As one of five urban 'Centres' under the City of Toronto's Official Plan, the North York Centre at Yonge and Sheppard is designated to continue developing into a more dynamic hub for the area. Along with Downtown, Yonge and Eglinton, and the Etobicoke and Scarborough centres, the Yonge corridor north of the 401 is intended to continue growing as Toronto's most active development nodes.
In the first years of the 21st century, the area has already experienced fast-paced growth. At the Yonge and Sheppard intersection itself, the southwest corner has already been transformed by the two-tower Hullmark Centre, as the green-tinted towers of Emerald Park Condos now rise immediately to the southwest. Meanwhile, a mixed-use 49-storey tower has been proposed by Menkes for the intersection's southwest corner (below, right), which remains occupied by a surface parking lot. It would mostly hide the Emerald City towers from this viewpoint.
With a slew of proposals set to transform the Yonge corridor in the coming decade—and another growing cluster of towers straddling the 401—the area is quickly transitioning into a dense, high-rise node. As the neighbourhood's built form changes, the area's existing infrastructure and urban fabric is also evolving. While a redevelopment of the Sheppard Centre is already underway, Yonge Street itself (between Sheppard and Finch) could be re-configured as a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly four-lane corridor, with the City's ongoing 'Reimagining Yonge' study exploring the reduction of the six-lane street to a more urban scale.
As Toronto's development boom continues, new developments are also set to push Yonge and Sheppard's urban character further afield. As it stands, the neighbourhood is characterized by striking contrasts in built form, with high-rise suddenly giving way to bungalows on either side of Yonge, while the towers more gradually give way to decreased density to the north. West of Yonge, an 11-storey PineLake Group project at 245 Sheppard West has recently been proposed, while Diamante's Diamond Condos on Yonge is set to extend the high-rise character to the north.
Designed by Scott Shields Architects, the site—located just of Yonge Street at 75 Canterbury Place—is actually slightly closer to Finch than Sheppard. While the neighbouring Dia Condos by TAS (17 storeys) and Celsius Condo by Shiu Pong (18 storeys) have already added density to the immediate area in recent times, the tower's 30-storey height introduces a more dramatic high-rise presence. Together with Sorbara's 35-storey Beacon Condos—now under construction two blocks to the south—the project is pushing the character of the Yonge and Sheppard area further north. Diamante's project was approved in its current iteration in January of this year, following an 8-year planning process in which towers of varying heights (between 25 and 30 storeys) were proposed.
We will keep you updated as North York's development continues to take shape. In the meantime, additional information about the associated projects is available in our dataBase files, linked below. A more comprehensive overview of future and ongoing development throughout the 'North Yonge and Sheppard East' area is also available in the 2016 instalment of our Growth to Watch For series, linked here.
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