The North American Development Group has ambitious plans to build a massive project on the site of the current Agincourt Mall in Toronto – providing a unique city-building opportunity, creating a vibrant mixed-use community which builds on the retail history of the site while leveraging connections to existing and future transit, parks, and open spaces.
The project will include 4,400 residential units with 270,000 square feet of retail space and about 110,00 square feet of office. There will be a total of 10 buildings on the site which overall will have seven development blocks. Each development block is a little bit different. Several of them on the east side of the site will have podium retail and above would be some low rise or mid rise residential.
Residential will be both condo and rental throughout the development site. There’s also some town homes planned for the site, which is located at the corner of Kennedy Road and Sheppard Avenue, in the former Scarborough community, in the northeast quadrant of the Greater Toronto Area.
Steve Bishop, Vice-President of Development Services for the company, said the 26-acre site is occupied currently by a 300,000-square-foot, 1960s enclosed shopping centre anchored by a No-Frills food store and a Walmart. There is also a freestanding building which has The Beer Store, LCBO, and Pet Value.
“We’re immediately adjacent to the Agincourt Library which is one of the busiest branches in Toronto,” said Bishop.
He said all the buildings on the development site – not including the library – will be demolished through a phased construction process.
“We’ve been working closely with Walmart to maintain them on the site. So they would be part of our phase one program. The intent here is that we would try to keep a portion of their store open while we construct phase one – demolish a portion of their space and construct a new building with residential above them,” said Bishop.
The project has been going through all the municipal approvals with construction expected to start in 2021. Full build out would take a couple of years.
The site was acquired in January 2015 and it is dominated by automobiles with more than 70 per cent of it being surface parking. There are multiple vehicular access points to the site.
The goal is to develop a community for retail, culture, leisure and multi-generational living while also creating a public realm that supports a mix of programs with parks and squares.
The development also wants to create great streets for everyone – pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles – which connect to the larger surrounding community and future LRT.
The location is a home run with its accessibility and being part of the transit framework. The Agincourt GO Station and the planned SmartTrack are within a five-minute walk. Seven bus lines are in the immediate area. The Highway 401 on-ramp is located less than one kilometre from Kennedy Road and Sheppard Avenue. The developer says Toronto has major plans for new higher-order transit along Sheppard Avenue.
The project will become an ideal place for residents to live, work and play with plenty of amenities as well as park space.
“We spent a lot of time focused on the public realm. When we looked at the site, we looked at it holistically with the entire neighbourhood and not in isolation. So we’ve got some great connectivity between Ron Watson Park and our proposed park and through our pedestrian connections you can get pretty much anywhere in the neighbourhood through a series of streets,” said Bishop.
“There was a lot of focus on that through our process,” said Bishop. “We’re quite happy with the way it all turned out.”