Lansing Square

'Free-Range' Kids:
True Family-Friendly Development

Client: ELAD Canada
Location: Toronto, ON
Master Plan
Size: 15 acres
Transit: Future LRT line along Sheppard East

Lansing Square is located in North York at the intersection of Sheppard East and Victoria Park. The area is currently a suburban office park, but with the introduction of an LRT line along Sheppard East the area is expected to undergo massive redevelopment. The site is subject to a recently approved secondary plan that controls some of the design aspects including a predetermined total density.

When working on the master plan for the Lansing Square site, we enjoyed the atypical (for Toronto) constraints of a predefined density for the entire site – and we used it to achieve unusual qualities for the project and the public realm. We:

  • Reorganized the block pattern (from the secondary plan) to create a larger interior block protected from traffic.
  • Designed an open space network that preserves existing concentrations of mature trees.
  • Created a true family friendly design by proposing a network of shared streets designed for a 10 km/hr speed, that together with a large park forms a “Free Range Kids” zone where children can roam around freely without fear of traffic.
  • Organized the density on the site so that the people on the street experience low-rise buildings and podiums between three and six storeys.
  • Concentrated retail to create an active, double-loaded local main street that opens to Sheppard Avenue.