Officials from the City of Toronto gathered at Bloor Street and Kipling Avenue to celebrate the start of construction on the new Etobicoke Civic Centre. Those present included Mayor Olivia Chow and Deputy Mayor Amber Morley, in whose Ward (Etobicoke-Lakeshore) the development is located, other members of Council, and those of the City's real-estate agency CreateTO and builder Multiplex. The building will replace the existing centre at Burnhamthorpe Road and The West Mall that has provided municipal services since it was built in 1958, itself having replaced the former Township of Etobicoke Municipal Hall that now serves as a pub just a few blocks east of where the latest building is going in. 

Officials at the Etobicoke Civic Centre ground breaking ceremony, image via CreateTO

Mayor Chow's statement to mark the milestone reads in part, “The new Etobicoke Civic Centre is a landmark project that is part of a bigger vision to create a city centre in Toronto’s west end. I am excited to see this important development that allows residents to live, work and play in one place come to life” while Councillor and Deputy Mayor Morley's remarks were "The new Etobicoke Civic Centre promises to create a new community space within Etobicoke, and to create access to affordable housing and sustainable living in a way that Toronto has never seen before. This new civic hub will be a source of great pride for us all.”

Looking northwest into the public square at the new Etobicoke Civic Centre, designed by Henning Larsen and Adamson Associates Architects for CreateTO

The site where the new civic centre will rise is on 18 acres of City-owned land that was reclaimed when the City began demolition of the Six Points Interchange in 2017, a freeway-style junction of Bloor Street, Dundas Street and Kipling Avenue that fully disrupted the urban fabric in the centre of this western borough of Toronto. Below, the new Civic Centre — designed by Henning Larsen Architects of Denmark and Adamson Associates Architects of Toronto — rises in nine volumes; five low-rise ones facing a new landscaped public square designed by PMA Landscape Architects along the Dundas Street frontage, and four high-rise volumes fronting onto Bloor Street to the north. Massing studies for other nearby buildings indicate the approved scale of other buildings, mostly residential in use — to be built with private sector partners — on other portions of the land that was reclaimed from the intersection, and from the former Westwood Theatre site to the south of it.

Looking northwest to the Etobicoke Civic Centre, designed by Henning Larsen and Adamson Associates Architects for CreateTO

The site in its previous form was seen as a suburban relic from the days when cars were prioritized over all other considerations, and due to its centrality in Etobicoke and adjacency to Kipling subway and GO stations, reclaiming the land was considered an ideal opportunity to create a new heart for the area that would heal the urban fabric here while better serving the public. Besides municipal offices and a multi-purpose Community Council chamber, the new Etobicoke Civic Centre will feature a Toronto Public Library district branch, a childcare centre, a public health clinic, an art gallery, public meeting rooms, ceremonial rooms, and a new recreation centre with gymnasium and swimming pools. One retail space, possibly for a cafe, will face the public square. The building will benefit from a new sustainable district thermal heating and cooling system managed by Envwave Energy Corporation that will be constructed below it.

Looking west across the future site of the Etobicoke Civic Centre and surrounding developments, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Time MacDonald

The district energy plant will help the new Civic Centre achieve stringent Tier 4 performance standards of the Toronto Green Standard Version 3, while also serving buildings of the new community that will be built all around it. The energy plan aligns with the City’s TransformTO Net Zero Strategy to dramatically reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions, intending to make this Toronto's first near-zero emissions community. 

Deputy Mayor Jennifer McElvie, another attendee stated, “The City’s ambitious plan to reconfigure Six Points is now paying off in the form of a complete, sustainable community with the new Etobicoke Civic Centre at its heart. I congratulate City staff, our development partners and members of the public for coming together and supporting our collective goal of building Toronto’s first near-zero emissions community.”

Looking east across the Six Points interchange in 1986, image from Toronto Public Library

The first of the surrounding buildings underway in the area is 5207 Dundas West, seen in the rendering below (which omits the new Civic Centre behind it). Just across Dundas Street to the south of the Civic Centre, the Henriquez Architects-designed building for CreateTO with private partners Tricon Residential and the Kilmer Group will bring 725 new housing units to the site, 218 of them designated as affordable, while also animating the ground realm with 4,738m² of commercial space.

Looking north to 5207 Dundas West, designed by Henriquez Architects for CreateTO, Tricon Residential, and the Kilmer Group

5207 Dundas West is the first of the City's Housing Now initiative to repurpose underused City-owned land as primarily residential to go under construction. While its ground-breaking ceremony was held on August 9, 2023, construction only really got underway at the beginning of this year after a shoring permit was granted in late December, 2023. Excavations are now a couple of storeys down here. Further development of sites in the Bloor-Kipling Block Plan will bring the new community total to at least 2,781 residential units, of which 904 will be affordable rentals. About 10,000m² of parkland is also coming to the community, the bulk of which is seen in the rendering above as a treed area to the east of the 5207 Dundas development.

Looking east into the excavation for 5207 Dundas West, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor AlbertC

Etobicoke's current Civic Centre will continue to serve in its capacity until the new building is ready in a few year's time, after which that site is set to be redeveloped by CreateTO and private partners for more housing.

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:  Adamson Associates Architects, Arcadis, CCxA, EllisDon, Entuitive, EQ Building Performance Inc., Knightsbridge, Multiplex, Mulvey & Banani, RWDI Climate and Performance Engineering, Tricon Residential