FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is your vision for this development at Downsview?


We want to create a truly complete community on the 520 acres of mostly vacant land at the Downsview site. A complete community is one that includes robust employment opportunities, drawing new businesses and well-paying jobs for today and tomorrow. It’s one that also adds shops, schools, and other amenities. One that draws new family homes and badly needed affordable housing. One that enhances Downsview Park, making it the beating heart of this new community.

Importantly, it’s one that we take the time to get right, by involving those who live nearby, consulting broadly across the entire city and working step-by-step through the process with city planners and other government agencies. This is an effort we’ve started, but that will take decades to complete.




3. Who is in charge of this development of the Downsview site?


Northcrest Developments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), and Canada Lands Company, a federal Crown corporation with expertise in real estate development and attractions management, are working together to create a planning framework for the future of the site. This makes us different kinds of owners than what many might imagine. We are getting started on what will be a decades-long undertaking and we want to make sure it thrives and grows to everyone’s benefit including current residents. But we’re committed to doing the hard work required to realize the vision. We’ll involve those who live nearby, consult broadly across the entire city and work step-by-step through the process with city planners and other government agencies.




2. What will change? How will it be different in the future?


Changes are coming to Downsview already. The airport that’s been on site for decades is set to close in 2023. Our focus is on ensuring that we bring changes in a sustainable way – in phases and over time. Working step-by-step with stakeholders.

Our vision is for a complete community. A complete community is one that includes robust employment opportunities, drawing new businesses and well-paying jobs for today and tomorrow. It’s one that also adds shops, schools, and other amenities. One that draws new family homes and badly needed affordable housing. Importantly, it’s one that enhances Downsview Park, making it the beating heart of this new community.

It won’t happen overnight. Nor should it. We’ll involve those who live nearby, consult broadly across the entire city and work step-by-step through the process with city planners and other government agencies.




4. How will development of the Downsview site make life better for the local community – and for the city?


There is an enormous opportunity to create something truly exciting here that works both for the local community and the city as a whole. The airport is leaving in 2023. Three subway stops and a GO Station adjacent to the site are under-utilized. There are roughly 520 acres of mostly vacant land. The opportunity exists to create a truly complete community – one that includes robust employment opportunities, drawing new businesses and well-paying jobs for today and tomorrow. It’s one that also adds shops, schools, and other amenities. One that draws new family homes and badly needed affordable housing. Importantly, it’s one that enhances Downsview Park, making it the beating heart of this new community.

We’re also aware that ensuring that our project creates better connections through the site is important to many people in the surrounding neighbourhoods. We’re committed to creating better connections for people, regardless of the kind of transportation they choose.

We’re committed to doing the hard work required to realize the vision. We’ll involve those who live nearby, consult broadly across the entire city and work step-by-step through the process with city planners and other government agencies.




5. How long will the development of the Downsview site take?


This is an effort we’ve started now but it’s one that will take decades to complete. One set of changes will start in 2023 when we know that the airport is scheduled to leave. Even before then, we will work hard to see what opportunities exist to draw new employers to the site so that we can continue to maintain good, well-paying jobs in the area. Eventually, we’ll hopefully start to see the growth of a truly complete community – with family homes, schools, affordable housing, shops and other amenities. But it will take years and years – and we’ll want to take that time to get all the proper approvals, and to consult broadly.




6. Is this a done deal? Is there any real chance for local residents, and others, to affect the development plans?


This is a long-term undertaking with multiple phases of approval and many avenues for consultation and input. We are creating a number of opportunities for people and organizations with an interest in the area to engage in the process. There will also be opportunities initiated as part of the City’s process to gather additional input from the community. For more information on these many opportunities to provide your input into the project’s planning and to identify which would work best for you, visit our Participate page.




7. What happens to Downsview Park?


Downsview Park is at the centrepiece of our plans for the future and we absolutely see it as the beating heart of this new community.

The size of the park will not change. Canada Lands is continuing to invest in the park. Two projects this year include the beginning of the relocation of the urban farm to the new agriculture campus at the south end of the park.

The campus is a part of the original vision for Downsview Park and we’re excited that it’s moving to its permanent location after a few years of successful piloting at the north end. We’re also constructing a dog park right now, something our neighbours have told us they would really like to have.




8. What happens to the industry on site – like aerospace and others? Will that all be gone?


Downsview has been associated with aerospace for decades. It’s a proud tradition and, as owners, we are supporting efforts to make it part of the site’s future. Our hope is to draw new employers to the site also. Certainly, our plans include ensuring a substantial portion of this site remains for employment purposes and we’re committed to working hard to attract and support well-paying jobs, locally.




9. Will we end up with just another big grouping of condo towers?


Our vision is for a complete community - jobs, homes, amenities, the composition of what that community looks like will be shaped through input from different voices and points of view, as well the City’s policy and requirements. With the myriad of transit options around the site, we can expect many people will want to live and work here, however it’s too soon in the process to speculate on the number of people who will call Downsview home, or the precise shape it will take.




10. Will there be affordable housing in this new community?


We understand that any new development needs to help address Toronto’s housing crisis. This means that planning for new housing will include planning for affordable homes as part of building complete communities.




11. Won’t development mean that the whole area will be paralyzed with construction and building for decades?


We are working closely with those who live nearby to ensure that we listen to their points of view; to understand the current context, and to inform our future plans, including our construction plans. We will work with the City, public agencies and our construction management to prepare plans that enable the community to continue to function, to provide travel routes, and to mitigate construction impacts as much as possible. This project will unfold over decades, not just years.




12. How are you thinking about other projects currently being planned in the surrounding neighbourhoods, like CLC’s planning for the Stanley Greene and William Baker District?


The William Baker District Plan is now underway in a separate process. The plan for the William Baker neighbourhood takes into account the future connections to the id8 Downsview planning area, while the id8 process will take into account connections with all surrounding neighbourhoods, including William Baker. It is primarily a residential neighbourhood with local retail and parks and is being planned for a great fit with the surrounding neighbourhoods.




13. What guarantees are there that all these promises made now don’t get broken somewhere down the road?


We’re committed to doing the hard work to realize the vision and see it adopted by the City through an amendment to the Downsview Area Secondary Plan. We’ll involve those who live nearby, consult broadly across the entire city and work step-by-step through the process with city planners and other government agencies. The reality is that a project of this significance must receive multiple approvals along the way, over the long term. You can be sure that City Council and others will make certain to hold us to our obligations – as they should.




14. How long before we start to see changes or construction?


We are in the early stages of consultations and there are many stages of approvals before anything would proceed. It will be years before construction of the new neighbourhoods will begin. That said, there could be some near-term activity if we’re successful in drawing new employers to the site – which is a high priority for both the near- and long-terms.




15. Will COVID put all these plans and timing at risk?


The pandemic is affecting some of our plans. We have had to shift our consultations online to avoid in-person contact. And obviously, the prospects for an economic downturn may affect the pace of the project. That said, our work to prepare a long-term vision for the site is not impacted at this time.





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CONTACT

info@id8downsview.ca 

647-245-3399

We acknowledge that the Downsview lands are on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit who signed Treaty 13 (1805), and that these lands have also been the historic homelands of the Huron Wendat and Haudenosaunee people.