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North York City Centre (Yonge & Sheppard)

taal

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On paper, Y&E shouldn't be anymore vibrant for the most part, again I think its more due to the nature of the residents who live near by, not in the condo's per say but all the houses just one block over in any direction (similar to Y&E) ... I think the car culture is much more prevalent in this area, and hence a lot of folks will drive elsewhere as opposed to say walking down Yonge even if the same retail joint exists in both areas. Don't think anything can change this in the short term ... a reason I think the busways on Hi-way 7 will be a huge flop ... its early but they already are from the looks of it ... simply based on increase in ridership .. as of course if there isn't any in the 5 years after, did we just waste 2 billion + $$$ better spent else where (even in the 905 ... thinking of Mississauga).
 

James

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...

What I'd really like to see is improved shopping in the area. Yorkdale is too popular and super packed to the brim. It would be great to have more varied retail in the area. Maybe with a renovated Shelpard Centre we will see better stores. Right now the Shellard centre is tired and old with lots of empty store fronts. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next 5 years.
Definitely. The shopping at Y&S is rather scattered and Sheppard Center has so much potential to be a destination shopping location, particularly since it's right at a major subway station. Free parking probably wouldn't work due to non-shoppers hogging up all the spot's in order to take the TTC but I believe ease and cost of parking is an important factor as to why more people don't drive to Y&S unless they have to. People I know who live at Y&S opt to drive to Bayview Village for an indoor shopping experience.

On paper, Y&E shouldn't be anymore vibrant for the most part, again I think its more due to the nature of the residents who live near by, not in the condo's per say but all the houses just one block over in any direction (similar to Y&E) ... I think the car culture is much more prevalent in this area, and hence a lot of folks will drive elsewhere as opposed to say walking down Yonge even if the same retail joint exists in both areas. Don't think anything can change this in the short term ... a reason I think the busways on Hi-way 7 will be a huge flop ... its early but they already are from the looks of it ... simply based on increase in ridership .. as of course if there isn't any in the 5 years after, did we just waste 2 billion + $$$ better spent else where (even in the 905 ... thinking of Mississauga).
I agree. It's still very car-centric. Speaking of car-centric and Highway 7, I see so few people waiting for the bus along the newly renovated stretch west of the 404. The bike lanes look good too but similarly, I don't ever recall seeing anyone use it. Hopefully it will be realized in the future but for now it seems overly under-utilized.
 

lead82

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Definitely. The shopping at Y&S is rather scattered and Sheppard Center has so much potential to be a destination shopping location, particularly since it's right at a major subway station. Free parking probably wouldn't work due to non-shoppers hogging up all the spot's in order to take the TTC but I believe ease and cost of parking is an important factor as to why more people don't drive to Y&S unless they have to. People I know who live at Y&S opt to drive to Bayview Village for an indoor shopping experience.



I agree. It's still very car-centric. Speaking of car-centric and Highway 7, I see so few people waiting for the bus along the newly renovated stretch west of the 404. The bike lanes look good too but similarly, I don't ever recall seeing anyone use it. Hopefully it will be realized in the future but for now it seems overly under-utilized.
I think the Sheppard Centre needs to be vastly improved to provide better shops and services. I'm hoping that with the proposed development and redesign, it will attract better retail tenants. Right now residents go to Yorkdale, Bayview Village or Fairview for most of the shopping. YSC definitely has good potential. Especially with a growing population. A strong mall at YSC would help take some of the pressure off from Yorkdale which is now insanely packed to the brim at any time.

As for Highway 7, I think the VIVA BRT was a good first step there but the design has many flaws. The bike lanes wont be use as it's far too dangerous given the 70km/hr or higher speed of traveling cars. The bike lanes should have been part of the sidewalk are and not of the main road. In terms of design, I really don't like that they kept the wooden power lines and planted trees underneath them. That's a recipe for failure and will result in ugly and pruned trees as they grow. Highway 7 is still too sparsely populated to generate much bus usage. The bus is mainly used here to get to/from work and by students without a car. However, given the low frequencies of the VIVA service, it will not attract much ridership.

