Golden Mile Plaza Revitalization

A Transit-Oriented Complete Community

The Golden Mile Plaza Revitalization is a sustainable, transit-oriented community with multi-modal connectivity which provides an instrumental strategy for suburban intensification at the new Eglinton Crosstown LRT stations here. The project reinforces and expands the City of Toronto’s Golden Mile Secondary Plan as one of six focus sites with the capacity to accommodate significant intensification and growth.

The Golden Mile plaza site.

The masterplan is designed to breathe new life into the now unrecognizable mid-century vision for this part of Scarborough by creating an unmistakable sense of place. Featuring two proposed Eglinton Crosstown LRT stations, an extensive network of bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicular connections knits together the Golden Mile Plaza Revitalization as a new community that embraces its suburban context while creating new opportunities for urban connectivity and important amenities.

Golden Mile covers approximately 113 hectares of commercial district along Eglinton Avenue in East Toronto. It is bounded by Victoria Park Ave to the west, Ashtonbee Road and the Hydro Corridor (called “The Meadoway”) to the north, Birchmount Road to the east, and an irregular boundary stretching between various low-rise residential neighbourhoods to the south. Our plan defines a new precedent for the dynamic and diverse redevelopment of underutilized suburban sites and begins with strategically relocating the valuable food store, that cannot close to the public, in order to open the site to new, critical north-south connections.

“There’s no question it’s a transformative idea and a transformative plan, when you look at what is there now and the history of manufacturing and other large, land consumptive uses from the past and the employment focus for the area” Gregg Lintern, Toronto’s chief planner as quoted by Toronto Star

Our site is Golden Mile Plaza, a 19-acre gateway to the district that lies just west of the original industrial ‘mile’ now ripe for intensification. The master plan designs density, massing, and detailed public realms for a sustainable, accessible, and inclusive complete community.

The scheme is anchored by a new east-west public main street, Golden Mile Boulevard, which bends to accommodate the food store footprint laminated with fine-grained retail frontage while slowing the pattern of traffic. The magnetic green square is then placed at the centre of the site adjacent the curving main road intersection with a large park.

The pedestrian-oriented and retail-focused main street creates a more intimate quality that sets the tone for the neighbourhood scale of the plan, alongside the arterial nature of Eglinton Avenue East. New transit stops, which themselves are supported by Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS,) are placed along the south side of the site allowing for new north-south pedestrian connections to The Meadoway.

Phasing strategy: Phase I.

Critical to the design are ground-related intimate spaces such as courtyards, squares and parks populated by lush landscaping, canopies, signage, and public art which are strategically placed to create a microclimate that mitigates strong winds and maximize light and views to the public realms of pedestrian networks that encourage commuters and residents to traverse through the site by foot. In addition, a series of north-south public streets and bike paths normalize the plan in appropriately scaled grids and links Eglinton Street East with Goldenmile Boulevard, along which a large new park anticipates expansion with future development.

“This will be the new Scarborough, the heart of where we are. This is the potential for the future. This is our blueprint.” ‑Councilor Michael Thompson, Toronto Star

The Golden Mile Redevelopment project’s design and execution has set high sustainability objectives with an overall vision to achieve a best-in-class level of overall carbon performance. Recognizing that operation emissions are only half the equation, and the need to address embodied carbon, this project is committing to whole-life carbon targets of 1000kg/m2 over a 60-year cycle, which goes beyond the current Toronto Green Standards Tier 2 requirements at 1400 kg/m2.

The design strategies that will impact operational carbon and embodied carbon may include the use of sustainable building materials, efficient massing and structure, low glazing ratio, reduction of thermal bridges, reduction of below-grade parking, promotion of pedestrian use, and utilization of a geo-exchange system. Other greater goals include district energy, resilience and backup power, full electrification, transit-oriented & electrical vehicles, health and wellness and social equity.

As design architects for the two blocks that comprise phase 1, we imbue the architecture with a multi-generational mandate that also shapes the two podiums to mitigate strong winds and maximize light and views to the public realms, as a passive sustainability strategy. These culminate in a pedestrian-only central courtyard, dubbed “The Garden,” that sits between the two blocks and features neighbourhood-oriented retail spilling out. This phase also hosts 50,000 square feet of community space, and an institutional space for Centennial College and the University of Toronto Scarborough nearby.

As a complete community, the Golden Mile Redevelopment also strives to be accessible and inclusive for all. Currently, the Golden Mile Block F (Phase 1) is pursuing the Gold rating from the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC). This program is designed to challenge developers as community builders to go beyond the building code and create innovative solutions to make their communities universally accessible. Block F is also designed to house a wide range of demographics, from seniors to young families to empty-nesters. Furthermore, affordable housing is incorporated as part of the overall master plan to ensure appropriate equity and equality for all members of the community.

Project Facts

  • Client

    Choice Properties REIT, The Daniels Corporation

  • Location

    Toronto, Ontario

  • Size

    +18.5 Acres, 11 Buildings, +3,500 Units, +270,100 sq.m retail / commercial

  • Status

    Site Plan Approval

  • Sub-Consultant Team

    Planner — Urban Strategies

    Site Services — Counterpoint Engineering Inc.

    Traffic — Lea Consulting Ltd.

    Landscape — MBTW Group (Masterplan), Land Art Design Landscape Architects (Phase I)

    Geotechnical — Terrapex

    Structural — CPE Structural Consultants

    Mechanical / Electrical — SNC Advisory Services

  • Renderings

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