First Capital Realty will be hosting an Idea Fair next week to get public input regarding development at 2150 Lake Shore Boulevard West—the site of the former Mr. Christies factory beside the Gardiner in Etobicoke. The plant was closed in 2013 and acquired by First Capital from Kraft in 2016 with demolition of the old cookie factory taking place in late 2017. Initial site planning by Urban Strategies is now underway for the expansive 27-acre property, which with the exception of the red and white painted water tower, now sits vacant following demolition of its disused buildings.

Looking west at vacant Mr Christie's site, photo by Craig White

Wishes for the site's redevelopment have been circling, with anything from residential towers and retail opportunities to offices, a school, and a GO/TTC transit hub. UrbanToronto front page readers and Forum contributors seem generally to be in favour of investing in transit infrastructure. Reader Justin Lau expressed his concern in the comments section on our previous article saying “this area is slammed with traffic. Build a GO station, electrify the lines and tack this Humber Bay station on to smart track and the issues are solved.” Other readers seem to agree, with expression that a transit stop will “solve many congestion and traffic problems” and “give people time back in their days.”

Vacant Mr Christie's site, photo by Craig White

The City's Planning Department has resisted the re-designation of the site from its current employment zoning to regeneration area, and Metrolinx did not support a GO station when potential new stations were distilled down into a short list last year. Last week, Mayor John Tory and Ward 6 Councillor Mark Grimes both expressed support of a Park Lawn GO stop, however. “Our Etobicoke waterfront has exploded with development. People want to live here, but our transit has not kept up,” said Mayor Tory. “We have a plan for transit solutions across the entire length of the waterfront to get Toronto moving. We are getting on with it and I'm confident we will get it built.” Councillor Mark Grimes agreed, stating “The people in Etobicoke deserve more transit options. Moving forward with this plan will bring reliable, high-level transit to connect people to the rest of the city.”

Demolition of Mr Christie's factory late 2017, photo by Craig White

The “Mr. Christie’s Idea Fair” will take place on February 6th from 4:30 PM till 8:30 PM at The Polish Hall, located at 2282 Lake Shore Road West. First Capital is encouraging the public to attend and share ideas for the redevelopment. If you have ideas or are otherwise concerned about the site’s future, the event will give you an opportunity to share your opinions and gain information about the project.

Want to join the discussion? Visit our associated Forum thread or leave a comment in the section provided at the bottom of the page.