SmartCentres Bringing Mixed-Use Intensification to 2501 Victoria Park

Source: UrbanToronto

A property at the meeting point of North York and Scarborough, on Victoria Park Avenue north of Highway 401, is the latest Toronto redevelopment proposal in SmartCentres REIT’s program to reimagine their land assets with mixed-use redevelopments. Currently home to a low-rise plaza and its parking lot, the 5,066 m² site at 2501 Victoria Park is planned to be intensified with a new mid-rise residential building with retail at grade from SmartCentres’ new residential sub-brand, SmartLiving.

2501 Victoria Park, SmartCentres REIT, Rafael + Bigauskus Architects, TorontoSite of 2501 Victoria Park, image courtesy of SmartCentres

Submitted to the City for Zoning By-Law Amendment last month, the proposal calls for an 11-storey mid-rise with retail at the base and 354 residential units above. Designed by Rafael + Bigauskas Architects, the building would take on a U-shaped massing, forming a six-storey street-wall along Victoria Park. To the east, terraces taper the building down to the height of the adjacent Faith Miracle Temple of Toronto and low-rise residential uses across Meadowacres Drive.

2501 Victoria Park, SmartCentres REIT, Rafael + Bigauskus Architects, Toronto2501 Victoria Park, image courtesy of SmartCentres

From a massing perspective, the project’s mid-rise scale is meant to form an eastern bookend to the emerging reinvestment area where eastern North York meets Scarborough, while creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment with retail fronting the public realm and opening up to the south towards the existing Farmcrest Parkette, replacing the car-centric retail that exists today. Similarly, the three surrounding side street frontages would be animated with residential uses, on frontages currently occupied by surface parking and unadorned rear facades.

2501 Victoria Park, SmartCentres REIT, Rafael + Bigauskus Architects, TorontoLooking west over 2501 Victoria Park, image courtesy of SmartCentres

The proposed overall gross floor area (GFA) of 32,017 m² is broken down into 512 m² of ground-floor retail space and 31,505 m² of residential space. Residential space—representing 98% of the GFA—is divided into 354 units, planned in a range of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units including a selection of ground-floor townhomes with private entrances.

Parking for the development is to be split above- and below-grade, with 66 spaces housed above grade and 111 spaces on a single-level underground. The above-grade parking is to be wrapped in retail spaces to the west, and townhome units to the north, south, and east, hiding the parking from passersby. Of the total 177 parking spaces, 142 are resident spaces and 35 are visitor spaces. The ground floor is also planned to house 271 bicycle parking spaces in a mix of 242 long-term and 29 short-term spaces.