What we're working on

A PLAN FOR COMPLETE, CONNECTED COMMUNITIES

ROUND 3

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Since we last shared our progress in fall 2020, our plans for Downsview have progressed based on participant feedback. At that time, we heard support for emerging ideas about parks, mixing residential and employment uses, building new connections, and reimagining these lands as a series of neighbourhoods.

 

We’ve been expanding on these ideas and have developed a vision with 10 key elements to guide our approach to these lands. The highlights of our plan are based on community feedback and can be grouped under two categories: public spaces and public infrastructure; and building vibrant neighbourhoods.

 

Have a look at the highlights below and share your thoughts. You can also download our Round Three Discussion Guide for more details.

Northcrest Developments, one of the two landowners collaborating in the id8 Downsview process, announced that a world-class film and television production studio is coming to our lands at Downsview—a $200M investment that will bring thousands of jobs!  Read more here.

ROUND 1

PUBLIC SPACES
& PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE

We know that public spaces and civic infrastructure are critical to vibrant and thriving communities. So, we’re planning complete, healthy neighbourhoods for all with vital new connections.

Active mobility network with better connections

New parks framework plan

100 acres of
new public parks
& open spaces

The need for public parks, nature, connections, community services and facilities, and arts and culture was raised repeatedly by participants. Public policy priorities are also clear about the requirement to deliver public assets and for landowners to financially contribute to public infrastructure—like parks, roads, community centres, libraries, etc.—that will ultimately be owned and operated by the City of Toronto.

Indigenous Placekeeping

Inherent in natural spaces

Indigenous spaces and land-based activities are important. Include Indigenous outdoor ceremonial space and spaces for sacred fire.

Incorporate Indigenous placekeeping efforts in architecture, landscape architecture, public art, commemoration and naming, public education, parks and open spaces, and dedicated cultural spaces and ceremonial spaces.

HIGHLIGHTS

STATUS TODAY

IDEAS FROM ROUND TWO

WHAT’S NEW IN ROUND THREE

Parks & Open Spaces

None

Downsview Park and William Baker woodlot are existing and important, and outside the application area

Network of new parks and open spaces connected to Downsview Park, the William Baker woodlot, and the ravine systems to link communities, provide habitat, support sustainability, and help shape the future identity of Downsview.

100 acres (40 hectares) of new connected parks and open spaces including neighbourhood parks, greenways, and connections to Downsview Park. Reimagine the runway as an important public space in the interim and as a destination in the long term. New residents will access open space within a 5-minute walk.

Connections

Limited

One GO line crossing at Carl Hall Road

More GO rail line crossings to connect east and west. People-first, complete street network. Improved connectivity and safe access for all modes—pedestrians, cyclists, and cars.

Four new GO rail line crossings: two vehicle/multi-modal and two to walk, bike, and roll across. Dufferin Street extended north through the site, and new north-south and east-west connections to surrounding neighbourhoods. Opportunities for transport beyond private vehicles.

Community Services & Facilities

None

Downsview Park is outside the application area

Participants want more facilities to support existing and new residents.

Financial support and land for a new Community Centre at Keele and Sheppard. Community Context Study has been prepared to understand local community priorities and guide civic infrastructure discussions. New facilities will be delivered over time.

Arts & Culture

None

Downsview Park is outside the application area

Participants said these are priorities.

Incorporate arts and culture in interim and in permanent installations. Activations will start this year (in partnership with local artists and the City) and continue while development unfolds.

CONNEC-TIONS

ARTS & CULTURE

COMMUNITY SERVICES
& FACILITIES

INDIGENOUS PLACE
KEEPING

HIGHLIGHTS

STATUS TODAY

IDEAS FROM ROUND TWO

WHAT’S NEW IN ROUND THREE

HIGHLIGHTS

STATUS TODAY

IDEAS FROM ROUND TWO

WHAT’S NEW IN ROUND THREE

HIGHLIGHTS

STATUS TODAY

IDEAS FROM ROUND TWO

WHAT’S NEW IN ROUND THREE

HIGHLIGHTS

STATUS TODAY

IDEAS FROM ROUND TWO

WHAT’S NEW IN ROUND THREE

PARKS &
OPEN SPACES

Artist renderings, for illustrative purposes only

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Participants have been clear; we need to bring good jobs and more jobs to the area. The City of Toronto’s policy for employment requires that, at a minimum, existing space for jobs will increase fourfold. A range of housing options has also been identified as a need by participants and City Council alike, especially as Toronto is expected to grow by over 700,000 people over the next 30 years. And all development needs to be sustainable.

