Vision for Value Village
Growth that improves the public realm
Location: Toronto, ON
Scale: Master Plan
Transit: New GO Station, Lansdowne Subway Station
Project Duration: 2018
Big Picture Planning
Uncovering a site’s potential starts with understanding community and commercial needs that are in line with what is possible under municipal guidelines. As architects and urban planners, we have the knowledge, research tools and design skills to turn site prospects into opportunities.
Toronto is the fastest growing city in North America. The city needs to grow in the best interest of the community by improving the public realm and by meeting housing demands. In other words, we need Smarter Density.
The Challenge: how do we design a mixed-use, community-centred and transit-oriented development?
A master plan was required for a large commercial lot in Toronto, currently a ‘Value Village’ store. The site is at the intersection of Bloor Street West and a railway corridor that crosses above street level. It is well served by transit (3 stops within walking distance), but faces challenges with neglected retail, poor pedestrian experience and only low-rise housing. A new mixed-use scheme was needed to explore the site’s potential for future growth.
The Solution: a master plan with masterful moves
We proposed a master plan that is commercially viable, increases housing supply and encourages community adoption. A win-win situation.
There are also significant improvements to the public realm. The scheme extends bike paths and creates protected green spaces for the public to enjoy. The safety setback from the rail becomes an extensive park for pedestrians, cyclists and commuters.
Retail flourishes with more pedestrian flow from transit and because of the level changes on site. Small-grain retail and coffee shops face the park, while large-scale anchor retail is below at street level. Residential buildings transition from lower height red brick forms to two taller buildings that front the railway.
"Our neighbourhood is seeing a massive change...condos are popping everywhere and a new GO Station will soon be under construction. I like the idea of the linear park and the extended bike lane, I think these are great features to have as we need more green and open spaces. I appreciate how the design emphasizes public transit, walking and cycling as primary modes of transportation."
Dr. Marnie Luck, ND, a resident of the Bloor-Lansdowne neighbourhood and owner of the Annex Naturopathic Clinic