Dubbed Reimagine Galleria, an extensive redevelopment of the Galleria Shopping Centre, proposed by Freed Developments and ELAD Canada and designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, would see the demolition of the existing, dated and nondescript single-storey West End Toronto mall, and the replacement of its vast surface parking lot, with several new buildings, roads, and public spaces.
As discussed in previous articles (see "related news" at the bottom of this page), the vision for the site consists of a mixed-use development which aims to create a vibrant community while integrating with adjacent neighbourhoods. Comprehensively planned, the site will emphasize high quality design standards through the architecture of the buildings and the public realm. One key element in achieving an urban and human-scaled environment through redevelopment of large city blocks on sites such as this, is through restructuring of the block into finer grained block parcels. This allows for a better fluidity of movement and circulation, and makes for easier navigation.
Within the site are proposed seven distinct blocks which would be occupied by thirteen buildings, while an expanded park would occupy the southern portion of the site. A new 3 storey community centre would be located at the western side of the park, replacing an existing smaller building to the south. A new diagonal street would run from the northwest corner of the site at Dupont, down through to the southeast corner and opening onto Dufferin. Another new street would divide the north half of the site south of Dupont, while three woonerf-style streets would further define the redevelopment blocks. A new TTC bus route could serve the area.
One key location within the project is the 5-point plaza at its heart, which would not only serve as a landmark public space, but as a common ground where people can easily access the park, shop in the retail spaces, or walk to their residential units.
One street that connects to the 5-Point Plaza is The Mews, running northeast to the corner at Dufferin and Dupont. Proposed to be sheltered under a glass canopy, and as accessed by pedestrians only, The Mews would offer a range of specialty retail space.
Sizes of the proposed buildings vary from shared podiums which range from 2 to 7 storeys, while residential towers range from 10 storeys upwards to 42 storeys and 472 feet tall. A total of 3,416 residential units are proposed throughout the residential buildings, while 3,280 vehicle parking spaces and 3,849 bicycle parking spaces are proposed to be in the underground parking levels. The residential unit overview includes 331 bachelor units, 1,999 1-bedroom units, 932 2-bedroom units, and 174 3-or-more bedroom units. The development could include a combination of rental, affordable, and market-rate housing.
Of the overall gross floor area (GFA) of 263,919 m², 84% or 222,895 m² of that space is residential. The retail component on the first and second levels would count 29,912 m² of GFA. Larger retail businesses will take up the second levels, while smaller businesses would occupy the ground floor. The office/employment component makes up 6,391m², and would be located along Dupont Street, above grade level. The remaining 4,721m² of GFA is to be the community centre.
There are a number of approvals that are needed in order for this redevelopment to come into fruition. From the City of Toronto, an Official Plan Amendment is required in order to re-designate land use, as well as allowing development on the parkland currently onsite, via a land exchange. While much of the proposal conforms to the permitted uses, there will need to be a Zoning By-Law Amendment to allow a public park, and permission for both the increases in residential and non-residential GFA.
Additionally, a Plan of Subdivision will be required in order to allow the land to be divided into parcels, as stated in Section 51 of the Planning Act. Lastly, the project will need to submit a Site Plan Application, which will outline the technical aspects of the development, such as servicing and loading areas, parking, building designs, as well as landscaping.
As the City has recently received the development applications, changes for the proposal are surely to be expected as it circulates through the planning process, including further public feedback. We will follow this potentially transformative project closely as more news becomes available. In the meantime, you can see more renderings in our dataBase file for the development, linked below. Want to share your thoughts about Reimagine Galleria? You can comment in the space provided on this page, or join in on our associated Forum thread.