Scarborough’s Golden Mile is in store for nothing short of a massive overhaul, as big names in the development game continue to hone in on the scant retail plazas, industrial low-rises, and sprawling parking lots that have long characterized the area.

RioCan is one of those big names. Earlier this month, the real estate development giant put plans in motion for 47- and 44-storey towers, which the company is proposing for 1980 Eglinton Avenue East. Pending Toronto City Council’s go-ahead, those two towers would mark the first of four phases in a larger master-planned project from RioCan, the likes of which is expected to deliver seven new buildings and a public park over five development blocks.

According to a planning letter uploaded to the City’s online development portal in early April, the master-planned community in its entirety would replace an existing shopping plaza, which is located on the north side of Eglinton Ave East, south of Ashtonbee Road and to the west of Thermos Road. The site is coined in the letter as an “under-utilized, car‐oriented shopping centre use with a comprehensively planned, transit‐ oriented, mixed‐use community complete with significant public realm improvements.”

Scarborough golden mile riocanKirkor Architects

The letter also states that the future Kirkor Architects-designed development “takes its influence and inspiration from England’s Golden Mile,” which they note is characterized by “factories built with art deco inspired architectural expression and design,” as well as “simple facades complete with strong vertical expression and architectural symmetry.”

The letter further explains that the 47‐ and 44-storey buildings are planned to be “bisected by a landscaped walkway that extends north‐south,” and will comprise of 491 condo units and 467 rental units, respectively, over 63,301 sq. m of residential gross floor area (GFA). The latter building in particular is planned to contain 34 affordable rental units. In addition, a retail component has been proposed over 1,140 sq. m of GFA.

This project from RioCan will be in good (and high-profile) company. In the last few years, we’ve seen big-ticket developers like Dream Unlimited, CentreCourt, Choice Properties, and Daniels Corporation set their sights on Scarborough’s Golden Mile. And then there's the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which, upon fruition, is certain to increase the connectivity and marketability of the area. Suffice to say, the landscape of the Golden Mile in the years to come will soon be a very far cry from what it is today.

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