The Mimico Triangle area of Etobicoke has been recognized as a priority “Regeneration Area” by the City of Toronto, spelling the end for several of the area's low-rise industrial buildings. In their place, higher-density development will take better advantage of the adjacent Mimico GO station through greater population and employment density. Vandyk Properties is jumpstarting redevelopment of the area with their Grand Central Mimico (GCM) community. This master-planned development is to span four city blocks, consisting of nine buildings hosting 2.1 million ft² of residential space and 200,000 ft² of commercial space, and—most notably—an expansion and reconstruction of Mimico GO station on the development's doorstep.
Master Planner and Executive Architects of GCM are SvN Architects + Planners. As a Transit-Oriented Community (TOC) from the top-down, GCM is the province of Ontario's first announced market strategy, public-private partnership with Metrolinx coming to a signed, binding agreement for full integration into the regional transit system with multiple access points integrated into the new buildings. The GO station enhancement will come with a new south tunnel connection, expanded commuter parking, a new transit plaza and parkette, and a new pedestrian pick-up and drop-off area, all working together to create a much-improved public commuter experience.
“Our vision for Grand Central Mimico is to create an all-inclusive environment that not only offers new housing but fosters a thriving business community; an urban experience that utilizes globally inspired and thoughtful design considerations, putting Mimico on the map as one of Toronto's most significant and innovative neighbourhoods,” reads a statement issued in February by John Vandyk, President and CEO of Vandyk Properties. “With Grand Central Mimico being the first signed, binding TOC partnership with Metrolinx in Ontario, residents will be able to experience what connected living really means, transforming the modern living experience as we know it.”
The Mimico GO expansion will modernize the station to handle a large population increase coming to the area, giving GCM residents and those from the surrounding neighbourhoods improved access to the regional rail system. Located just one stop west of Exhibition GO and two stops west of Union Station, GCM residents will be just 11 minutes from the edge of Downtown Toronto (and future Ontario Line) and 15 minutes from Union Station. This will allow for reduced car usage in the GCM community which will, in turn, foster a more walkable public realm.
Commenting on the agreement, Phil Verster, Metrolinx President and CEO stated “As the region continues to grow, Metrolinx is undergoing a massive transformation to better serve this growth in our communities. We are pleased to partner with Vandyk to deliver an expanded and accessible Mimico GO Station, making it easier and faster for our customers to get to the places that matter most—bringing jobs, destinations, and housing closer to transit. The station at Royal York Road will service the expected three-fold increase in daily ridership at the station by 2031. A better customer experience is on the way.”
The first phase in the district will be three condominium towers known as The Buckingham, kicking off the area redevelopment and establishing a look that will be continued in future phases. While SvN is in charge of community planning/design, the architecture of the community's individual buildings has been tasked to Kohn Partnership Architects. The heritage character of the existing buildings on site and the surrounding neighbourhood is reflected in The Buckingham's design, which incorporates a mix of brickwork, steel awnings, black mullions, and cross bracing to acknowledge the area's industrial and rail history.
The Buckingham offers 749 condominium units on the doorstep of Mimico GO, available in a variety of unit types, and priced starting in the $400,000s. The complex will integrate a new pedestrian realm with about 20,000 ft² of retail space in the podium, including an urban grocery store and restaurant, and about 45,000 ft² of office space.
Suites and amenities at The Buckingham are to feature interiors by Figure3, the amenities to include a social club, two fireplace lounges, a sports lounge, a virtual golf simulator, movie theatre rooms, a wrap-around outdoor terrace, party/dining rooms, a co-working space, and a Wellness Centre featuring a gym, yoga studio, steam room, massage therapy rooms, and lounge. Outdoor amenities are to include a landscaped terrace offering seating areas, a cabana lounge, fire pit lounge areas, and zones for cooking and dining.
The Buckingham's north and central towers sold out within a week of launching at the end of March, when the pandemic's third wave was peaking. The south tower launched in early May to similar enthusiasm, selling out within a week. All towers were sold through virtually due to pandemic restrictions. “We recognized the immense potential of The Mimico Triangle; an untapped area for commercial and residential development, yet home to an incredibly rich history and in close proximity to a variety of amenities and attractions. We are truly humbled by the positive response to our vision for this community, which has been validated through the success of phase one," President and CEO John C. Vandyk's statement concludes.
“We’ve kept our finger on the pulse for many years identifying where market opportunities exist and how we can continue to meet the needs of a collective society,” added Sherman Chan, VP, Managing Director, Real Estate, Vandyk Properties, in the February news release. “Transit-Oriented Communities are the future; regeneration neighbourhoods that positively change our cityscape is the future, and Grand Central Mimico is the golden goose that represents this on behalf of our city.”
You can learn more from our Database files for the wider community and first phase, both linked below. If you'd like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.
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