The City of Mississauga's Planning Department has recommended the rejection of a residential tower located immediately adjacent to Port Credit GO Station, remaining firm on their low tolerance for height and density outside the City’s increasingly taller core. The proposal from Dream Unlimited is located at 70 Park Street East, a block and a half west of Hurontario Street, two and a half blocks north of Lakeshore Road, and across Queen Street just south of the GO station. It calls for infill on an existing 27-storey apartment site, redeveloping its above ground parking structure into a 38-storey condo. Designed by Arcadis — the Amsterdam-based global firm that acquired Toronto-based IBI Group in Fall 2022, a total of 350 new units would be delivered right across the street from the major transit node that will soon be served by the Hurontario LRT as well. 

Proposed designed for 38-storey infill development, 70 Park Street East, image from submission to City of Mississauga

The proposal was one of the items on the agenda at a busy Planning and Development Committee meeting held on May 29th, and took flack for its height, but also was scrutinized for the impact it would have on water and sewage services, and its separation distance from the rail corridor. A very similar decision was made at the end of March, when Mississauga took a stand against the two-tower 88 Park Street East development for the same reasons, one block to the east, for being too tall and too dense. 

With both projects located within 200 metres of the transit hub, the recommendations have sparked a debate on whether Mississauga is being too prohibitive, especially in the midst of a housing crisis. 

88 Park development was rejected by Mississauga in March, image from submission to City of Mississauga

Taking a closer look at the Dream Unlimited project, the developers' goal for the proposed tower is to activate what they deem as an underutilized portion of the site, while also creating a more inviting pedestrian realm in an area that sees high commuter traffic. The grade level retail currently programmed in the parking structure would be replaced in the podium of the tower, and a landscaped POPS (Privately Owned Publicly accessible Space) would create a more active and pedestrian oriented streetscape.

Proposal aims to deliver more animated streetscape to area surrounding GO station, image from submission to City of Mississauga

The tower’s exterior combines a number of design motifs, featuring both sawtooth balconies as orthogonal ones, while a brick-front sawtooth massing is also worked into the podium, contrasted with lighter materials above, while brick-clad arches meet the street with retail units. Underground there would be eight levels of below grade parking offering a total of 610 spaces for the residents of the existing and new tower, with another 350 spaces for bikes. 

The design features several exterior motifs including arched grade-level entrances, image from submission to City of Mississauga

The proposal is located within a Major Transit Station Area (MTSA). MTSAs are a relatively recent designation, established by the Province as a way to concentrate development in areas that are capable of supporting density in a transit-oriented capacity. Adopted officially in the Region of Peel last November, the move created 60 MTSAs in Mississauga, each with specific minimum targets for the desired density of units and/or jobs per hectare of land. 

From a policy perspective, MTSAs improve the prospects for development taking place in areas well served by existing transit. Interestingly, according to a report from the CBC, the Official Plan Amendment that brought MTSAs into effect in Peel also took away the ability of ‘lower-tier municipalities’ to set height restrictions within any MTSA. Considering Mississauga is still technically defined as a lower-tier municipality within the Region of Peel, their imposed height rules are more of a grey area than concrete policy, meaning that the ruling could be overturned by the Province, should they decide to get involved. 

Map of existing transit within the Port Credit MTSA, image from submission to City of Mississauga

For Mississauga, part of the rationale behind attempting to limit high-rise development outside of the Downtown Core is based on the assertion that they are already meeting the prescribed density targets in MTSAs like Port Credit without needing towers of 20+ storeys. For the tens of thousands of Ontarians looking for places to live though, Mississauga is showing that they are not making it easy for homes to be built. 

Of more concern here though, as mentioned above, the is inability of the local infrastructure to accommodate a proposal this large at the moment, especially regarding the water lines and waste pipes. The provincial government's recent Bill 109, called the More Homes For Everyone Act, prohibits municipalities from passing on the cost of improving the infrastructure through development charges, so despite the bill being meant to speed up construction, it may be holding it up until such time as Mississauga pays to increase sewer capacity, for instance, via the funds it collects from property taxes.

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:  Arcadis, Core Architects, Dream Unlimited, Edenshaw Developments Limited, Entuitive, Gradient Wind Engineers & Scientists, MCW Consultants Ltd, Sajecki Planning