Updated (February 2022):
A community meeting is scheduled to provide residents with a very preliminary overview of the Centrepoint Mall application. on Tuesday February 15 from 7 to 9 PM.
This application was only recently received by the City and staff won't even have a preliminary report available until April. But John is taking the unusual step of having a community meeting before that because of the large number of emails he received, with many people thinking, incorrectly, that anything had been or was soon to be approved or that the mall might be disappearing in the near future.
What Council has received is an Official Plan amendment, which would be followed at some point by a rezoning application. The OPA contemplates a large number of tall buildings, preservation of about half of the existing retail, and a large park.
To join the meeting register at https://www.toronto.ca/cpconsultations
Original Post (Jan 2022): Several residents have contacted me expressing concerns about the proposed redevelopment of Centrepoint Mall. The application just came in and, with a site of this size and complexity, it will take months and years to deal with the many phases of that process.
Because of the interest, I plan to hold a community meeting within the next month, even before the staff have identified issues in a preliminary report, which normally precedes such a meeting.
In the meantime, here are some points to note:
* An Official Plan Amendment has been submitted by Centrepoint's owner. If approved, it will provide a framework for rezoning applications which would follow. Nothing has been approved, and we are years away from the stage at which anything might be built.
* The site is adjacent to the future Steeles subway station. An application for higher density was expected. The issues that need to be sorted out include how much density should be permitted, and how that will translate into the height, number and location of buildings.
* The proposal includes a large park, making up 20 percent of the site. It also includes replacement of approximately half of the retail on the site.
* Any buildout of the site would be done in phases, likely over more than 20 years.
* The site is part of the Yonge Street North Planning Study, about which the City has already had several community meetings, with a final one coming up later this winter. Although the proposal includes many tall buildings, the proposed density is only 4.56 – less than other projects approved by the provincially-appointed Ontario Land Tribunal and much less than the 60 and 70-storey buildings proposed in Vaughan, just across Steeles.
* The Province not only requires the City to approve high density near subway stations, it will likely force the density higher by having its transit agency, Metrolinx, expropriate a large chunk of the site for subway construction. Metrolinx may then resell part of the site to developers at higher density than the City would support.
* Metrolinx is also expected to make a mess of the site by placing a large bus bay in a key part of it, off Yonge St. Up till now, the bus bay was shown to be underground – a much better, but more expensive, spot for it. Metrolinx is a provincial agency over which the City has no control.