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interchange42

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A public information centre was held this evening to inform the local community of plans to redevelop the rather large and somewhat underused Stonegate Plaza site at Stephen Drive and Berry Road in Etobicoke.

Everything pictured below is very preliminary and conceptual, with the intention to modify the plan to take local concerns into account...

Not that what I saw needs huge work.

Currently the plaza has a ValuMart, and it seems that the plaza's owners have been talking with Loblaws as they are considering upgrading to a full-fledged Loblaws as part of the redevelopment: the new local Sobeys on the Queensway has been a huge hit, and Loblaws wants to compete better. If Loblaws does come in, that will mean more traffic.

Above the Loblaws and other street-level retail there are plans for three 12 storey condos containing up to nearly 700 units total, plus in the podium a 2nd floor community health centre, and possibly a new location for the Humber Bay library.

All of that means more traffic, which is the perfect NIMBY rallying cry, but the densification and urbanization that this project would bring is very beguiling to me. I will have to be patient though: it could be anther 2 years before this even comes before the Etobicoke council for rezoning.

Berry Road frontage:


Stephen Drive frontage:


Ground floor plan:


Second floor plan:


Landscaping plan:


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adma

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Yup; the store definitely has the "Loblaws look".

And while it was probably a bit inevitable, it'll still be a slight shame to see the existing Stonegate go, if only because it's a rare 50s plaza that still looks very much like a 50s plaza, esp. that "through section" in the rear corner...
 

Solaris

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well that first rendering DOES have a Loblaws logo on the building ... plus the elevated 2nd floor grocery store with movators is consistant to new format Loblaw stores
 

Observer Walt

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Thanks for the images. The number of condo units seems high, for this mainly low-rise neighbourhood, facing a minor collector street. As you point out, it will be easy for NIMBYs to take aim at. I'd look for a severe cutting back of the building sizes.
 

interchange42

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There seemed to be little opposition to this initially last night. Locals (the closest of whom are all renters in inexpensive 4 to 6 storey buildings that were all built in the 50s and 60s) are quite concerned that things like the laundromat not disappear. There is also a hope that the street retail still have the independents that are in the plaza now, like the Polish deli that serves the sizable community here.

I live walking distance from this, but by far I do the greatest portion of my grocery shopping at the Queensway Sobeys over the much closer ValuMart. If we were to have a full Loblaws, well, that would change my habits significantly.

At the risk of repeating a cliche, it is beyond my wildest dreams that all of the parking is proposed to be put underground. I have wanted this property to be urbanized for a long time, with the assumption that an increased population base for the area will also mean another vehicle added to the Prince Edward 66...

but it is a bit of an odd area to drop a major Loblaws into as yes, it is not on an arterial. The only ways to reach this area are via one of three collector roads: the Prince Edward/Berry Road combo from the Kingsway area of Bloor, Stelphen Drive from the Queensway (and Gardiner westbound), and Park Lawn from the Queensway, Gardiner eastbound, and Lake Shore. All of those roads have been rebuilt in the past couple of years, from ditch-shouldered suburban 60s cross-sections to curb-sided, semi-channelized single-lane (per direction) urban collectors. Were this project to go through, traffic would increase to a point where the City would need to consider completing the channelization with the addition of more dedicated left turn lanes and bike lanes.

I think I'm willing to put up with the extra traffic to make the Loblaws and condo plan work as long as we get the channelization. I am also willing to see these condos go in at the full 12 storeys that are proposed, but then I don't live in one of the abutting properties, so we'll see where that goes. (The developer would need a minimum number of suites to make the underground parking affordable, and I really want to see that swept out of sight.)

I would expect to see an increase in the value of my home from all of this.

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Jarrek

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Yes, shame to see Stonegate go, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

We have another one of these 50's mall in the Alderwood Plaza at Evans & the 427.

Can't wait to see that razed and rebuilt.
 
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maestro

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Did anyone else have to look up the address?

Stumble across this neighbourhood a couple years ago. I don't think I've seen another with such a large concentration of lowrise modern tenements.
 

adma

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Yes, shame to see Stonegate go, but this is definatley a step in the right direction.

We have another one of these 50's mall in the Alderwood Plaza at Evans & the 427.

Can't wait to see that razed and rebuilt.
*That* one, though, hasn't got the period wistfulness of Stonegate. (Must have something to do with Eugene Faludi master-planning the Stonegate neighbourhood some 60 years ago.)

All in all, the neighbourhood has the feeling of a private-enterprise version of Regent Park, and has long been a launching point for New Canadians, Solidarity refugees and the like. Seems too transient to be NIMBY hereabouts--though yes, it's odd environs for a Loblaws, as opposed to some kind of mega-No Frills...
 

Observer Walt

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Yes, it amazes me that the Alderwood Plaza has survived. In fairness it looks a bit more alive now than it did three or four years ago, when the supermarket was vacant, as were several of the other stores.

Back to Stonegate: the area is very much a mixed bag, with a lot of recent immigrants etc. in the low-rise 1950s apartments, but also some darn good, stable neighbourhoods just to the north, with detached houses worth $500,000 +. With all respect to Interchange's hopes for improvement at this site, I'll be surprised if some Nimby's don't come out of the woodwork, and honestly I'll be surprised (pleasantly, mind you) if it goes ahead as proposed.
 

interchange42

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I doubt they would. I don't really see the two locations as serving the same area. Before the Sobeys went in on the Queensway, I was willing to drive up to Dundas, and the cross the Humber, to get to Loblaws, but since then, it seems like one hundred miles away. Similarly, I expect that anyone living near that Loblaws wouldn't be interested in driving all the way to Stonegate were their location to close - they'd be more likely to choose the smaller Loblaws at Hunbertown, or the Bruno's at Lambton Mills, or the Metro on St. Clair.

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Towered

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This plan brings joy to my heart - it's shockingly urban for such a tucked away neighbourhood. I would love to see all the suburban 50's (and up) plazas redeveloped this way. Sorry adma, but I just can't stand them - they visually represent the worst of post-war planning philosophy, and Stonegate is a particularly dreary example.
 

adma

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Well, I'm not arguing it absolutely must be preserved per se--though as it stands, it's definitely a case of "preservation by neglect". But were Stonegate in less of a welfare-case setting and had a bit of Humbertownish gentility to it, well, that *could* soften something of that worst-of-a-planning-philosophy attitude.

Come to think of it, consider the original Don Mills before its 70s enclosure.
 

Jarrek

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Yes, it amazes me that the Alderwood Plaza has survived. In fairness it looks a bit more alive now than it did three or four years ago, when the supermarket was vacant, as were several of the other stores.
Well, things are up and down for Alderwood Plaza.

The Pharmacy and the Walk in Clinic have closed, the Hardware shop owner is retiring and closing the business, and there are at least one or two other vacant stores in the plaza.
 

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