Moving north of Midtown and across the 401, this edition of our Growth to Watch For series takes you to North York Centre—a busy urban hub that continues to build upon the dream of former Mayor Mel Lastman, whose vision of a dense, downtown-like space in the former Toronto borough has more or less met expectations in the years since his reign—and then heads east along Sheppard Avenue.

Spurred in large part by the opening of the North York Centre TTC station in 1987, and then in more recent years by the opening of the Sheppard Subway Line in 2002 (both under Lastman's watch as Mayor of North York and then as Mayor of the City of Toronto), development along the Yonge and Sheppard corridors has continued apace ever since. Our coverage for the area will cover three distinct categories of development, the first being projects currently under construction, followed by those in the registration and sales phase, then on to those still in the initial planning phase, to be concluded with a list of projects which for whatever reason appear to have been put on hold.

Under Construction

Starting from Yonge and Sheppard, the distinctively designed, 42-and-33-storey Emerald Park Condos by Bazis, Metropia, and Plaza have recently been completed, with only the ground and second level retail yet to open, of which there is a considerable amount. Speculation as to just which grocer will operate in the complex continues.

Emerald Park Condos, image by Forum contributor Michael Muraz

Practically kitty-corner from Emerald Park is the Sheppard Centre, a long-standing office/retail/residential complex on the northwest corner of Sheppard and Yonge Streets. Built in the mid and late-1970s, the shopping centre within the complex has needed a refresh for a while now, and over the last months it has been cleared out. As of last week, construction fencing has just started to go up around the site as gutting of the mall area is about to start.

Construction fencing has recently appeared outside the Sheppard Centre, image by UT Forum contributor sunnyraytoronto

Expect more involved construction throughout the year as things begin to come down at this KingSett and RioCan development, and new things designed by Quadrangle Architects go up as of 2017. Eventually, a new rental tower will also go under construction at the north end of the complex to join the four towers already here.

Moving north along Yonge to Empress Ave. and the North York Centre TTC station, the 35-storey Beacon Condos by the Sorbara Group is currently wrapping up its excavation, with construction crews soon ready to build from the bottom of the pit upwards. Beacon will still be under construction as we move into 2017.

The excavation pit nearing complete at Beacon Condos in late January, image by UT Forum contributor drum118

Further north, just west of Yonge and Finch, the 113-unit Hendon Park Towns by Wycliffe Homes are now structurally complete, with cladding and interiors variously underway as of Novemebr, 2015.

Hendon Park Towns at various stages of completion in November 2015, image by UT Forum contributor salsa

Returning to Sheppard Avenue, we begin our march eastwards, where at Bessarion subway station a new Mountain Equipment Coop store is under construction, with the 50-unit Park Towns at Bayview and Sheppard tucked in behind. The multi-use development is being built by Broccolini and Park Towns Development Inc.

Construction rising above grade at the end of December on Mountain Equipment Coop and Park Towns, image by UT contributor salsa

Across Sheppard to the southeast in Concord Adex's growing Concord Park Place neighbourhood, the excavation has been complete for a while for the nearly-mirror-image 35 and 36-storey towers of Opus and Omega. We expect the start of work on the foundation and parking garage for the buildings will be soon. 

The excavation at the end of 2015 for Opus and Omega, image by UT Forum contributor salsa

Continuing eastward to Don Mills and Sheppard, the 13-storey Colours of Emerald City, the fourth condominium tower at the large site by ELAD Canada, is currently beginning work on below grade levels. 

Colours of Emerald City i early February 2016, image by UT Forum contributor salsa

Further still, just east of Victoria Park and Sheppard, the 43-storey Alto, the tallest building at Tridel and Dorsay Development Corporation's Atria Condos has topped off. The development also includes 8-storey Parkside (completing currently), and 23-storey Trio (starting construction), making way for the last building onsite, which at 19 storeys will be known as Parfait at Atria. It's going into sales presently.

Alto is topping off at the Atria site, while Parkside is visible at left, soon to complete. Image by UT Forum contributor kris

Registration and Sales

Soon to join the local construction boom, there area several projects in and around North York Centre that are currently in the registration and sales phase. Beginning once again moving north along Yonge, halfway between North York Centre and Finch TTC stations, the 30-storey, The Diamond Condominiums on Yonge by Diamante Development has begun registration.

