thinking that they can't build anything else there due to the bus bay & underground pathways.
 

lead82

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The 7/11 MCDonalds is a small improvement over an abandoned corner before. The city would like an office tower built on the NW and SW corners but sadly there is no demand for office here unless the city offers a subsidy to get business to relocate here.

Yeah I was thinking that they can't build anything else there due to the bus bay & underground pathways.
 

onni

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I travel through NYC a lot. Always avoid Yonge street traffic. Willowdale on the east and Beecroft on the west side are always the better option.
 

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