This instalment of our Growth to Watch For series follow our North York Centre and Willowdale instalment and continues our eastward push into Scarborough, exploring the northern half of the borough (including a chunk of eastern North York) east of Highway 404 and north of the 401. Density is indeed spreading into the inner suburbs, with a host of new proposals along the Sheppard corridor banking on the promise of a coming LRT, and more projects planned along Finch and Steeles. Beginning in the northwest corner, we zigzag our way south, summarizing every project nearing completion, all developments currently under construction, and every proposal currently making its way through the planning process.
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We begin our adventure in the far northwest corner, with redevelopment plans announced last year for the SteelesTech Campus, a commercial office complex bounded by Highway 404 to the west, Steeles Avenue to the north, and Victoria Park Avenue to the east. An intensification of the site is planned by owners STC Investments Nominee Inc that would see eight new buildings designed by Giannone Petricone Architects added to the four existing office buildings of the complex. The new structures would include a 12-storey hotel, several single-storey restaurants, and a new office tower, totalling 1,169 square metres of retail, 74,139 square metres of office space, 20,644 square metres of industrial space, and 13,252 square metres of institutional/other spaces.
Heading east on Steeles, the Splendid China Mall just east of Kennedy Road is the site of an intensification proposal that would see three residential towers of 17, 26, and 28 storeys constructed adjacent to the mall, leveraging the property's close proximity to the Milliken GO Station. Designed by Graziani + Corazza Architects, the towers comprise 793 new condo units, and include grade-level retail in their podiums, with some retail and office spaces integrated on the second and third floors. The existing mall will be retained, and all surface parking being replaced would be relocated indoors or underground in the new development.
Jumping southeast, a mixed-use proposal by Ideal Developments dubbed Ideal Square is planned for a vacant site adjacent to the Scarborough Convention Centre at Morningside Avenue and Neilson Road. The development is designed by Atif Aqeel Architect and encompasses two retail buildings, a 5-storey office building with grade-level retail, a 40,000-square-foot (3,700-square-metre) banquet hall, and a church.
Turning westward on Finch, a tower-in-the-park infill project is proposed for 25 Thunder Grove near the intersection of Finch and McCowan Road. The 12-storey Kirkor Architects-designed mid-rise would abut against the east wall of the existing 1984-built 18-storey apartment tower currently occupying the site. The new building would add a further 176 rental units in a variety of sizes.
Continuing westward, a proposal by CIM Kennedy Creek Inc. at 3000 Kennedy Road, just north of Finch, is presenting a rare sight nowadays in Toronto: the redevelopment of a commercial property into single detached dwellings. The site is currently occupied by the Valleyview Garden Centre, but the application proposes to replace it with 41 single-family houses designed by David Johnston Architect. The houses would be three storeys in height and would be located on an extension of Fort Dearborn Drive.
Over the past decade, development speculation has been surrounding the Bridlewood Mall property, located at the northwest corner of Finch and Warden Avenues. Back in 2010, City Council approved a mixed used redevelopment of the mall that included eight new buildings rising from 7 to 25 storeys and totalling 975 new condominium units. In 2011, a residential development by Malibu Investments was announced for the north end of the site called Celebration Condominiums at Bridlewood, a mid-rise project with a pair of buildings designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects rising 11 and 8 storeys. Nothing ever materialized of these projects, however, and there has been no word over the past few years about this proposal moving forward, but perhaps as Toronto's housing demand continues to outpace its supply, the site will once again be considered for redevelopment.
More recently, a rezoning application was submitted last year for a 12-storey condo development at 3268 Finch Avenue East on the southwest corner of the Bridlewood Mall site. The mid-rise, designed by SRN Architects, would replace an existing strip mall occupying the site at the corner of Finch and Bridletowne Circle with 242 residential units and retail at grade.
At Victoria Park we turn south and head past Sheppard to Consumers Road. At 2450 Victoria Park Avenue at the southwest corner with Consumers Road has lain dormant for several years now. The proposal would see three SMV Architects-designed residential towers of 25, 25, and 30 storeys and two blocks of 3-storey townhouses constructed while retaining the existing 7-storey office building, adding a total of 895 residential units to the site with grade-level retail. First submitted for rezoning late 2012, there has been no news of the project since 2013.