Diamond Condos, rendering courtesy of Diamante Developments

Further north, just south of Finch, the 29-unit Kenneth and Holmes townhouses by Fieldgate Homes have begun also begun registration. 

Kenneth and Holmes, rendering courtesy of Fieldgate Homes

North of Finch and halfway to Steeles Avenue, the 31-and-43-storey 5959 Yonge Street Condos towers are in thier sales phase. The development by Ghods Builders Inc. would be beside the proposed Cummer subway station should the Yonge line ever be extended north from Finch.

5959 Yonge Street Condos, rendering courtesy of Ghods Builders Inc.

Returning to Sheppard Avenue and moving east from Yonge Street, sales are actively under way on a number of projects within walking distance of Bayview subway station.

Just north on Bayview there is the 12-storey Tea Garden Condos by Phantom Developments.

Tea Garden Condos, rendering courtesy of Phantom Developments

Just south of Sheppard there is the 12-storey Lotus Condos by Chestnut Hill Developments and Fortress Real Developments, which has begun sales following its recent approval by the OMB in late 2015.

Lotus Condos, rendering courtesy of Chestnut Hill Developments

To the immediate east of these two developments, along Sheppard, the 8-storey Vida Condos (formerly Insignia) by Castle Group Developments has entered into sales, having been re-branded in 2015.

Vida Condos, rendering courtesy of Castle Group Developments

Further to the east, just north of Sheppard off of Leslie, the uniquely-massed, 18-storey Scala, designed by Wallman Architects for Tridel has begun registration.                      

Scala, rendering courtesy of Tridel

Further east still, at Don Mills and Sheppard, the 24-storey Fifth on the Park at Emerald City by ELAD Canada has begun sales.     

Fifth on the Park, rendering courtesy of ELAD Canada


Still to come to North York Centre, and in many cases pending approval from the OMB, there are currently a handful of projects whose final outcome may yet differ from the plans now currently in the works. Beginning with an ambitious set of plans put forth by Silvercore Properties for the Newtonbrook Plaza Redevelopment, located on Yonge north of Finch, to be designed by Wallman Architects, and would involve a major, 4-tower redevelopment of the area, bringing a total of 1,660 units several block north of Finch TTC station, and at the site of the potential Cummer station should the Yonge subway be extended north. The City has reached a settlement on the broad strokes of this development with Silverware, but finer details are being worked out before ratification of the settlement is applied for from the OMB.

Newtonbrook Plaza Redevelopment, rendering courtesy of Silvercore Properties

Back at Yonge and Sheppard, a proposal has recently come forward for a 49-storey, mixed-use condo/office tower, the as of yet unnamed 4800 Yonge by Menkes Development. It will (if approved) help continue that intersection's transformation into a major urban hub. 

4800 Yonge, rendering courtesy of Menkes Development

East along Sheppard to Bayview, the 25-storey project at 500 Sheppard East by Mallparks Development was set to have a full hearing at the OMB in June 2015, but there is no record of it on the OMB website, and the application has not been seen by the City again since.

Further east along Sheppard, towards Victoria Park, the recently renamed Parkside Square (formerly Imperial Square), a 43-and-34-and-26-storey development proposal by Tribute Communities, has recently submitted a set of revised plans as found in our Forum.

On Hold

Meanwhile, as is the case all across the city, North York Centre has its fair share of projects that for one reason or another, have been placed on an apparent hiatus. Two of these so-called "sleeping" projects, including a proposal for 14-storey mixed-use tower known only as 55 Sheppard East, and a proposal for 5-storey medical suites building at 101-103 Sheppard East, have been stalled since signage first appeared at both sites back in 2013.

55 Sheppard, unattributed rendering

While this wraps up the 2016 North York Centre edition of our Growth to Watch For series, you can catch up with our series so far, with stories that cover MidtownSt. ClairChinatown, U of T, and The AnnexBloor West; the Entertainment DistrictSouthwest Toronto; and Etobicoke South. Please stay tuned for UrbanToronto's next instalment coming soon!

What do you think of the projects that are transforming this area? Leave a comment at the bottom of this page, or join in on the conversation on one of our associated Forum threads. For additional information, check out our dataBase files (linked below) and Forum threads.

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