The resubmission for a proposed residential tower just south of Fairview Mall in North York looks to add more height and density than the previous submission to the City of Toronto. Phase 2 of VIA 123 from Choice Properties REIT and Woodbourne Canada Management, Inc., would now be 6 storeys higher than prior, the infill development proposes an additional six storeys for a total of 35 compared to the prior submission. Located just south of Sheppard Avenue East and west of Highway 404, this project aims to further intensify the Parkway Forest neighbourhood of Don Mills.

Looking south to VIA 123 Phase 2, designed by gh3 for Choice Properties REIT and Woodbourne Canada Management

Located at 123 Parkway Forest Drive, the site spans approximately 11,874m² and currently hosts a mix of residential structures. This includes a 19-storey rental building from Phase 1 of the Parkway Forest development, as well as ten 3-storey rental townhouses. As part of Phase 2, the southern half of these townhouses are slated for demolition to make way for the new high-rise infill. Parkway Forest features high-rise buildings and townhouses.

Looking north to the VIA123 townhouses, August 2021, image via Google Street View

 

Initially submitted in August 2021, the original proposal (below) featured a 29-storey purpose-built rental building designed by Arcadis, complemented by ground-floor townhouse units. Since then, a Major Transit Station Area designation has been placed around Don Mills station that encourages higher densities close to it, while consultations with City planners and community feedback also led the developers to revisit the drawing board, leading to the more ambitious 35-storey tower, now designed by gh3.

An aerial view looking north to the previous design by Arcadis

The resubmitted Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment applications seek approval for a tower reaching 120.75m with a total of 395 residential units, a noticeable increase from the previously proposed 339 units. The Gross Floor Area (GFA) is planned at 26,172m².

Site plan, designed by gh3 for Choice Properties REIT and Woodbourne Canada Management

 

An equal allotment of 790m² is allocated for indoor and outdoor amenities. The building's design includes three elevators, with an additional elevator serving the underground garage leading to the ground floor. This elevator ratio approximates one elevator per 132 units, indicating longer than preferable wait times for residents.

 

Ground floor plan, designed by gh3 for Choice Properties REIT and Woodbourne Canada Management

Within two levels of underground parking there would be 45 spaces for residents and an additional 5 spaces for visitors, a stark reduction from the previously proposed 176 total spaces, reflecting the transit-oriented nature of the development. The new proposal includes 270 long-term bicycle spaces, an increase from the initial 231, along with 28 short-term spaces and 10 publicly accessible spaces.

The site lies within a 350m walking distance to the Don Mills station, the eastern terminus of Sheppard Line 4, located within the Fairview Mall redevelopment site that would place several residential towers into the parking lots around the shopping centre. This area is well-served by numerous bus routes along Don Mills Road and Sheppard Avenue East. Looking to the future, the Sheppard Subway Extension may extend rapid transit eastwards to the Scarborough City Centre area. Public consultations are currently being held for this potential project.

An aerial view of surrounding current and planned transit, image from submission to City of Toronto

Several other projects are in planning in the area. To the northwest close to Don Mills station, a cluster of proposals include 1650 Sheppard Avenue East and 25 Leith Road, each proposing 31-storey buildings, 2600 Don Mills Road is slated for a 33-storey tower, and 2500 Don Mills Road plans towers reaching 43 and 52 storeys. North of the site, 5 Fairview Mall Drive proposes 31 and 36-storey towers. The most transformative development nearby is the Fairview Mall redevelopment, with its first phase calling for three towers ranging from 38 to 52 storeys. This redevelopment is part of a larger master plan that envisions a transformation over four phases, further enhancing the area's residential and commercial realms over the coming years.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally published with out-of-date site plan and ground floor plans. UrbanToronto regrets the error and has updated the article with current plans.

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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:  Bousfields, Counterpoint Engineering, Entuitive, gh3, MCW Consultants Ltd