In the growing Greater Golden Horseshoe city of Waterloo west of Toronto, a new masterplanned, mixed-use community is proposed within a 3-minute walk of Northfield ION station. Situated a 5-minute drive from the University of Waterloo at 170 Northfield Drive West, the ambitious proposal from Forgestone Capital mixes residential, commercial, and greenspaces, reflecting modern urban design not far from Toronto's influence.

Looking west to 170 Northfield Drive West, designed by Turner Fleischer Architects for Forgestone Capital

The development site east of Weber Street North on Northfield Drive West spans an expansive 16.2 hectares. Currently, the site accommodates a commercial plaza on the westerly portion of the site, which would be retained as part of this proposal. Additionally, two single-storey office buildings are situated in the central area, with surface parking lots. This area is framed by a mix of industrial, office, and employment uses to the north, another commercial plaza across Weber Street to the west, and the City of Waterloo Fire Station No. 3 to the south. To the east is a former CN railway spur, now owned by the Region of Waterloo.

An aerial view of the site and surrounding area, image from submission to City of Waterloo

The Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment applications call for a multi-faceted development with residential, commercial, and industrial elements. The Turner Fleischer Architects-designed plan includes thirteen high-rise towers ranging from 25 to 40 storeys, with the tallest structures reaching up to 129.6m. The towers are arranged atop 6-storey podiums that integrate 22,280m² of commercial Gross Floor Area and 4,267 residential units. There would also be two POPS (Privately-Owned Publicly accessible Spaces) totalling 3,220m² on either side of Parkside Drive, which runs up the middle of the site.

Central POPS for 170 Northfield Drive West, designed by Turner Fleischer Architects for Forgestone Capital

The development is to be structured into three phases. Phase 1 in the southeast corner would introduce 2,503 residential units distributed across four main buildings, along with 360m² of retail area. Phase 2 on the north end calls for a blend of flexible industrial and commercial spaces, contributing an additional 6,605m² of non-residential floor space. Phase 3 in the southwest corner would expand the residential offerings, adding 1,764 units in a more condensed layout.

Phasing plan, designed by Turner Fleischer Architects for Forgestone Capital

Each residential tower would be equipped with three elevators, resulting in approximately one elevator for every 107 units, indicating just slightly longer than optimal wait times when elevators are operating. The indoor amenity space would total 5,677m², while outdoor amenities would span 10,716m², featuring expansive terraces on each podium.

Looking northeast to 170 Northfield Drive West, designed by Turner Fleischer Architects for Forgestone Capital

A structured parking system is incorporated within each level of the podiums and one level underground, providing a total of 5,139 vehicle parking spaces. Furthermore, the development plans include spaces for 1,607 bicycles in Phase 1 and 1,166 in Phase 3.

Site plan, designed by Turner Fleischer Architects for Forgestone Capital

The site is 240m from Northfield ION station, part of the ION LRT route that links to Conestoga Mall to the east, and Downtown Waterloo, Downtown Kitchener, and on to Fairway Mall to the south. Being that close to the ION station, the site falls within its Major Transit Station Area, where zoning laws now encourage higher density to support and sustain rapid transit networks. Other public transit options include Grand River Transit (GRT) bus stops dotted along Parkside Drive and Northfield Drive West. For cyclists, the area is well-equipped with bike lanes which connect to the extensive Great Trail network.

Looking north to 170 Northfield Drive West, designed by Turner Fleischer Architects for Forgestone Capital

Nearby, multiple other large-scale, mixed-use communities are proposed, mirroring this submission. To the east, the expansive Conestogo Park Square, also known as the Kraus Carpet Mills Redevelopment, proposes six buildings with heights stretching from 18 to 35 storeys, including a community centre and extensive POPS. To the south, the Steelcraft Lands Redevelopment is set to transform the industrial landscape into a mixed-use community with six buildings ranging from 8 to 30 storeys.

Southeast are the proposals for 475-485 and 435 King Street North; the former calls for eight buildings up to 28 storeys, while the latter plans for seven buildings with heights from 12 to 35 storeys. Collectively, these developments signify a concentrated effort to revitalize the northern area of Waterloo with large-scale mixed-use communities, bridging the gap to the dynamic development activity further south around the University of Waterloo.

UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more about it from our Database files, 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:  Counterpoint Engineering, LEA Consulting, MHBC Planning, Turner Fleischer Architects