Toronto

Bloor-Dundas project with 2,600 residential units prompts mix of optimism, concern

The team behind a massive re-development project at Dundas and Bloor has unveiled their plan for the site, but a local neighbourhood group has mixed feelings about thousands of new residents flooding the area.

Latest designs reveal mix of 9 high-rise towers, retail, park space, and 3 new roads

The proposed mixed-use community would feature roughly 2,600 residential units, retail, and park space, according to developer Choice Properties. (Choice Properties)

The team behind a massive re-development project at Dundas and Bloor has unveiled their plan for the site, but a local neighbourhood group has mixed feelings about thousands of new residents flooding the area.

The latest designs reveal a mix of residential and retail spaces, park space, and three new city roads within the 10-acre site southeast of the Dundas Street West and Bloor Steet West intersection.

This radical re-imagining of the space — which is, right now, primarily a parking lot — is being showcased at an open house on Saturday at 2280 Dundas St. W.

Latest designs reveal re-imagined Bloor-Dundas site

4 years ago
Duration 2:10
New concept art from Choice Properties, the developer behind the mega-development project in Toronto's west end, shows the design's multiple towers, park space, and retail areas.

One key element is the nine high-rise towers, ranging from 18 to 42 storeys, which will offer roughly 2,600 units — a mix of rentals, condos, and affordable housing, according to developer Choice Properties.

Len McAuley, chair of the Roncesvalles Business Improvement Area (BIA) just south down the street, is optimistic about the project, but says the high number of units being proposed is cause for concern.

"That's a lot of people to put on the King streetcar, or the Dundas streetcar, or the subway, which is already overflowing," he said. 

Len McAuley, chair of the Roncesvalles Business Improvement Area (BIA) just down the street, is optimistic about the project, but said the high number of units being proposed is cause for concern. (Lauren Pelley/CBC News)

Developer wants to create 'complete, modern' community

The team behind the redevelopment sees things differently

"Increasing the density around major transit stations, we think, is a very sustainable approach to supporting the growing population of the city," said Joe Svec, director of mixed-use development for Choice Properties.

George Dark, a senior design partner with city-building group Urban Strategies, stresses that the site is heavily connected to public transit but "incredibly underutilized."

"I think at a base level, what we're hoping is to capture the value of that transit, but also go into a discussion of how to create a very complete, modern, inner-city community at a transit stop in Toronto," he said.

Nine high-rise towers, ranging from 18 to 42 storeys, are part of the new designs being unveiled to the public on Saturday. (Choice Properties)

New Catholic high school being built

Svec says the project will also involve relocating the Catholic high school on the site, Bishop Marrocco-Thomas Merton, from the north end facing Bloor Street West to the south end of the site. That would involve building a new school with input from the Toronto Catholic District School Board, he said.

"Our goal is to minimize the disruption to students," said John Yan, a spokesperson for the board. 

The plan, Yan said, is ideally to move students from the old school straight into the completed new building. 

The school design, among various other facets of the project, is still in the development stages.

Choice Properties will be submitting their development application to the city this spring.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren Pelley

Senior Health & Medical Reporter

Lauren Pelley covers health and medical science for CBC News, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian health policy, and the global spread of infectious diseases. She's based in Toronto. Contact her at: lauren.pelley@cbc.ca

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