One of the largest developments on its way in Toronto is a multi-tower, mixed-use community at site of the former Christie's Cookies plant in South Etobicoke. The Master Plan by London-based Allies and Morrison along with Toronto’s Urban Strategies continues to be shaped and refined through the project team’s various submissions.

Looking northwest to the 2150 Lake Shore development, image by Allies and Morrison for First Capital

An Official Plan Amendment (OPA) application for the 11-hectare property at 2150 Lake Shore Boulevard West was submitted by landowners First Capital Realty and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in October, 2019. UrbanToronto last covered this story after a first submission for this combined OPA, ZBA and DPS application was filed with the 2020 Master Plan. This February, 2021 resubmission provides a wealth of additional reports, studies, drawings, and open space design guidelines in support of revisions to the proposal.

Looking east towards 2150 Lake Shore with Downtown Toronto in the distance, image by Allies and Morrison

The site's current Master Plan (illustrated above) has further evolved from the May, 2020 proposal (and initial 2019 Master Plan) as a result of key feedback from various City departments, commenting agencies, and the public. The fundamental vision and features remain consistent: a transit-oriented urban mixed-use community complete with housing, jobs, retail, parks, public spaces, and community facilities. The Master Plan introduces a new local street network, a relief road to direct traffic away from Park Lawn and Lake Shore, and an integrated transit hub centred around a new GO station. The redevelopment provides a network of open public spaces anchored by squares, a ravine, large community parks and a year-round covered galleria. It includes a diverse range of building types and architecture, including fifteen towers with heights ranging from 28 to 70 storeys.

As outlined in the Master Plan and Planning Rationale Addendum, revisions include the following key elements:

Rendering: Boulevard Square Park. Image by Urban Strategies Inc. and Allies and Morrison.

1 • In addition to the 1-hectare community park, the current proposal adds the 2,500 m² Boulevard Square—previously proposed as a POPS (Privately Owned Publicly-accessible Space)—as a public park, bringing total on-site parkland provision to 1.25 ha.

Rendering of potential community facilities: daycares, a community recreation centre, a public library, and a not-for-profit human agency space. Image by Urban Strategies Inc. and Allies and Morrison.

2 • Discussions on community benefits, to be secured through a Section 37 agreement with the City, have advanced, resulting in this resubmission illustrating how the proposed development could integrate certain community benefits including: two daycares, a community recreation centre, a public library, and a not-for-profit human agency space. These new facilities are proposed in addition to the space allocated for two potential schools within the site which are planned to mostly occupy the podiums of tall towers, and front on the central park space.

Rendering of Community Park with access to additional sunlight by the redistribution of nearby building height and density. Image by Urban Strategies Inc. and Allies and Morrison.

3 • Access to sunlight in the proposed 1 ha community park has been further enhanced by shifting height and density away from towers mostly to the south of the park, and mostly adding it to towers to the north.

Rendering of the enhanced street wall along Park Lawn, Lake Shore, and the Loop Road. Image by Urban Strategies Inc. and Allies and Morrison.

4 • A number of built form refinements have been made to reinforce pedestrian-scaled street walls along Park Lawn Road, Lake Shore Boulevard West, and the loop road. This involves reducing street wall heights to be no taller than the width of the right-of-way on these streets, and stepping back upper floors of some mid-rise and podium buildings.

The water tower will have visual prominence from the Gardiner Expressway and also Park Lawn Road, the loop road, and the proposed Community Park. Image by Urban Strategies Inc. and Allies and Morrison.

5 • In response to City staff comments, the historic water tower is now proposed to be relocated in 'Station Square' instead of the community park. Station Square is a prominent proposed POPS located between the GO Station and the central Galleria, with visibility from the Gardiner Expressway.

Axonometric view of the proposed new massing, illustrating the redistribution of height and density across the site. Image by Urban Strategies Inc. and Allies and Morrison.

6 • The revisions noted above (enhanced sunlight in the Community Park, new potential community facilities, and reinforcing the pedestrian scale), have all resulted in overall shifts in heights and distribution of density across the site. Included is a modest increase in the overall density of the project, both non-residential density associated with potential new community facilities, and a 4.9% increase in residential density above the May, 2020 proposal, associated with the costs of delivering more potential community facilities noted above.

Rendering illustrating the widening of the Loop Road through the site. Image by Urban Strategies Inc. and Allies and Morrison.

7 • The central loop road highlighted in the image above) has been widened from a 23m right-of-way in the May, 2020 proposal to a 26m right-of-way—the red section—and a 22m right-of-way alongside the park—the blue section— reflecting discussions with City staff. This widening accommodates wider pedestrian zones, vehicle lanes, planting zones, a bi-directional multi-use trail, and TTC streetcar tracks, balancing the needs of all users.

The Master Plan is still conceptual in nature, illustrating how development could unfold under the draft Official Plan Amendment, draft Zoning By-law Amendment, and Draft Plan of Subdivision. These policy instruments outline six phases of development, anticipated to occur over many years.

Phasing Plan. Image by Allies and Morrison.

In the meantime, on February 3, First Capital announced that they have now retained Allies and Morrison, the architectural lead on the master plan design team, to also be the design lead for buildings in the first phase of the project. We do not yet know if that means that A+M will be the Design Architect of all buildings in the phase, but the news is welcome based on the strength of concept designs shown thus far. The first phase will include buildings located beside the new GO station and Park Lawn Road, as well as the construction of the GO Station itself, the loop road that will serve it, and the relocation of the ramps connecting Lake Shore Boulevard to the Gardiner Expressway at the east end of the site.

Phase 1 at the 2150 Lake Shore development, image by Allies and Morrison for First Capital

Buildings in this phase are planned at 9 and 12 storeys of offices and ground level retail, while residential towers with ground level retail will rise 8, 11, 46, and 70 storeys, the 70-storey building being the tallest proposed on the site. Gross Floor Areas in this phase are proposed at 23,683 m² of office employment space, 5,364 m² of retail employment space, and 97,130 m² of residential space.

Park Lawn Gardens at the 2150 Lake Shore development, image by Allies and Morrison for First Capital

Two public spaces will also be completed during the first phase; Station Square and Park Lawn Gardens, linking the GO station with new bus service facilities on Park Lawn Road. Ground floor retail near the station is to be oriented towards commuter convenience.

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:  First Capital, Grounded Engineering Inc., Urban Strategies Inc.