Toronto City Council approves Yonge Eglinton Secondary plan
Toronto City Council have approved a new Secondary Plan for the redevelopment of The Yonge Eglinton Centre, one of the city’s main transit interchanges. The plan is the result of a four year staff lead working group which involved members of the community, developers, adjacent land owners and the Toronto Transit Commission.
The goal of the Yonge Eglinton Master plan and Urban Design Guidelines is to outline how the area will develop over time whilst improving the environment and the quality of life for those that live, work and visit the Centre. The new plan for Yonge-Eglinton sets out a growth strategy which will result in a high quality public realm with improved public transit and local amenities which will create a positive climate for economic growth.
The Yonge-Eglinton Centre has potential for new development through infill and redevelopment of key sites as well as lower scale development on the Avenues that radiate out from the Centre. Through redevelopment the subway station will be upgraded with a new bus terminal and improved access to the subway platforms as well as potential connections to the planned Eglinton Crosstown L.R.T.
The master plan and urban design guidelines are a framework, which will be used by the City to shape the form and layout of new development in the area. The Master Plan represents how future roads; transit stations, parks and buildings will be arranged in the creation of a new transit based high-density neighbourhood. The urban design guidelines include a detailed design vision for the 4.5 hectare quadrant on the south west corner of the Yonge Eglinton intersection. “Part of our challenge,” according to Architect James Parakh, The City’s senior urban designer involved with the working group, “was to fit development on a block into the diverse context of Yonge and Eglinton”. The Plan contemplates a range of scales and activities to help development fit into the context of the block. These range from 120 meter high mixed-use buildings at the main intersection to 3 storey town homes adjacent to the existing single family neighbourhoods. “How we make that transition from the urban scale to the neighbourhood scale was one of the key aspects discussed by the working group,” adds Parakh.
The Plan also contemplates new roads, street-scapes, public art and a new park which will become the focal point of the community. The new park is one of the key elements of the proposed Yonge-Eglinton Master Plan. “In an urbanized environment there are few opportunities available to secure public parkland,” says Joe Nanos, Planning manager involved with the working group. “The Working Group felt that the creation of a new public park should be a high priority”.