If there is any indication that a well-planned rapid transit line can spur economic development and urbanization, one need not look much further than Eglinton Avenue, where the impending Crosstown LRT is kick-starting megaprojects along much of its 19km stretch. Last week we got a look at an updated Wynford Green proposal that, along with the Don Mills Crossing Study, will transform the intersection of Eglinton and Don Mills. Now we take a peak at one of several evolving master plans taking shape further east along Scarborough's Golden Mile.

The Eglinton Square Mall Redevelopment, referred to as 1 Eglinton Square, was initially submitted for rezoning last year, with KingSett Capital proposing the construction of several blocks of towers and apartments designed by Quadrangle to replace the expansive surface parking lots surrounding the shopping mall. Located directly southeast of the future O'Connor LRT station at Eglinton and Victoria Park, at the western end of the Golden Mile, the proposal joins a host of mall redevelopments across the city and GTA that are seeking to intensify the often large and alienating surface parking lots that surround shopping centres, a trend signalling the end of the Age of Asphalt characterizing much of the region's commercial districts.

Rendering o Block A and pedestrian plaza from Eglinton, image courtesy of KingSett Capital.

The 1 Eglinton Square project remains mostly unchanged from its initial submission, with a few tweaks in its current form that have increased the density and provided more detail about the proposal. The development would retain the existing mall in its entirety, while densifying the lands surrounding it. Divided into five blocks, the proposal provides a range of building typologies, with five mixed-use towers proposed, two mid-rise buildings, and a collection of townhouses totalling 1,814 residential units, an increase from the 1,640 initially proposed. The redevelopment will also bring about public realm improvements befitting a dense neighbourhood adjacent to rapid transit.

Updated site plan, image courtesy of KingSett Capital.

Block A to the north would see two towers constructed rising 38 and 40 storeys atop a 6-storey podium attached directly to the north end of the shopping mall. The ground floor would be entirely dedicated to retail with a new entrance to the mall, while the upper podium floors would contain an above-grade parking garage on the mall side and residential units facing Eglinton, with a roof terrace on the seventh floor. Most notably, a new pedestrian plaza is proposed on the north side of Block A, fronting directly onto the intersection of Eglinton Avenue and Eglinton Square, kitty corner from the LRT station - a stark contrast to the current view of a parking structure. Block A would add a total of 696 new residential units, with a unit breakdown of 63% one-bedrooms, 28% two-bedrooms, and 9% three-bedrooms.

Rendering of Block A and pedestrian plaza, image courtesy of KingSett Capital.

Block B is located to the southeast of the mall, on the corner of Pharmacy Avenue and Alvinston Road, and would see a 25-storey tower constructed atop a 6-storey podium. The ground floor would contain retail fronting onto Pharmacy and townhouse units fronting onto Alvinston, with two levels of underground parking. The podium is characterized by several stepbacks and terraces, including green roofs and outdoor amenity spaces on the roof. Block B would add a total of 304 new residential units, with a unit breakdown of 64% one-bedrooms, 26% two-bedrooms, and 10% three-bedrooms. 

Rendering of Block B along Engelhart Crescent, image courtesy of KingSett Capital.

Block C is situated at the west end of the site fronting onto Victoria Park Avenue, and would see two towers constructed of 25 and 30 storeys sitting atop 4- and 6-storey terraced podiums that would replace the existing one-storey commercial buildings on the property. The two towers are connected by a bridge spanning across a private road on the second floor, and both their ground floors are given over to retail spaces fronting onto Victoria Park. A landscaped area, or what appears to be a POPS, is located on the north edge of the Block. Block C would add a total of 495 new residential units, with a unit breakdown of 58% one-bedroom, 31% two-bedroom, and 11% three-bedroom.

Rendering of Block C along Victoria Park Avenue, image courtesy of KingSett Capital.

Block D is located to the south of the mall fronting onto Engelhart Crescent, a site currently occupied by four 3-storey apartment blocks. Initially proposed to be replaced by blocks of 3.5-storey townhouses, the plan has been revised to construct two 8-storey mid-rises on this Block, connected by a two-storey link building. The mid-rises would be purely residential, and would provide some landscaped outdoor amenity spaces on the northwest corner of the Block, along with landscaping along the streetscapes. Block D would add a total of 207 new residential units, with a unit breakdown of 1% studios, 46% one-bedrooms, 47% two-bedrooms, and 5% three-bedrooms.

Rendering of Block D along Engelhart Crescent, image courtesy of KingSett Capital.

Finally, Block E is located on the south side of Engelhart Crescent and is currently occupied by four more 3-storey apartment blocks. Initially proposed to house blocks of 3.5-storey townhouses, the plan has been slightly revised to include 4-storey townhouses arrange in a similar fashion. The townhouses would share a common underground parking garage. Block E would add a total of 112 two-bedroom townhouse units.

Rendering of Block E, image courtesy of KingSett Capital.

The 1 Eglinton Square Redevelopment joins a rapidly transforming Golden Mile neighbourhood, and is one of four active redevelopments that will add thousands of new residents to the area. Just to the north of Eglinton Square is the Golden Mile Shopping Centre Redevelopment, a proposal calling for 2,500 new residential units across 11 buildings of various uses ranging in height from one to 32 storeys. To the east, a redevelopment at 1891 Eglinton East is proposing five new towers ranging from 30 to 40 storeys and 1,640 new residential units. East of Warden Avenue, a redevelopment proposal is in the works at 1966 Eglinton East that would add a further 4,000 units to the area in a range of buildings as high as 40 storeys. All of this is being developed in conjunction with the City's Golden Mile Secondary Plan, which would promote density and urbanization along the stretch of Eglinton from Victoria Park to Birchmount, containing five future LRT stations within its boundaries.

Diagram of Golden Mile Secondary Plan and proposed developments, image courtesy of KingSett Capital.

We will keep you updated as the Eglinton Square and Golden Mile redevelopments evolve, but in the meantime, you can get in on the discussion by checking out the associated Forum thread, or by leaving a comment in the space provided on this page.

Related Companies:  Aspen Ridge Homes, COUNTERPOINT ENGINEERING, Giannone Petricone Associates, Hariri Pontarini Architects, KingSett Capital, Kirkor Architects Planners, Lifetime Developments, Live Patrol Inc., MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, NAK Design Group, Public Work, Quadrangle, Sweeny &Co Architects Inc., TACT Architecture, Urban Strategies Inc., urbanMetrics inc.