Density, Lifestyle, Efficiency Good For The Toronto Midtown Office Market
City of Toronto Planning Department conducted a land use study on public and private land adjacent to Eglinton Avenue East/West from Jane Street to Kennedy Road. The program called “Eglinton Connects” culminated in a change to zoning of privately owned properties as well as design and standards set for roadways, public transit corridors, walkways, cycling paths and other public areas.
The Eglinton Connects recognizes the development potential resulting from the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which is being constructed by Metrolinx, mandated by the Ontario government to expand public transit infrastructure in the Greater Toronto Area with $50 Billion of capital investment.
The City of Toronto wanted a comprehensive vision for the future of Eglinton, including configuration of roadways, pedestrian walkways, and bicycle lanes as well as increased density of structures of varying types in many areas. Office space users and the owners of office buildings will directly benefit from much of the public funded development and by-law changes. It will be easier for an office worker to get around and outside their office building will be a much more inviting, inspiring, user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing environment.
Eglinton Crosstown LRT, a light rail transit line that will be underground as it crosses the Yonge Subway Line and connected to the Yonge-Eglinton TTC Station will eliminate a great number of bus routes travelling on Eglinton Avenue, both East and West from Yonge Street and that currently intensify as they approach Yonge Street. Yonge-Eglinton Station is currently one of the main bus terminals for the TTC. This reduction in bus traffic is an opportunity to recapture some of the public domain in front of office buildings for more street front and pedestrian uses.
Consequently, the plan is to reduce Eglinton to one lane in each direction at Yonge Street for vehicular traffic, progressively widening the roadway to 3 and then 4 lanes before Mount Pleasant Road to the east and Avenue Road when driving westbound.
Many owners of property fronting onto sections of Eglinton Avenue East/West, especially in more urban areas will be allowed to build much larger structures. In some cases, where on or 2-storey detached residential dwellings are currently located, a nine-storey building will be allowed to be built.
The first phase of the plan were approved by City Council earlier this year and so we should begin to see the positive changes over the balance of this decade.