Once Highway 7 gets more developed the ridership will improve. The key to improve ridership would be to start developing the vast parking lots to increase density. Once parking becomes limited and businesses start charging for parking, you will see increased usage of the bus. This will not happen for years until the area densifies. Lets see if Richmond Hill starts to encourage more development here rather than continuing to sprawl north into the Oak Ridges Morraine. It's been pretty dead in the Beaver Creek area with very little new office or residential development. Most of the development along Highway 7 have been around Markham Centre area near Warden.
 

ehlow

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What's the deal with the parking lot at the SW corner of Yonge & Sheppard?

On a related node, what's the deal with the large parking lot at the NW corner of Yonge & York Mills?

What would you like to see in these locations?
 

NorthYorkEd

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My wife and I were kind of shocked when we first moved here and walked into Sheppard Centre. Now, we are from Halifax, but even there the malls are refreshed every so often and given somewhat modern facelifts. Going into Sheppard Centre was like going into a Halifax mall circa 1986. We had the same impression when we saw Cumberland and a few of the other malls that seem frozen in time. I half expected to see a video game arcade with some Pac-Man and Donkey Kong machines, maybe a waterbed outlet, and perhaps a few Betamax video rental stores.

I only say shocked because we assumed Toronto was always pushing forward, but when it comes to some things there has been a surprising amount of apathy and neglect.
 

lead82

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My wife and I were kind of shocked when we first moved here and walked into Sheppard Centre. Now, we are from Halifax, but even there the malls are refreshed every so often and given somewhat modern facelifts. Going into Sheppard Centre was like going into a Halifax mall circa 1986. We had the same impression when we saw Cumberland and a few of the other malls that seem frozen in time. I half expected to see a video game arcade with some Pac-Man and Donkey Kong machines, maybe a waterbed outlet, and perhaps a few Betamax video rental stores.

I only say shocked because we assumed Toronto was always pushing forward, but when it comes to some things there has been a surprising amount of apathy and neglect.
Toronto is usually pushing forward but just like any city there are some malls that have grown stale. I find that the big major malls like Vaughan Mills, Yorkdale, Square One, Sherway, Eatons Centre are very modern and constantly get new stores. It's the mid-tier and low-end malls that have stalled or been ignored. In North York, Yorkdale and Fairview have done very well, but malls like Centerpoint, Sheppard Centre have been neglected. Bayview Village is interesting in that it is a very high end mall that serves a very specific market but it does have a Chapters and a Loblaws for the rest of us middle class folks.
 

Skeezix

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...and the fact that Sheppard Centre and Cumberland have been slated for redevelopment for some time. Owners don't invest in renovations to malls that are likely going to be demolished/revitalized in the next few years.
 

NorthYorkEd

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I've been to the new Whole Foods quite a few times (gotta get that pastured beef) and the crowds are thin, to say the least. The cafeteria area is always buzzing, though. Hope it can hang on.
 

Bruno Republic

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I lived in the Yonge-Sheppard area around 1984, and even then, the Sheppard Centre looked bleak and offered very little as a destination. Part of the problem is the size; it simply isn't big enough to be a viable shopping attraction. Part of it is the fundamental design, where the end results of the half above/half below street level layout is not two visible levels, but a place where there doesn't seem to be anything at all to passersby and which seemingly goes to nowhere. So, despite being in a great location and at least offering convenience to the many nearby residents, it still doesn't lend itself to the necessary flow-through foot traffic necessary to succeed at that.

Subsequent renovations tried to soften the now-maligned brutalist look, but cosmetic changes cannot possibly overcome the inherent design problems.
 

Skeezix

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The half above/half below design is attributable to old North York density rules which exempted the "half below" space because of the manner in which it defined below grade floor area. Isn't the new RioCan proposal intended to clean all that up?
 

NorthYorkEd

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My understanding is that the "moat" will be removed with the new renovation.

I like this area well enough, but still debating whether or not to purchase a condo here.

There are several positives:

  • Not one, not two, but three subway stops within easy walking distance, and ample surface transit
  • Wife walks to work
  • Lots of grocery options
  • Cineplex
  • Library
  • Mel Lastman Square
  • Pleasant walking areas (Doris, Beecroft, parks, residential streets, York Cemetery, etc)
  • Close to many amenities
  • Central location, can get anywhere in the city (and beyond) relatively quickly
  • Yonge Street will always have action, is always being refreshed and updated

And the negatives:

  • Still too much reliance on autos
  • Diversity could be better mixed
  • No real sense of "soul" or identity
  • Urbanized, but bad suburban aftertaste still remains
  • 401 is a psychological and physical dividing line between us and the "real" city of TO

While it would be great to be in mid-town or even further downtown, having my wife walk to work is a great perk. And it is only a few minutes train ride to south of the 401. Maybe someday, NYCC will be as vibrant and desirable as some of the mid-town nodes.
 

ehlow

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My understanding is that the "moat" will be removed with the new renovation.

