My girlfriend and I live in the Wallace and Emerson area, and over the past few years this part of the city has realized significant changes. One joke we make constantly is how our neighborhood mall was left in the 70’s ,however the Reimagine Galleria (Mall) project promises to change this.
We love the area for it’s diversity, as one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in in the country. And as neighborhood which is changing everyday, its interesting to see it’s progress. As usual, those changes include new condo developments, fuelled by the provinces policy of intensification. Reimagine Galleria (Mall) is an example of such intensification.
The developments in this area also include a proposal brought forward by Freed Developments and Elad Developments. Their development proposal would see the complete demolition and reconstruction of the area where the mall currently stands at Dupont and Dufferin.
Thanks to Reimagine Galleria, they provided a vast amount of information regarding their plans which Ive pasted below, and you can also go to their website to learn more. Perhaps my only worry is that prices will rise as a result. The increased functionality and land use efficiency means this area will be one of the desired areas to live in. However, the new plan also includes affordable housing, and so it should because such drastic gentrification will relocate many people due to increased rents/housing prices.
Share your thoughts in the comments section!!
PRE-1970s – INDUSTRIAL PAST
Dupont was built parallel to the CPR rail line, which offered easy access to goods movement for the factories that sprang up along the corridor. Previously referred to as both Van Horne and Royce Street, Dupont once boasted a Ford Model T factory and showroom at Christie Street with the Evening Telegram building located across the street, the Hamilton Gear plant at Dovercourt Road, and the abandoned Mono Lino Typesetting building near Howland Avenue. Over time, shops and businesses that served the adjacent residential neighbourhoods began to locate on the corridor, including the former Royce Theatre. The recent growth of creative industries and tech-sector businesses in the area are true to Dupont’s legacy as a place where things were made.
1972 – GALLERIA MALL – ONE OF TORONTO’S FIRST ENCLOSED MALLS
The Galleria Mall opened in 1972 as a neighbourhood shopping plaza. The mall had a large draw because of the fact that it was one of Toronto’s first enclosed malls. The mall was a popular destination for the area’s predominantly Italian shoppers and business owners. As the demographics of the area evolved,
2000s – GALLERIA MALL – AN AGING MALL USED AS A LOCAL COMMUNITY HUB
Galleria has not seen many updates since it originally opened. The mall is pockmarked by vacancies, many of the mall’s amenities and retail spaces are out of date, and its built form is no longer consistent with current best practices in land use planning and urban design. Despite its current condition, the site serves an important social role. The large central court serves as a gathering area for the local community.
2004 ENTITLEMENT PLAN – CURRENT RESIDENTIAL PERMISSIONS
In 2004, the former land owners undertook an approvals process to permit the redevelopment of the site as a series of residential properties with ancillary retail uses. The current permissions allow the Galleria Mall site to be replaced with six towers ranging in height from 6- to 19-storeys and containing 1,600 residential units, as well as twenty 31⁄2-storey stacked townhouses on the western edge of the property. The configuration includes four new public streets, approximately 0.55 ha of parkland, and 1,449 below-grade parking spaces. The plan reduces the amount of retail on the site to roughly 38,750 sq. ft, just 15% of the amount of retail currently supported by the property
THE MASTER PLAN WILL PROVIDE:
(321,970 ft2) retail GFA
(68,792 ft2) office GFA
(51,000 ft2) Community Centre
ESTABLISH A NEW DIAGONAL STREET TO CONNECT KEY DESIRE LINES
A new street will be introduced to provide a direct route from Dufferin to Dupont while maximizing public frontage onto Wallace Emerson Park.
ENHANCE PUBLIC PARK AND REIMAGINE THE COMMUNITY CENTRE USING ALL THE LANDS SOUTH OF THE NEW DIAGONAL STREET
Wallace Emerson Park will be expanded and reconfigured with a cohesive vision and comprehensive program to provide a full-range of spaces for active and passive recreation, sports and leisure, as well as improve access and safety.
PROVIDE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BRING TRANSIT INTO THE REIMAGINE GALLERIA SITE
The new diagonal street and new north-south public street will provide the opportunity for transit to be brought into the site in closer proximity to the retail and new civic heart of the development.
CREATE 5-POINTS PLAZA, A CENTRAL GATHERING SPACE AT THE HEART OF THE REIMAGINE GALLERIA SITE
A central gathering space will be created to formalize the existing nature of the mall as a social space for everyone in the community.
PROVIDE A MIX OF USES
The Reimagine Galleria redevelopment will include a diversity of non-residential uses including anchor retail tenants, local businesses and office uses. Housing will be provided in a range of sizes and tenures.
A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR CITY BUILDING
The Reimagine Galleria site is one of only a few significantly sized mixed-use sites in the west end of Toronto offering potential for major transformation and city-building, located 850m away from Dufferin Station and 1.2km from the Union Pearson Express.
Wallace Emerson Park plays a key role in the vitality and vibrancy of the neighbourhood. The Master Plan proposes a significant investment in this fundamental public asset by adding 9,000 sq. m. to the parkland, and re-envisions the park to be an integral part of the present and future community.
Reconsidering movement around the site. The new version for the Reimagine Galleria site consists of a cyclist and pedestrian first community, while also creating new roadways to facilitate the efficient movement of cars and public transit service into and around the site. Several pedestrian-oriented pathways, will provide connect with existing routes surrounding the area in order to foster a true multi-modal community.
The new vision for Galleria offers a diverse range of open spaces, including a large park, linear landscapes, plazas, small greens, and a series of gateways. Building a socially connected community is important, which is why the plan offers a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces for informal and formal community gatherings. At the heart of the Reimagine Galleria site is a 5-Points Plaza, a flexible and inviting gathering space that celebrates the community node legacy of the Galleria Shopping Centre that exists today.
A NEW RETAIL EXPERIENCE
Although outdated, the current mall serves an important retail destination for the community. Our vision to build on this success by creating a shopping destination with high quality street treatments, inspired public art, and a large variety of shops. The retail experience is conceived to enable year-round activity, creating vibrant atmosphere for shopping and socializing. A range of retail footprint sizes will support a creative mix of small business and established brands, ensuring both daily needs and specialty interests are met. Retail spaces will be located on the first floor and second storeys of buildings, with space reserved for vital community amenities like a grocery store, liquor store, and pharmacy.
The Terraces will provide a dynamic gateway into the site from Dupont Street. The varied storefronts and generous boulevards will be situated on a street that accommodates pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, ensuring a safe and pleasant atmosphere for the Reimagine Galleria community.
A WORLD CLASS COMMUNITY CENTRE
The Wallace Emerson Community Centre plays a vital role in the social vibrancy and vitality of Reimagine Galleria. The proposal for Reimagine Galleria envisions a New Community Centre, which will offer increases in terms of size and amenity for the community. The proposed Community centre is a model of Social Progress and City Building, capable of offering a larger menu of activities and integrating housing into the building.
A COMPLETE COMMUNITY
Reimagine Galleria is a vibrant, mixed-use development that responds to the varying needs of the community by offering a range of housing options, a new community centre, a larger and reprogrammed public park, a mix of retail and office uses, and a variety community amenities.