Inspired by the local ravine network and Downsview Park, the lands will integrate green infrastructure, biodiverse habitat, gathering spaces, and play into the public realm to deliver on public health, ecosystem, sustainability, and resilience.

These lands will be knit back into the surrounding urban fabric with connections that will make it easy, convenient, and attractive for people to safely get around by walking, cycling, or taking transit. 

This will be an inclusive place for people at all stages of life—where knowledge, wealth, power, and economic opportunities are shared—and one which is resilient in the face of the challenges of today and tomorrow. 

Placemaking and placekeeping will acknowledge the legacy of aerospace innovation, reflect histories of Indigenous stewardship, and will be shaped by the dreams and cultures of the diverse residents that currently call Downsview home.

Future neighbourhoods will include vibrant public spaces and be inspired by the “15-minute City”, with everything accessible with a short walk, bike, or public transit ride. 

Sustainability and resilience will be built into every element of urban life—land use and mobility; water, energy, and landscape; architecture and technology; and social, cultural, and economic practices—to respond to the changing climate and create attractive places to live and work.

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Future neighbourhoods will include vibrant public spaces and be inspired by the “15-minute City”, with everything accessible with a short walk, bike, or public transit ride. 

Establishing Complete Connected Communities 
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Sustainability and resilience will be built into every element of urban life—land use and mobility; water, energy, and landscape; architecture and technology; and social, cultural, and economic practices—to respond to the changing climate and create attractive places to live and work.

Achieving Inherent Sustainability & Resilience
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Inspired by the local ravine network and Downsview Park, the lands will integrate green infrastructure, biodiverse habitat, gathering spaces, and play into the public realm to deliver on public health, ecosystem, sustainability, and resilience.

Cultivating City-Nature
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These lands will be knit back into the surrounding urban fabric with connections that will make it easy, convenient, and attractive for people to safely get around by walking, cycling, or taking transit. 

Connecting People & Places
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This will be an inclusive place for people at all stages of life—where knowledge, wealth, power, and economic opportunities are shared—and one which is resilient in the face of the challenges of today and tomorrow. 

Embedding Equity & Accessibility
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Placemaking and placekeeping will acknowledge the legacy of aerospace innovation, reflect histories of Indigenous stewardship, and will be shaped by the dreams and cultures of the diverse residents that currently call Downsview home.

Honouring the Uniqueness of the Place and Its People

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Learn more about these Principles on pages 14-15 of the Framework Plan.

 

The Plan establishes a flexible framework to guide the incremental redevelopment of these lands in collaboration with the local community, rights holders, and stakeholders. Over many decades, this Plan aims to achieve these 10 objectives:  (click to expand)

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What we're working on

A PROPOSED FRAMEWORK PLAN INFORMED BY PARTICIPANT FEEDBACK

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Following 16 months of engagement—and informed by extensive feedback from Downsview locals, Indigenous rights holders, and city-wide stakeholders—Northcrest and Canada Lands have developed a proposed Framework Plan for these lands at Downsview. The Plan will inform the amendment to the Secondary Plan for this area, so it may someday be the series of connected neighbourhoods that our participants have imagined.

 

The Framework Plan is a proposal and technical document that has been submitted to the City. Following their review, City staff will ask the community for feedback before updating the Downsview Area Secondary Plan.

A GUIDE TO OUR APPLICATION

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The Framework Plan is one part of an application to the City, which includes many documents.  All are public. You'll soon be able to access all the components of the application on the City’s website. We’ve provided a guide to understanding all the parts of our application on our Co-Learning pages, here.  


You can view the Framework Plan in its entirety here. You can also read details of the engagement feedback, which informed this Plan, in the Public Consultation Strategy Report. Below we provide highlights of the Framework Plan and how they relate to public policy and participant feedback.

A COMMUNITY-INFORMED PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

In particular, the Plan responds to participant calls for new parks and open spaces, connections, jobs and employment, and complete communities. It also acts on feedback concerning housing, biodiversity and nature-based solutions, food and urban agriculture, community services and facilities, Indigenous peacekeeping, equity and inclusion, and accountability and participation. Arts and culture, youth, heritage, and built form are also addressed following participant feedback.  

 

While some participants wanted little change, most were enthusiastic about growth and the possibilities for the future of this area. The Plan aims to bring the most benefits to this area as possible, while minimizing and mitigating the impacts of aspects that were discussed by participants as less desirable, like traffic and tall towers. 

The Framework Plan is simply a proposal. It is an exciting step, but only one in a decades-long process of reimagining this place in collaboration with Indigenous rights holders, Downsview neighbours, the City, and many others. 

 

The proposed Framework Plan for these lands is a response to the feedback received over three rounds of engagement. It is also shaped by a deep understanding of the local context and the City’s priorities and policies for this place, which greatly align with participant priorities and our priorities as landowners. 

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Drawing from participant and Council priorities, we have imagined these lands as a place to play, gather, explore, work, and innovate and where people and nature thrive and evolve together. To achieve this shared vision, the Framework Plan is guided by six overarching principles:

 
 
 

CONSIDERING LOCAL CONTEXT & HISTORY

The upcoming decommissioning of the Downsview Airport and site’s major transit connections provide a great opportunity to build new neighbourhoods, but the area is not a blank slate. Participants told us how important it is to take the local context and history into account. 

 

The proposal builds on connections to the ravine system and other surrounding open spaces, like Downsview Park, which will not be reduced in size. It leverages the area’s great connectivity—its three subway stations, Barrie GO line station, and proximity to the 401. The Plan also recognizes the challenges of the local area, including the great impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on this area of northwest Toronto. 

 

These lands have been inhabited for over 11,000 years and have deep Indigenous connections. Much more recently, this place has also been the site of military and aviation developments and innovations, suburban expansion, and recreation. These histories will be honoured through this project.  

Learn more about the local context and history in chapter 2 of the Framework Plan

PHYSICAL OPPORTUNITIES & CONSIDERATIONS

Local collaborations and participant engagement identified a number of opportunities to connect this place with its surroundings, including: 

Scroll to see all considerations 

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SUSTAINABILITY

COMMUNITY- BUILDING

MOBILITY

OPEN SPACE

PHASING

HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR PROPOSAL

 
 
 

Engagement remains essential!