Clustered around the future TTC subway terminus at Highway 7 and Jane Street, the suburban community once known as the "City above Toronto" is now experiencing a more urban growth pattern. While sprawling subdivisions of single-family homes propelled much of the City's explosive growth in recent decades, Vaughan is aiming to develop a more urban character, as high-rise developments spring up around the upcoming station at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. Joining a fast-growing collection of towers, a Diamond Schmitt-designed YMCA/Library building—also housing office space—has been announced as a central feature of Vaughan's developing Downtown.

A rendering of the project, with the proposed YRRT bus bay visible at right, image retrieved via the City of Vaughan

The 9-storey building's YMCA will feature a ground-level childcare centre, alongside a second-floor gymnasium, while a library and community performing arts space will also be integrated into the facility. Rising to a proposed height of 50 metres along Apple Mill Road, the mixed-use facility will also include four storeys of office space in the upper volume.

A site plan showing the 9-storey building and 6-storey parking lot, image retrieved via the City of Vaughan

As part of the Calloway REIT and SmartCentres project, a 6-storey, 1,167 spot parking garage is planned immediately to the north of the mixed-use building, reflecting the region's lingering automobile dependance. Just to the east, meanwhile, a new York Region Rapid Transit bus terminal has been proposed. Featuring another Diamond Schmitt design, renderings of the project are not yet available, although we now know that the bus terminal is set to be a wooden structure.

Satellite view of site, the library/YMCA will replace the southeast corner of the parking lot, image retrieved via Google Maps

As the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre moves towards becoming a high-density transit hub, these developments attempt to negotiate a transition between Vaughan's existing car-oriented infrastructure and an increasingly transit-based future.

Elevations of the parking garage, image retrieved via City of Vaughan

Set to replace part of the Walmart Vaughan Supercentre's large parking lot, the project is characteristic of a city in flux. Although the site's surroundings remain largely suburban, the area is experiencing an influx of new density ahead of the Line 1 subway extension, which is expected to begin service in late 2017. In advance of the new subway, towers are now beginning to dot a landscape previously dominated by strip malls, parking lots, and vacant land.

Looking over the centro Swuare Condos & Shops construction site, image by UT Forum contributor salsa

Now underway, nearby projects such as the neighbouring KPMG Vaughan (below), the two-tower Expo City, and the three-building Centro Square Condos & Shops, are all signs of the changing times. Immediately south of the site, KPMG Vaughan is another Diamond Schmitt-designed Calloway REIT/SmartCentres project, with the 14-storey Class A office tower set to be completed in October.

Late-stage construction at KPMG Vaughan, image courtesy of Diamond Schmitt

Numerous upcoming developments, including Plaza and Berkley's 35-storey The Met, are set to add further density, while the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station's curving form already asserts a strong presence in the area. 

Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station under construction, image courtesy of the TTC

We will keep you updated as the project—and Vaughan's new Downtown—continues to advance through the planning process. In the meantime, more information is available on our dataBase page, linked below. Want to share your thoughts on the new development? Feel free to leave a comment in the space below or join in the ongoing conversation on our associated Forum thread. 

Related Companies:  ANTAMEX, Arcadis, BDP Quadrangle, CCxA, CFMS Consulting Inc., Cortel Group, Diamond Schmitt Architects, entro, Isotherm Engineering Ltd., Janet Rosenberg & Studio, Kirkor Architects Planners, Land Art Design Landscape Architects Inc, Live Patrol Inc., LiveRoof Ontario Inc, Myles Burke Architectural Models, PCL Construction, Plaza, Precise ParkLink, RJC Engineers, SmartCentres REIT, Tarra Engineering & Structural Consultants Inc, Trillium Architectural Products, Weston Consulting