Multiple development proposals in the contested Mimico-Judson Secondary Plan area of South Etobicoke on the west side of Toronto, have been settled at Ontario's Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Developments proposed within Blocks C, D and E—covering the easternmost sections of the triangular parcel of land—received positive decisions by the Tribunal in 2019, with some revisions made since the initial applications were submitted.

The area covered by the Mimico-Judson Secondary Plan, image via City of Toronto

In 2013, Toronto City Council's adoption of Official Plan Amendment 231 paved a new path forward for the properties north of Mimico GO Station. The Mimico-Judson lands were one of seven areas the City redesignated to Regeneration Areas under the Amendment, covering properties mostly ageing industrial properties north of the rail corridor on either side of Royal York Road. The City initiated a Mimico-Judson Regeneration Areas Study to accommodate future employment and residential population growth stemming from the lands' proximity to Mimico GO Station. The Study informed the Mimico-Judson Secondary Plan (OPA 331) and Urban Design Guidelines, which were adopted by City Council in 2016. Multiple parties owning land on the east side of Royal York Road filed appeals against OPA 331, however, including site-specific appeals related to active development applications. OPA 331 redesignated these lands from Regeneration Areas to Mixed Use Areas, imposing mid-rise building heights, a minimum non-residential replacement requirement, and a requirement for a new public park, public road, and multi-use trail.

Grand Park Village, the single largest development proposed within the Secondary Plan area, is located on the easternmost plot of land, bounded by Portland Street to the north, Audley Street to the west, and the Metrolinx-owned rail corridor to the south. Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw Amendment applications submitted by Freed Developments to the City in 2016 for these lands—known municipally as 10 Audley Street and as Block E under the Secondary Plan—outlined a vision for multiple towers designed by architectsAlliance. At 32 storeys, the tallest tower would be located on the west side of Audley Street in the southeast quadrant of Block D, which Freed also owns. 

Early rendering of Grand Park Village by Freed Developments, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

Occupying the northeast quadrant of Block D at 25 Audley Street, a numbered Ontario company proposed a 26-storey residential building containing 385 units, with an eight-storey podium containing some office and retail spaces.

25 Audley Street east elevation, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

On the west side of Block D at 23 Buckingham Street, the VANDYK Group of Companies proposed two apartment buildings of 39 and 24 storeys and a 12-storey building to the north, each connected by a four-storey podium. The development proposed 724 units and over 5,000 square metres of commercial space.

Initial rendering of 23 Buckingham Street, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

Each of these developments were revised in July, 2018 to demonstrate commitment to the public park, a road connection from Newcastle Street to Portland Street, and a portion of affordable housing units. Tall towers beyond what had been envisioned by the Secondary Plan were still proposed, and the City continued to fight the proposal at LPAT.

A final decision on the developments were issued in June, 2019, with the Tribunal allowing the appeals and approving the revised proposals subject to a number of conditions. In its decision, the Tribunal concluded that "the level of intensification and additional height is appropriate near to higher order transit in an underutilized, largely vacant area." 

Blocks D and E in the Mimico-Judson Secondary Plan area, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

A map included in City Council materials from its July, 2019 meeting, in which Council responded to the LPAT decision, depicts some of the revisions made to the applications. Freed's Grand Park Village development will now feature two sinuous residential towers of 20 and 24 storeys in the middle of the site. A continuous wraparound mid-rise structure of four storeys fronts Portland and Audley Streets, stepping back to six and finally settling at eight storeys further into the property. A 36-storey building is now proposed at the southeast quadrant of Block D. Buildings on both sides of Audley Street will be separated from a public park to the south by a privately owned publicly accessible space (POPS).

The proposal at 25 Audley remains mostly intact. The 26-storey tower will drop down to 25 storeys and then 24 storeys at its north end. Similar to the arrangement at Grand Park Village, 25 Audley will feature four-storey volumes fronting the abutting streets and the south laneway, stepping up to six and then eight at the north and east elevations.

The heights of the towers at 23 Buckingham have been altered since the original application. The tallest tower at the south loses two storeys, while the building in the middle of the property gains two storeys. The volumes are now 37, 26 and 12 storeys, with the latter remaining at its original height. A four-storey podium connects each of the three buildings, decreasing to two- and one-storey sections along the eastern property line. A 860-square-metre green space extends the 1,520-square-metre park proposed at Freed's property next door.

39 Newcastle, image retrieved via submission to the City of Toronto

Block C in the Secondary Plan, also owned by VANDYK, sees three residential towers of 36, 30 and 22 storeys at 39 Newcastle Street. The development also received approval from LPAT.

Additional information and images can be found in our Database files for the projects, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  architects—Alliance, Counterpoint Engineering, Crozier & Associates Consulting Engineers, Entuitive, Figure3, Gradient Wind Engineers & Scientists, Grounded Engineering Inc., LEA Consulting, Live Patrol Inc., MGI Construction Corp., MHBC Planning, Minto Communities GTA, Norris Fire Consulting Inc, PCL Construction, Sigmund Soudack & Associates, SvN