We turn west into the Consumers Road Business Park. With plenty of surface parking lots between suburban office buildings, the area has plenty of space to densify, and has been going through a revitalization over the past decade, particularly with development at 243-255 Consumers Road that included the recent completion of an Audi-Porsche dealership by Teeple Architects.
Next door to the car dealership, construction of a 7-storey parkade with retail and restaurants at grade is well underway, replacing a surface lot on the site with much-needed amenities in the employment district. Headed by Parkway Place Holdings and designed by Steven Robinson Architect, construction on the building is currently nearing completion, with a tentative opening date in Spring 2017.
We're soon at the Sheppard corridor, an important artery that is seeing major densification both east and west of Yonge. Aided by its proximity to the 401 and major transit lines (or the eternal promise thereof), a flurry of activity along this important corridor is gradually transforming Sheppard Avenue East from a suburban strip to an urban avenue.
At the southwest corner of Sheppard East and Consumers Road, a three-tower residential and retail development by Tribute Communities called Parkside Square is just getting underway. The project is comprised of three Turner Flesicher Architects-designed residential towers of 43, 34, and 26 storeys along with a 4-storey mall and a new public park. Excavation has begun for Phase 1, which includes the 26-storey residential rental tower on the west edge of the site, so look for construction to poke above ground late 2017.
Just across Consumers Road from Parkside Square, Tridel and Dorsay's Atria Condos development is continuing with construction on Phase 2 now underway. The four-tower project designed by Turner Fleischer Architects includes the 43-storey Alto and 8-storey Parkside towers, both completed in Phase 1, the 26-storey Trio, currently under construction as part of Phase 2, and the 19-storey Parfait, currently in sales as part of Phase 3. With the below-grade levels of Trio starting to take shape, look for the second tower of Atria to rise out of the ground later this year.
Continuing east, we cross Victoria Park again. Just to the east of the corner, Opearl Developments was selling Sail Condominiums, an 18-storey tower designed by Keith Loffler McAlpine Architects in the shape of its namesake. The 180-unit building appears to have not made sales targets, however, and its website says it is now closed.
A block and a half to east at the northwest corner of Sheppard and Pharmacy Avenues, Averton Homes is proposing Jasmine Condos, a 14-storey condo building with 142 units and retail on the ground floor. The proposal achieved zoning approval from the City in 2010, but it has been slow-moving, more recently being marketed and submitted for site plan approval in 2014, but since gone quiet. The application appears to still be active, so perhaps more news on this development will come in the near future.
Kitty corner from Jasmine, a condo development is proposed for the southeast corner of Sheppard and Pharmacy, with a site plan approval application submitted for Wish Condos, an 18-storey tower by Liberty Development that would replace the existing strip mall on the site. Designed by Turner Fleischer Architects, the building will add 274 new units to the quickly densifying Sheppard corridor.
A long block to the east on the opposite side of the road, a condo development by Parsa Realty Group at 3220 Sheppard East is proposing to add a 20-storey tower with 230 units to a vacant site at Sheppard and Bridlewood Boulevard. The project has been dormant since 2014, though it has recently been discovered that the architect on the project has shifted from Burka Architects to Icke Brochu Architects Inc. with no change in the design. While the development is still on the City's books, it is unknown if this development will proceed in 2017.
The second property to the east on the north side, City Core and Fortress Real Developments' Harmony Village Sheppard has recently hit a major bump in the road. The project included two 30-storey towers designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects followed by a second phase of mid-rise and townhouse development, all of which was marketed towards seniors. Everything seemed to be going according to plan when site preparation began back in 2015, however, after over a year of no activity on the site, the property is now in receivership after an apparent bankruptcy, and will be up for auction later this year.
On the next block to the east, at the southeast corner of Sheppard and Warden, a mid-rise development is proposed at 3445 Sheppard East that would see two mid-rises of 10 and 11 storeys with grade-level retail constructed along Sheppard, and three blocks of 4-storey stacked townhouses constructed to the south. Designed by Architecture Unfolded, the development totals 371 untis and is currently seeking site plan approval at the City.
