Toronto's newest large-scale developments are bringing more to the city than just clusters of condo towers plopped down on a site with few amenities. More and more, these projects are being envisioned as master plans with significant attention to community features and retail space.
One of the better examples is Bloor & Dufferin, a new development from Capital Developments and Metropia, which will completely reshape a site that's currently home to defunct public schools Kent School and Bloor Collegiate.
Students of the latter school will find a home in the refurbished Brockton High School to the southwest at Croatia and Brock Street at the outset of the new school year, while the existing structure will be demolished to make way for the mixed use development.
According to the early plans, Kent School, which has been around since 1908, would be refurbished to serve as a community arts hub. Right now, plans call for a space that's at least 30,000 square feet.
Beside it, concept renderings show a park and public square, which would act as a community gathering point, something that the neighbourhood currently lacks beyond Dufferin Grove Park.
Surrounding these community amenities would be a series of condos with retail at grade. It's common, of course, to put retail at the bottom of residential towers, but the architects and planners here (which include some impressive names) envision greater integration via the creation of two new streets.
They would roughly correspond to the locations of Russet and Pauline avenues and extend them south, though likely with new names (one of them has already been pegged as "High Street").
Right now, the defunct schools act as a wall between Bloor Street and the area to the south, so the addition of retail-lined thoroughfares would completely revamp the Bloordale neighbourhood.
Public consultations for this project have just begun, so plenty can change before there are shovels in the ground, but right now the concept plans promise an exciting revamp of a site that's currently just a black hole in a vibrant neighbourhood.
by Derek Flack via blogTO
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