Oxford Properties Group (“Oxford”), a leading global real estate investor, developer and manager, alongside partner CT REIT (TSX: CRT.UN), today submitted a rezoning application for Canada Square to redevelop the 9.2 acre midtown site with a 3 million square foot mixed-use masterplan. Located at the southwest corner of Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue in Toronto, the proposal will deliver five mixed-use towers with over 650,000 square feet of new office space, street-related retail, 2,700 new homes, new community amenities and landscaped open spaces, improved transit infrastructure and a dedicated community space, in multiple phases. The development puts open space at the heart of the project with approximately half of the site dedicated to delivering new outdoor space for the community.
“The rezoning application marks an exciting milestone for the redevelopment plan and builds on the stakeholder engagement process that Oxford initiated back in 2017,” commented Andrew O’Neil, Vice President, Development at Oxford Properties. “Through continued collaboration with stakeholder groups including the local community, the City of Toronto and transit agencies, we believe our masterplan proposal will deliver significant community benefits and unlock the potential of this technically complex, transit-connected site in the heart of midtown Toronto.
“The development will deliver much needed modern workspace, new housing – which is planned to be predominantly rental, transit infrastructure improvements and create substantial new landscaped open space including new parkland. The plan carefully balances the community’s needs while reflecting the site’s location at a major transit interchange and will help maximize the beneficial impact of the Province’s investment in the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.”
Oxford has engaged an award-winning team for the master plan, including an architectural design team led by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and Hariri Pontarini Architects, with Adamson Associates Architects as Executive Architect. OJB Landscape Architecture will set the vision for the significant new open space and public realm. The development plan envisions a phased implementation strategy and a series of three precincts with distinct but complementary identities that integrate with the surrounding context.
A mixed-use precinct anchors the north side of the site featuring an elegant tower that will accommodate 650,000 square feet of contemporary office space and approximately 420 residential units. Located directly above the Eglinton interchange station for the TTC’s Line 1 subway and Line 5 Eglinton Crosstown LRT, and planned as the first phase of the redevelopment, this precinct will also accommodate transit improvements including a new TTC bus terminal that integrates with the existing subway concourse. At street level, the public realm will be transformed with a new public plaza that leads from the intersection to a new landscaped open space immediately south of the mixed-use tower, a creative use of the bus terminal’s roof.
A residential precinct at the south side of the site features four residential towers including street-related retail and office space for community professional services, such as medical and dental uses, all oriented around a central courtyard accessed from a new public street. The buildings are configured with heights scaling down to the south and west, with terracing to provide appropriate height transition to the surrounding residential neighbourhoods. The buildings in the residential precinct will also overlook new parkland proposed along Duplex Avenue.
The central precinct features generous amounts of open space and serves to both transition the north-south grade changes across the site while also providing a new accessible east-west route linking Yonge Street and Duplex Avenue. A new 10,000 square foot community space also features prominently in the central precinct, with the potential to accommodate a day care centre, recreation space or other community services.
The planned development vastly improves the connectivity of the site both through better access to transit and by creating a walkable, accessible neighbourhood connected by green space to allow pedestrians to traverse what is today a largely impermeable site.
“We believe it takes a developer with Oxford’s experience and a collaborative approach with stakeholders to create the most community and social value from one of the most important sites in Midtown,” added Mark Cote, Head of Development, Canada, Oxford Properties. “Our phased approach to development seeks to navigate the site challenges to deliver a compelling public realm, new amenities and exciting experiences at each stage of the project. The current pandemic has vividly demonstrated the need for additional outdoor space in our urban centres and our proposal for Canada Square, where approximately half of the site is dedicated to open space, puts it at the heart of this development.
“We will continue to work hand-in-hand with the community, the Councillor’s office and stakeholder groups to ensure the project meets the evolving needs of Yonge and Eglinton and the wider Midtown Community,”