Detouring south on Warden to the south side of the 401, a proposal for 22 Metropolitan Road has been lying dormant for a few years. Submitted back in 2012, the application would see the lands re-designated as mixed-use to allow construction of a new 13-storey hotel, and three residential towers of 20, 20, and 21 storeys totalling 877 units, one of which would have a 6-storey commercial component fronting Metropolitan Road. It is unknown what the status of this proposal is at this point in time.
We jump onto the 401 for the distance of one interchange, getting off again at Kennedy Road, and turning to the north. At the southeast corner of the first intersection north of the highway—Village Green Square—a new condo community is poised to join the busy Sheppard-Kennedy area. The Kennedys is a five-tower complex headed by SAMM Developments, and designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects. The proposal includes three residential towers of 32, 32, and 40 storeys, as well as an expansion to the existing 14-storey hotel on the site, and a new 8-storey office building. Phase 1 has been submitted for site plan approval, and includes the two 32-storey towers at the west end of the site.
Travelling east on Village Green Square, we come to Tridel's Metrogate community. The multiphase development is mostly built-out now, with Avani having opened last year and the upcoming sixth tower, Avani2, currently in sales. The 35-storey 363-unit Avani2 is designed by Graziani + Corazza Architects and is poised to join its sister tower in the growing Metrogate community in the coming years.
In addition to Avani2, the forthcoming seventh and final tower at Metrogate, dubbed Selene, is hitting the market and looking to build off the successful sales of its predecessors. Originally slated to be a commercial development, Tridel applied to have it changed to a residential building and received permission from the City last year. Selene will rise 31 storeys and will add an additional 296 units to the neighbourhood, featuring yet another Graziani + Corazza Architects design.
Earlier phases of the Metrogate development include the two Solaris and two Ventus tower complexes. Leaving the area requires us to reverse westbound along Village Green Square. We then turn north on Kennedy Road and continue past Sheppard to Bonis Avenue, where we turn west. On the north side of Agincourt Mall here, construction is underway on Gemterra Developments' Joy Condos, the sister tower and townhouse complex of the recently completed Love Condos. Designed by Turner Fleischer Architects, the tower will rise 20 storeys with a total of 282 new units.
Returning to Sheppard Avenue, we turn eastward again, a rezoning application was submitted last year for a 26-storey condo tower at 1771 Markham Road, at the northeast corner of Sheppard and Markham. Designed by Henry Chiu Architect, the multi-peaked stepped slab tower would contain a total of 372 units, with surface parking occupying the eastern portion of the site.
Just across the street, on the south side of Sheppard, a major development is planned at 5131 Sheppard East by The Daniels Corporation and Diamond Corp that would see three 6-storey mid-rises and four blocks of 3-storey stacked townhouses constructed on a vacant lot. The Quadrangle Architects-designed project would total 343 residential units, 30% of which are earmarked for affordable housing, and is currently seeking rezoning and site plan approval at the City.
Another block east and we are at the intersection with Progress Avenue. Way back in 2007, a three-tower proposal was put forth by Ballantry Homes, branded as Blossom Condos and featuring a design by Richmond Architects, to be constructed in three phases on the vacant site. Despite site clearance and the construction of a sales centre, the plan fell through, and was re-introduced in 2011 as a series of townhouses. This, too, apparently never went very far, and the site has lain vacant ever since. Perhaps with more activity happening along Sheppard we can expect another attempt at developing this dormant property.
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Further east on Sheppard Avenue there are more townhome developments coming, but nothing else tall yet, so we end this part of our journey at the eastern end of Sheppard where it meets Kingston Road, and where our next Growth to Watch For story will turn back west to explore development happening in the Scarborough Town Centre area and the central part of the borough. In the meantime, make sure to check out the dataBase files and Forum threads for each of the projects mentioned for more information. You can tell us what you think of all the developments happening in the city by joining the discussions in the associated Forum threads, or by leaving a comment in the space provided on this page!