Delivering a project that offers convenient and efficient connections to the rest of the City was among the key aspects of Amexon’s approach to the development of their master-planned community, The Residences at Central Park. Marketed as a forward thinking community that provides the rare mix of natural amenities and urban conditions, the project’s location, on the edge of the East Don Parkland ravine with adjacency to the TTC’s Leslie Station on Sheppard Line 4, has made that promise possible. But even with these unique conditions, there was one additional consideration that had the potential to add another dimension to the site: the incorporation of GO Transit’s Oriole Station.
Looking back at some of our previous coverage of The Residences at Central Park, the presence of Oriole Station at the southwestern corner of the 12-acre mixed-use community has been described as another aspect that adds onto the project’s list of amenities. Anyone who has ridden GO Transit’s Richmond Hill Line, however, would know that Oriole Station is actually located roughly 800 metres to the south — at least currently. Plans from Metrolinx have already been submitted to the City detailing a strategy to permanently relocate the Station, creating a more seamless connection with Leslie Station, and of course, placing it conveniently at Central Park’s doorstep.
In its current state, Oriole Station’s primary entrance is accessed just south of Highway 401, on the west side of Leslie Street. The platform spans under the highway, at its north end a pedestrian walkway providing commuters with a pathway to Esther Shiner Boulevard, 200 metres away from Leslie Station. The absence of a more convenient connection between the two stations is the main impetus for the relocation project, but after nearly 20 years of deliberation, the addition of Central Park to the equation may have given the project the boost it needed to move forward.
The new station will be constructed on the north side of the Highway, its main entrance situated on the south side of Sheppard Avenue, immediately to the west of Leslie Station. The platform, however, will span further north, crossing over Sheppard Avenue and terminating on the north side of the street, right at the southwest corner of the Central Park site. The image below depicts the concept for how the relocation will come together, with Central Park seen on the right half of the frame, and the primary station entrance on the left, immediately behind Leslie Station's bus terminal.
Meanwhile, a number of renderings included in Metrolinx’s submission to the City illuminate some of the details of the new station’s design. While the renderings are somewhat rudimentary, we can get an impression of the general thrust, resembling the UP Express stations, with black finishes and modern boxy massing.
Additionally, the plans indicate that the platform will feature a long canopy structure that offers more robust wind protection specifically on the section spanning overtop of Sheppard Avenue.
The project is still awaiting final approval from the City, and will likely align with the construction schedule of Central Park’s first phase, expected to break ground later this year.
UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more about it from our Database file, 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:||Amexon Development Corporation, Core Architects, II BY IV DESIGN, Kramer Design Associates Limited, Peter McCann Architectural Models Inc., Sigmund Soudack & Associates|