I like this area well enough, but still debating whether or not to purchase a condo here.

There are several positives:

  • Not one, not two, but three subway stops within easy walking distance, and ample surface transit
  • Wife walks to work
  • Lots of grocery options
  • Cineplex
  • Library
  • Mel Lastman Square
  • Pleasant walking areas (Doris, Beecroft, parks, residential streets, York Cemetery, etc)
  • Close to many amenities
  • Central location, can get anywhere in the city (and beyond) relatively quickly
  • Yonge Street will always have action, is always being refreshed and updated

And the negatives:

  • Still too much reliance on autos
  • Diversity could be better mixed
  • No real sense of "soul" or identity
  • Urbanized, but bad suburban aftertaste still remains
  • 401 is a psychological and physical dividing line between us and the "real" city of TO

While it would be great to be in mid-town or even further downtown, having my wife walk to work is a great perk. And it is only a few minutes train ride to south of the 401. Maybe someday, NYCC will be as vibrant and desirable as some of the mid-town nodes.
It seems pretty good to me. Especially if you care about being near the 401 or being closer to the north (say if you drive to Markham for work or something), yet you want to have subway access for the occasional trips south. Being walking distance to work is also really great.

Another place that's both close to the 401 and on the Yonge subway line would be areas like Yonge & Lawrence to Avenue. I think commute to work is really the most important thing to consider.

One negative that comes to mind is that, from Yonge & Eg for example it takes quite a while to get to many areas of downtown by transit. Say if you're going to College & Dufferin for example. From North York, it would take even longer. But that's pretty much true everywhere, getting around takes a while.
 

salsa

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My understanding is that the "moat" will be removed with the new renovation.

I like this area well enough, but still debating whether or not to purchase a condo here.

There are several positives:

  • Not one, not two, but three subway stops within easy walking distance, and ample surface transit
  • Wife walks to work
  • Lots of grocery options
  • Cineplex
  • Library
  • Mel Lastman Square
  • Pleasant walking areas (Doris, Beecroft, parks, residential streets, York Cemetery, etc)
  • Close to many amenities
  • Central location, can get anywhere in the city (and beyond) relatively quickly
  • Yonge Street will always have action, is always being refreshed and updated

And the negatives:

  • Still too much reliance on autos
  • Diversity could be better mixed
  • No real sense of "soul" or identity
  • Urbanized, but bad suburban aftertaste still remains
  • 401 is a psychological and physical dividing line between us and the "real" city of TO

While it would be great to be in mid-town or even further downtown, having my wife walk to work is a great perk. And it is only a few minutes train ride to south of the 401. Maybe someday, NYCC will be as vibrant and desirable as some of the mid-town nodes.
The positives are quite good, however I think midtown would be just as good but without any of the negatives. The crosstown and Eglinton connects will definitely beat NYCC as far as transit, traffic volumes and pedestrian realm. With all the exciting transit and development happening to midtown, many people will soon be priced out of the area if they don't move there now.
 

ehlow

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The positives are quite good, however I think midtown would be just as good but without any of the negatives. The crosstown and Eglinton connects will definitely beat NYCC as far as transit, traffic volumes and pedestrian realm. With all the exciting transit and development happening to midtown, many people will soon be priced out of the area if they don't move there now.
I like it here (midtown Yonge/Eg). However, I would've thought that the new transit line would have already been factored in to the prices.

Also, NYEd's wife won't be able to walk to work anymore, and if someone cares about being near the 401 (say, they commute to Mississauga), then it's less convenient since it can take 10-15 min to drive to the 401.
 

James

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The positives are quite good, however I think midtown would be just as good but without any of the negatives. The crosstown and Eglinton connects will definitely beat NYCC as far as transit, traffic volumes and pedestrian realm. With all the exciting transit and development happening to midtown, many people will soon be priced out of the area if they don't move there now.
I fully agree. Just by going south of the 401, and particularly south of the Yonge St & Yonge Blvd intersection, you literally eliminate all the negative points outlined above. The only concession would be having to take the bus northbound if you're working in the NYCC area.
 

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