New Retail Being Added to Massive Multi-Phase ‘Galleria on the Park’ in Toronto [Interview/Renderings]

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The new master-planned community Galleria on the Park, at Dupont and Dufferin in Toronto, is ideally located in an area currently experiencing a major development boom, which is being accelerated by this massive project.

The development, by Almadev, will consist of eight buildings totalling 2,956 residential units and 279,000 square feet of commercial space. It will also have an eight-acre public park and a 95,000-square-foot community centre.

Galleria on the Park (Image: Almadev)
Arlin Markowitz

Arlin Markowitz, Executive Vice President, CBRE Limited, Urban Retail Team, which is handling the commercial leasing for the property, said construction for the project is well underway. 

“It’s a multi-phase project. The building being built now is Block 5 at the western end,” said Markowitz, adding that commercial space in that building is about 25,000 square feet, plus 12,000 SF on level 2. That will include about six different tenants and the phase is expected to be finished this year.

“What we’re actively working on leasing right now is that phase of the project, I can’t say who it is yet because they’re not firm deals yet but we’re in great conversations with national financial institutions and coffee brands to occupy space at the western side . . . That’s going to be next to a really amazing community centre which has a swimming pool and a skating rink because when these lands were assembled there was a community centre on there. It was a really important part of a vibrant community.

“That’s why this is called Galleria on the Park because the developer Almadev is building a multi-acre park in the middle of the site and that park will be anchored on the western edge of it with a community centre. It’s a really huge draw of the project.”

Galleria on the Park (Image: Almadev)

He said they are targeting to have a grocery-anchored retail space at a later phase of the development.

The developer said the project is in a diverse neighbourhood filled with hidden gems, hip bars, cafés and single family homes filled with young families and urban professionals. Its close proximity to downtown Toronto, access to transit and unlimited restaurants, shops and amenities make it an ideal neighbourhood to live, work and play.

“There’s a lot of moving parts in terms of some tenants who were in the existing plaza that would like to come back,” said Markowitz. 

For the overall development, there will be a broad mix of commercial tenants because it’s such a large project.

“Block 5 is an example. Because it’s next to the community centre we’re targeting some uses that we think will be synergistic with community uses. Every day there’s going to be tons of kids going in and out of there and families. So potential for sporting good retailers, potential for education uses like we’re seeing a lot of music and singing and dancing schools popping up around the city. Tutor businesses,” he said.

There’s definitely room for a pet store or a doggie daycare centre. There’s also room for entertainment concepts such as social gaming and wellness.

“We see that block as a very family-oriented block,” added Markowitz. “Of course, coffee and fast food will do well there. Maybe brunch . . . In the other parts of the project you’ll have your everyday needs for sure – grocery, banking and fitness. And those will take up a lot of space.

“But then to complement that all around you’ll have some smaller different spaces where you can have more micro retail along the corridor that connects the different blocks near the park. There I think you’ll see more like urban artisanal, unique uses. Similar to some of the things we did at The Well. We’re definitely going to leverage some of the relationships with brands that we placed into The Well here.

“It would be nice to see other types of just cool uses here. Different culinary themed uses. We’re going to have the world of big chains pretty much covered with the banks and grocery so when it comes to food and beverage and unique uses we’d love to have cool local brands.”

Markowitz said the area where the project is being built is a pocket of the city where a ton of density is coming on. 

“There’s a few mega projects in what I’m going to coin Midtown West. There’s Mirvish Village from Westbank at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor. Then you head further west and you have another large project that we’re working on with Hazelview at Bloor and Dufferin. Hazelview and Fitzrovia have a joint venture project that’s also thousands of condo units,” he said.

“Just south of them at Bloor and Dufferin, you have the Dufferin Mall which is being redeveloped and there’s tons of residential being added.

“There’s a really cool mix of great residential and great retail. It’s also very much adjacent to transit. So I think there’s going to be more and more density to come. At Bloor and Lansdowne there’s two big applications in for more highrise from RioCan and from Kingsett Capital. Also if you look at Bloor and Lansdowne that’s where the Union Pearson Express is. So you can take the train from Union Station to Pearson Airport.”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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