Woodside Square Mall in Scarborough is following in the footsteps of other suburban shopping centres, which are gradually undergoing intensification across the city. The site at the northwest corner of Finch Avenue East and McCowan Road is owned by WSIM Group, who are proposing to retain the mall but develop its surrounding surface parking lots into a mixed-use community.

Aerial view of Woodside Square Redevelopment, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The 42,989 m² Woodside Square Mall opened in 1977 and currently contains a number of anchor tenants, including Food Basics, Shoppers Drug Mart, LCBO, and a movie theatre. A separate development application being reviewed by the City calls for a two-storey addition containing additional cinema space.

The proposed development would add several high-rise and mid-rise buildings to the site's existing surface parking lots. A total of six towers, ranging in height from 23 to 38 storeys, are proposed, with the tallest positioned along Finch Avenue East. The Graziani and Corazza Architects-designed towers adhere to the Tall Building Guidelines, instituting separation distances of over 26 metres and employing floorplates of 750 m². The built form descends in scale further to the north towards Sandhurst Circle, resulting in three mid-rise buildings of 12, 14 and 14 storeys.

Site plan, image via submission to the City of Toronto

A total of 229,916 m² of gross floor area would be added to the site, including 2,589 residential units and 15,488 m² of seniors housing. Nearly 10,000 m² of indoor and outdoor amenity spaces would be provided for residents.

The plan would also bring an additional 4,095 m² of retail space to the property, and add 6,378 m² of office uses. A total of 3,834 parking spaces will be provided at grade, in underground garages, and above-grade within the base of the high-rise buildings. 

Looking east along new internal street, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The concept also envisions a network of new streets connected to a series of privately-owned publicly accessible spaces (POPS). A total of four POPS would be strategically placed throughout the development, including a central feature fronting Finch Avenue East with 4,000 m² of space. The flexible space will host outdoor programming and would include a playground area and a sheltered structure for events.

Looking north at the proposed central POPS, image via submission to the City of Toronto

A 544 m² 'Southern Gateway POPS' is proposed for the southeast corner of the site where Finch and McCowan meet. Featuring paving stones and water jet features, the space will host two patios from adjacent retail uses. The space narrows into a central walkway between the two building podiums, with seat walls and plantings animating the corridor.

A mid-block POPS encompassing 450 m² borders a new public road linked to McCowan. Bench seating, large planters, and heavy tree cover are planned for this space.

A final POPS located at the northern tip of the property, fronting the intersection of McCowan and Sandhurst Circle, dedicates 1,020 m² for a seating area, raised planters and a water feature surrounded by a semi-circle of trees and shrubs.

Looking northwest at southern gateway POPS, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The first phase would develop the southwest corner of the site at the northeast corner of Finch Avenue East and Sandhurst Circle, which includes the central POPS. Two 23-storey towers sharing a six-storey podium containing 2,000 m² of office space are planned here, with a total of 479 residential units to be built.

Phases 2 and 3 require the demolition of a standalone McDonalds at the northwest corner of Finch and McCowan. Two POPS and four high-rise buildings of 26, 30, 36, and 38 storeys are planned across two development blocks. Podiums will house residential, office and retail spaces. A total of 1,356 units are contemplated for this component.

Looking southeast, Woodside Square Redevelopment, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Phase 4 is the smallest of the proposed development blocks, with a single 14-storey, 178-unit seniors residence proposed along McCowan Road mid-block between Finch and Sandhurst Circle. The L-shaped building will contain retail at grade, with 38 surface parking spaces situated to the south.

The fifth phase would add 12 and 14-storey tower elements and the final POPS to the northern edge of the property. Stepping down to 10 and 8 storeys, a total of 576 units would be provided across the buildings, with retail planned at grade.

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  Bousfields, Doka Canada Ltd./Ltee, Graziani + Corazza Architects, LEA Consulting, RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists