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Re-Imagining the Golden Mile: From Chain Stores and Parking Lots to a New Massive Mixed-use Community 

How major developments will forever change the Golden Mile

Aerial view of the Golden Mile area
Aerial view of chain store plazas and surface parking lots in the Golden Mile.
Rendering of Golden Mile development area facing north
North-facing 3D Visualization of Golden Mile Redevelopment with the 13 current redevelopment proposals. Courtesy of Stephen Velasco, Future Model Toronto (2022).

Today the stretch of Eglinton Avenue East between Victoria Park and Birchmount is a mix of chain stores, strip malls and large parking lots, surrounded mostly by walk-up apartments and single-family homes. But billions in public and private investments will transform the “Golden Mile”, into a new downtown that will have ripple effects on the surrounding neighbourhoods.

This is the second part of a three-part blog series on the future transformation of the Greater Golden Mile. The first explored how transit expansion projects would connect the area to the rest of Toronto. Here we focus on massive real estate redevelopments that will transform the Golden Mile into one of the largest residential and commercial communities in Scarborough. To learn more about how United Way Greater Toronto, BMO and other private, public and community partners are working together to ensure the benefits of this development flow to existing residents check out the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity Initiative (ILEO)

Over 32,000 New Proposed Units  

The development proposed in the Golden Mile is one of the largest ever to take place in Scarborough. As of April 2022, a total of 13 developers have proposed over 32,000 new residential units and over a million square feet of retail and office space close to the new Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

List of private developments with location on map of the Golden Mile
13 current development applications are proposing over 32,000 residential units in the Golden Mile area between Victoria Park Avenue and Birchmount Avenue. Developers include industry leaders such as Dream, RioCan, Choice Properties and the Daniels Corporation.  Source: City of Toronto Development Application Centre.

These proposals currently include over 75 mid and high-rise buildings, which are expected to eventually house well over 40,000 new residents according to the City of Toronto’s Golden Mile Secondary Plan.

One of the first projects to break ground will be at the site of the Golden Mile Plaza (pictured below), once Canada’s largest shopping centre.  Located at the northeastern corner of Eglinton and Victoria Park, it will soon be transformed by developers Choice Properties REIT and The Daniels Corporation into an entirely new community with 3,770 residential units and accompanying retail and office space spread over several buildings ranging up to 48 stories.

Photo of the present Golden Mile Plaza
The Golden Mile Plaza today. The site is currently mostly occupied by large parking lots and the Golden Mile Plaza, once Canada’s largest shopping centre.
Artist rendering of the Choice-Daniels design by Giannone Petricone
Rendering of the future Golden Mile Centre to be home to over 3,700 new residents. Rendering by Giannone Petricone Associates

Across the street the land currently containing the Eglinton Square Mall (pictured below) and the Eglinton Square public library is up for sale. The existing development application by Kingsett Capital proposes over 3,600 residential units across several buildings ranging up to 50 stories with retail space in select areas and a new public park.

Photo of present day Eglinton-Square
View of Eglinton Square mall today from Eglinton Avenue East looking south. Architectural plans from the proposal show a new north-south street running through the current mall with new multi-story buildings on both side with retail space.
Artist rendering of Kingsett site by Quadrangle Architects
Rendering of 1-70 Eglinton Square redevelopment. View from Eglinton Avenue East looking south towards new North-South public street. Rendering by BDP Quadrangle.

Other notable developments in the area include two proposals on the northern side of Eglinton Avenue by RioCan and Dream (on behalf of Dundeal Canada) for 4,915 and 3,391 residential units, respectively. The first phase of RioCan’s development proposal will replace the existing McDonalds, Value Village, Staples and A1 Premium Food Mart with several buildings containing 2,434 residential units, a new 19,433 m2 park and three new public streets.

Aerial view of the currrent RioCan site
Current south-facing view of development site at 1966-2050 Eglinton Avenue East with existing stores and large surface parking lots.
Architectural rendering of RioCan Site by Kirkor Archictects
Rendering of first phase of development by RioCan for 1966- 2050 Eglinton Avenue East from North (Park, buildings) Rendering by Kirkor Architects.

IImmediately to the east of the RioCan site, Dream is proposing 3,391 residential units across several blocks containing a mix of unit types including purpose-built rentals and townhomes. Two new public parks are also expected to be delivered as part of the redevelopment process.