15-minute neighbourhoods

BUILDING VIBRANT NEIGHBOURHOODS

Supporting great places to live, work, and play has been at the heart of our thinking since the beginning. Our plans for neighbourhoods also continue to prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusivity.

Space for business and jobs

3 million square feet of employment space

Attract top talent, harness innovation, ensure compatibility with existing and future residential neighbourhoods, and support meaningful and valuable jobs for a strong local workforce.

Minimum 12 million square feet of employment space—a fourfold increase of what exists today. Prioritize workforce development and education to provide a range of jobs and training, especially for Indigenous peoples, local residents and youth, in collaboration with local organizations.

HIGHLIGHTS

STATUS TODAY

IDEAS FROM ROUND TWO

WHAT’S NEW IN ROUND THREE

Housing diversity
& affordability

None

Enable communities that are multi-generational and diverse. Locate housing with shops and services that are walkable and convenient. Deeply affordable housing needed for Indigenous peoples.

New housing supply that supports City policy and vision for a diversity of housing for young to old, in all types and sizes, as well as looking at affordability and implementing the City’s Large Site Policy Options, such as conveying 20% affordable housing, or equivalent measures.

Heritage

Limited number of existing buildings

Recognize heritage, including Indigenous ways of knowing and ways of being.

Repurpose existing buildings and heritage assets. Engage Indigenous voices to inform the built and natural environment with Indigenous values, history, and living culture.

Sustainability

More can be done

Downsview Park brings best practices in water management and habitat regeneration and is outside the  application area

Development that is designed for all seasons, integrates the water cycle into everyday life, creates habitats for local species, considers sunlight and shade, provides health benefits, and will not contribute to basement flooding.

A new standard for urban development that integrates urban and natural systems in a concept we call City Nature, using climate respon­sive design, innovative stormwater man­agement, and enriched natural habitat. Stormwater will be managed and will not contribute to basement flooding.  

Built form

Limited number of existing low-rise buildings

We know a certain amount of density is needed to make it possible for mixed-use development that enables residents to meet most of their everyday needs locally by foot, bike, or transit.

Comfortable scale. New buildings will be predominantly midrise (up to 14 storeys), with higher buildings closer to transit stations and at key intersections. Transitions will respect existing neighbourhoods. This will support exceptional transit-oriented communities.

HIGHLIGHTS

STATUS TODAY

IDEAS FROM ROUND TWO

WHAT’S NEW IN ROUND THREE

HIGHLIGHTS

STATUS TODAY

IDEAS FROM ROUND TWO

WHAT’S NEW IN ROUND THREE

HIGHLIGHTS

STATUS TODAY

IDEAS FROM ROUND TWO

WHAT’S NEW IN ROUND THREE

HIGHLIGHTS

STATUS TODAY

IDEAS FROM ROUND TWO

WHAT’S NEW IN ROUND THREE

SPACE FOR BUSINESS
& JOBS

HOUSING
DIVERSITY & AFFORD-
ABILITY

HERITAGE

SUSTAIN-ABILITY

BUILT
FORM

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Complete Community

Artist renderings, for illustrative purposes only

PHASING & INTERIM USES IN THE DECADES TO COME

This is a big area. We’re going to take time to develop these lands using a thoughtful, step-by-step approach that prioritizes collaboration, so that our decisions continue to be informed by community and stakeholder priorities, as well as public policy priorities and our priorities as landowners. Just as the neighbourhoods around Downsview were built over time, this plan will likely take over 30 years to fully implement.

Downsview_CE3 Framework Plan_FIRST PHASE

Beginning with three neighbourhoods enables us to start close to transit (Downsview Park and Wilson Stations) and support the creation of new jobs—including in the existing Bombardier hangars, which will be repurposed. These first steps will likely take several years to realize.

We are also working on plans to animate the lands in the interim with local arts, activities, and culture. 

While we focus on these neighbourhoods, we want to keep the rest of the area lively and interesting with engaging uses that attract people to the site. Interim uses also give us a chance to test and grow concepts—the best of which can ultimately be incorporated into the permanent development.

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Campus Corridor

Artist renderings, for illustrative purposes only

Share your thoughts on our plans