Almadev — formerly known as Elad Canada — has made some significant changes to their plans for the prospective master-planned community, Lansing Square. Located at the southwest corner of Sheppard Avenue East and Victoria Park Avenue, on the eastern edge of North York, the project would see the redevelopment of the existing Lansing Square office complex with the construction of eight proposed buildings, bringing spikes in commercial and residential density to an area that continues to become more focussed on high-rise development. 

Looking south to the previous design for Lansing Square, since updated over the summer, image courtesy of Almadev

The core of the proposal, designed by WZMH Architects, generally remains the same. Two existing brutalist era low-rise buildings on the north end of the site will be torn down, two mid-rise office buildings will be retained, and a total of eight buildings are proposed to be constructed. Just like in the initial plan, four of the buildings are residential towers, with heights ranging from 25 to 40 storeys, while the latest changes have reconfigured the proposal to include two low-rise residential buildings and two commercial office buildings. 

The updated site plan makes no changes to the proposed public park — which will deliver 4,897m² of programmed greenspace near the centre of the community — and has remained committed to the finer-grained road network that will facilitate north-south and east-west travel throughout the development. The proposal also intends to continue working with the phased approach that would see the development divided into five blocks, with the first round of construction overseeing the creation of blocks one to four. 

Site plan shows latest changes made to the Lansing Square proposal, image from submission to City of Toronto

Examining the changes the Lansing Square development has gone through over the past year more closely, one of them has nothing to do with the site plan at all; on the marketing front, the developer’s branding change from Elad to Almadev marks a shift into a new era for the company that will begin with this project. Both excitement and expectations are high as Almadev begins the long game of another master-planned project. (Galleria on the Park is a current multi-phase Almadev development underway at Dufferin and Dupont in Toronto's West End.)

Moving on, the most significant alterations, arguably, to the initial redevelopment plan have been made in the area referred to as Block 1 in the site plan, in the northeast corner. Here, a design overhaul has dramatically altered the appearance of the development’s tallest towers, A and B. The earlier sculptural design that was consistent across all four towers, was defined by a curving form resembling an audio wavelength running up the middle of each elevation. It has been replaced by a dark grey cladding and glazing that is contrasted by white L-shaped accents that repeat in a diagonal pattern that moves upward, making towers A and B more visually distinct from the other towers that maintain the original design. 

Looking southwest to Towers A and B, featuring the new design by WZMH Architects, image from submission to City of Toronto

Kitty-corner from towers A and B, on block 4 in the southwest corner of the site, more changes have been made to the design where an 18-storey office building connected to an above ground parking garage is proposed. A new drawing has been put forward that proposes changes to the exterior finishes, indicating that the latest design is more brick-and-beam inspired, with floor to ceiling windows encased in a grid pattern of presumably metal cladding.

The new office building design pictured in an architectural drawing, image from submission to City of Toronto

Finally, the development team re-evaluated how the proposed townhouses would fit into the vertical community. Ultimately, it was concluded that townhouses were not fully aligned with the identity of the project, and the two blocks of townhouses were replaced by two low-rise buildings of four and six storeys. No renderings of these redesigns have been made yet, as focus is being directed to the earlier phases of development. 

Building on their success at Emerald City, another master-planned community located just a couple kilometres to the west, Almadev hopes to continue advancing the model of master-planned development as a viable and necessary urban process that welcomes the future of more periphery communities. For Lansing Square, part of the project’s rationale revolves around the promise of a transit expansion in the TTC pipeline, the Sheppard East extension, that would deliver light rail transportation to an area currently served by bus only. With increasing density creating demand, infrastructure and development become more deeply connected on a co-evolutionary trajectory. 

UrbanToronto will continue to follow updates for this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like, 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, COUNTERPOINT ENGINEERING, EQ Building Performance Inc., Ferris + Associates Inc., WZMH Architects