The Agincourt Mall Revitalization Plan

A New Model for Suburban Intensification

Our reimagination of Agincourt Mall, Scarborough’s first indoor shopping plaza, sees a new model for suburban intensification that creates a diverse, inclusive, and complete community by turning the mall inside out, and infusing it with robust public spaces that stitch the mall site to its surrounding neighbourhoods.

Existing Agincourt mall site.

Employing the suburban mall typology that was popularized from the 60s to the 80s, Agincourt’s composition is all too familiar: a group of larger anchor stores connected by smaller shops and fast-food restaurants, all surrounded by vast parking lots. In fact, two-thirds of the existing mall’s 26-acre property is used for surface parking.

Located in Agincourt Centre, the mall site has been designated by the City of Toronto as a significant zone for transit investment, including the potential Metrolinx GO Express Rail, Sheppard East LRT and City of Toronto SmartTrack. The site itself is also steps away from the Agincourt GO station and within walking distance to large public amenities and parks, including Ron Watson Park to the northwest, and various schools and community services such as the Agincourt Public Library.

The site is unlocked by relocating the existing anchor tenants: Walmart and the No Frills food store. The food store is prioritized throughout the phasing, allowing it to stay open during construction and continue to meet the needs of the community. This relocation also allows development blocks to absorb the large tenants, while providing smaller-scale retail frontage to animate the new streets.

The proposed street network strengthens existing connections between adjacent neighbourhoods along Sheppard Avenue, Kennedy Road and Bnios Avenue, and provides new connections to transit. Key pedestrian and bicycle links are maintained from the existing site to transit on Sheppard and the Agincourt GO station beyond utilizing an instrumental promenade along Sheppard, and striating cycling paths to separate commuter from local cyclists.

“Aside from the significant amount of new residential space, one aspect of the Agincourt project that really stands out is the idea of having ‘complete streets.’ ” Toronto Star.

The proposed street network strengthens existing connections between adjacent neighbourhoods along Sheppard Ave., Kennedy Road and Bonis Avenue, and provides new connections to transit. Key pedestrian and bicycle links are maintained from the existing site to transit on Sheppard and the Agincourt GO station beyond.

There are 22.3 hectares of public parkland, located in seven parks, within 1500 meters of the centre of the Mall site.

A series of small and medium public spaces all lead to a “Central Park” on the west side of the site. Along with the community garden, this vast green space is centered between the existing Sheppard Village and the proposed development. The park is bordered along its north edge by a Community Hub, adjacent to the existing Agincourt Library. A second “Sheppard Park” is located along the retail frontage facing Sheppard Ave. This porch-like public space will host year-round programming, pop-up events, kiosks, and playful happenings for increased community engagement.

We move all existing and planned parking underground to accommodate for more space for pedestrians, cyclists, and programming by tenants and the community.

The masterplan makes explicit the importance of small-scale interventions to enhance pedestrian life on the site. As such, custom paving, landscaping, canopies, and street furniture provide a heightened public realm experience, which shapes the formal, aesthetic, and functional qualities of the retail square, promenade, and outdoor public spaces at the center of the proposal.

The Agincourt Redevelopment plan employs a range of building typologies and scales defined by different precincts. The residential precinct surrounding the “Central Park” on the west side of the site is composed of grade-related townhouses and mid-rise residential blocks to mitigate shadow impact on the park. The retail precinct along the new east/west road and retail promenade is shaped by consistent mid-rise podiums with point towers above. These are concentrated in the center of the development and along Kennedy Road and Sheppard Ave. Varying in height and ranging in material and design profiles, the built form creates a distinct skyline of unique architectural silhouettes, championing an iconic and recognizable identity for the Agincourt district.

La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain

The Agincourt masterplan aims to create Net Zero development opportunities. Open planted space is prioritized throughout the design, seeking to encourage biodiversity in the future landscapes of the site. Further, the amplified zones afforded for community activity work in conjunction with the public realm to promote well-being on the site, for residents and the community at large. Users are also provided with bicycle lanes and strategic parking, in addition to multi-modal connectivity to public transit and the future LRT. Resilience is a primary consideration, with buildings on the site equipped with backup and emergency power systems with symbiotic, passive environmental systems across the site.

Project Facts

  • Client

    North American Development Group

  • Location

    Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario

  • Size

    26 acres, 12 buildings with +4000 units

  • Status

    Site Plan Approval

  • Sub-Consultant Team

    Planner — Bousfields Inc.

    Civil — Sabourin Kimble & Associates

    Transportation — B.A. Consulting Group

    Sustainability & Energy — Integral Group

    Landscape — Janet Rosenberg & Studio

    Structural — Leonard Kalishenko & Associates

    Mechanical/ Electrical — Hammerschlag & Joffe

  • Renderings

    Nomis Digital
    Office In Search Of