Photo of the area for the Dream Unlimited site today.
North-facing view of Dream Unlimited development site containing in May 2021. The site is currently occupied by CDI College Scarborough and other businesses.
Artist rendering of Dream Unlimited buildings by QDP Architects
Rendering of development by Dream Unlimited at 2200-2206 Eglinton Avenue East. The development master plan incorporates two streets, two public parks and a total of 5 development blocks with buildings of up to 46 stories. Artist Rendering Norm Li; Architects BDP Quadrangle

The scale of the planned redevelopment will change how surrounding neighbourhoods access and navigate local services and amenities during construction, which is likely to last decades. Information about other major development projects in the area is available on the City of Toronto Development Application Centre website.

Triple the size of CityPlace and Regent Park

The scale of the development in the Golden Mile is nearly triple that of well-known master-planned redevelopments such as CityPlace and Regent Park. For context, CityPlace, when complete, is projected to house approximately 21,000 residents in 12,000 units. Likewise, Regent Park, formerly Canada’s oldest and largest community housing project, is expected to have a total of 11,200 affordable and market units by the end of its final two phases. But with 13 developers in the mix so far and 32,000 proposed residential units, the Golden Mile is different. Far from being a single master-planned community, redevelopment planned in the Golden Mile encompasses several master plans from developers which will transform the area into a new “downtown” complete with thousands of new residents and jobs close to several transit lines.


Computer rendered map of developments along the Golden Mile

Golden Mile

  • 280 acres
  • 32,000 new units
  • 40.000 new residents
  • 76 towers* proposed
Artist rendering of Cityplace development.

Cityplace

  • 55 acres
  • 12,000 units
  • 21,000 resident
  • 31 towers*
Artist rending of the Regent Park development

Regent Park

  • 69 acres
  • 11,700 units
  • 17,000 residents
  • 17 towers* (Phase 1-3)

Data for CityPlace reflect the projected total upon the last phase of redevelopment. According to Concord, CityPlace is already the largest master-planned community in Toronto.
* Towers refer to buildings with 9 or more stories.  
Sources: City of Toronto Application Centre, Concord CityPlace Master Plan, Spacing Toronto Regent Park Progress report.


The Opportunity

There are still opportunities to influence aspects of the development and to ensure that the benefits of the development flow to existing residents. The scale of the redevelopment presents a unique opportunity to significantly increase the supply of affordable housing in the area and negotiate significant other community benefits. For several years, local organizations and residents have been working together to understand the community’s vision for inclusive development, which is captured in the Golden Mile Community Benefits Framework.  

Cover of the Community Benefits Framework

Community Benefits Framework
for the Golden Mile

Prepared by Working Women Community Centre on behalf of the Golden Mile Impact Network.

Together with investments in public transit, this redevelopment presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that all residents can benefit from the jobs, business, and other economic opportunities that will come to the area.

Find out more about how United Way Greater Toronto BMO and many other private, public and community partners are working together to increase economic opportunities in the Greater Golden Mile through the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity Initiative (ILEO).

Rendering of Golden Mile area looking northeast
North-east facing 3D Visualization of Golden Mile Redevelopment with the 13 current redevelopment proposals and five Eglinton Crosstown LRT stops. Courtesy of Stephen Velasco, Future Model Toronto (2022).

About the ILEO Initiative

The Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity (ILEO) Initiative brings together the private, public, and community sectors to find innovative ways to reduce gaps in economic prosperity at the neighbourhood level. ILEO is convened by United Way Greater Toronto and BMO. Learn more about ILEO Joint Venture.

About the Greater Golden Mile

Are you a resident of the Greater Golden Mile? Visit the ILEO website and ILEO Golden Mile Facebook page to learn more about current job and entrepreneurship opportunities available to residents living in the Greater Golden Mile area. The Golden Mile is a commercial district in Scarborough on the east side of Toronto and is one of Canada’s first model industrial parks. The Greater Golden Mile is comprised of neighbourhoods near the Golden Mile district that are the focus of investment as neighbourhood improvement areas. These include Victoria Village, Ionview, Flemingdon Park, Eglinton-East, and Kennedy Park1

Light pink circle representing the neighbourhoods of Flemingdon Park, Kennedy Park and Eglinton East on the map.
Greater Golden Mile including three additional Neighbourhood Improvement Areas: Eglinton East, Kennedy Park, and Flemingdon Park

Pink circle representing the neighbourhoods of Victoria Village, Golden Mile and Ionview on the map.
Golden Mile Neighbourhood including two Neighbourhood Improvement Areas: Victoria Village and Ionview Neighbourhoods
Dashed circle representing the area of the Golden Mile boundaries the map.
City of Toronto Golden Mile Secondary Plan Boundaries

1 Through internal analysis and cross-sector engagement with partners including UWGT, the City of Toronto designated 13 priority communities as Neighbourhood Improvement Areas that need additional investment to combat specific problems such as higher-than-average crime or shortage of services. To learn more, see this page

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