SmartCentres plans transit-oriented community at Caledonia Station

Source: UrbanToronto

The transformation that the Eglinton Line 5 Crosstown LRT is bringing to Midtown Toronto is simply astounding. From its western terminus at Mount Dennis to its eastern terminus at Kennedy, tens of thousands of new residential units are planned along its route as part of a long list of master-planned communities, all of which are looking to transform the many under-utilized properties along Eglinton into complete transit-oriented neighbourhoods. One such property is SmartCentres’ Westside Mall, located at 2400 Eglinton West near Caledonia Road, where SmartCentres REIT, under its residential sub-brand SmartLiving, have big plans to establish a new transit-oriented community directly adjacent to the new Caledonia transit station.

The property is currently home to Westside Mall, a big box retail plaza housing several establishments including FreshCo and Canadian Tire. SmartCentres is planning to transform the existing retail plaza with a phased development that includes 8 new mixed-use residential towers ranging in height from 24 to 60 storeys and two new 8-storey residential mid-rises, along with a new public park proposed to be over one acre in size. In total, 4,045 residential units are planned, with a variety of local and large-format retail spread out across the podiums of the towers.

The master plan is designed by Turner Fleischer Architects and advances SmartCentres’ vision of evolving its properties from shopping centres to city centres. They are embarking on a significant redevelopment campaign for many of their properties across the country, with the aim of establishing complete communities adjacent to major transit nodes that align with provincial and municipal planning policies. 

The defining feature of the 2400 Eglinton West community is its proximity to the new multi-modal Caledonia transit hub, conveniently located at the south end of their property, which provides a rare variety of transit options to travel downtown, crosstown, and uptown. The Caledonia station will be a part of TTC’s Line 5 along Eglinton, while a new Caledonia GO train station on the Barrie Line is also under construction next to it, with a direct pedestrian connection to Line 5. As well, the transit hub will serve several bus routes, including north-south routes that connect to the TTC’s Bloor Line 2 at Lansdowne and Keele stations.

Through it all, retail is still at the core of SmartCentres’ business and forms an integral component of the communities they build. In developing its vision and master plan for Westside Mall, SmartCentres is working closely with its current retail tenant partners to ensure that the majority of the shops and businesses can continue to serve the local community during and after the redevelopment. They have also confirmed that a grocery retail establishment is included as part of the master plan.

SmartCentres have been working closely with the City of Toronto, Metrolinx, and the local community to create a master plan that is beneficial to all. They have ensured that the new transit hub is integrated seamlessly into the plan and not just treated as an afterthought, with pedestrian routes and the new public park directly connecting to the stations. The master plan has a heavy focus on the pedestrian realm and connectivity, with a new street grid proposed which includes a pedestrian-only connection leading to the transit station. The park is situated near the centre of the site and fronts directly onto Eglinton, becoming the heart of the neighbourhood with the towers arranged around it. A total of 88,000 ft² of indoor amenities and 50,000 ft² of outdoor amenities are also planned.

SmartCentres are also working with the City to include community-oriented uses within the master plan. It is not defined yet exactly what these would be, but the latest rezoning submission shows a potential daycare within one of the towers. Collaboration in that regard is ongoing with the local community and City staff.

The master plan is still in the early design stages, but SmartCentres have already submitted a rezoning application for the first tower of the community, located in the southwest corner of the site. The Phase 1 tower is currently proposed at 35 storeys, with retail at ground level and just under 400 residential units. The tower will replace the small partially-vacant retail building at that location, and SmartCentres is currently working closely with the existing tenants to ensure continuity. 

The exact number and mix of residential units across the master plan is still in flux, so it is unknown at this time how much rental will be included or how many bedrooms each unit will have. The size and location of the retail is also evolving as consultations continue, and many of these decisions may be adjusted based on future market conditions as each phase of the master plan is built out. Regardless, the focus of the master plan will always be liveability for its occupants and connectivity to transit. SmartCentres are continuing to transform their shopping centres into city centres, and Westside Mall offers a unique opportunity to establish a complete community directly adjacent to a major multi-modal transit hub.

Here’s why The Millway by SmartLiving is the most stylish new development in the GTA

Source: BlogTO

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and even Toronto itself, is known for the massive amount of new developments constantly sprouting up — whether that be condos or apartments.

But a brand new development that’s just a stone’s throw away from the city is quickly becoming known for its sophisticated and stylish atmosphere — and its suites are ready to be snapped up quickly.

Rendering of a one acre park outside a purpose built rental apartment building in Vaughan Ontario

Introducing The Millway in Vaughan’s new downtown core, a 100-acre, master-planned and pedestrian-focused community that really stands out. 

Brought to you by SmartLiving, The Millway has absolutely everything a renter dreams of, located at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre at Highway 7 and Jane Street in SmartVMC. 

Interior photograph of a one bedroom rental apartment in Vaughan Ontario

Suites at The Millway are crafted with modern design in mind and feature top-of-the-line finishes including stainless steel appliances, in-suite washer and dryer units, and laminate flooring.

From lavish amenities and ample green spaces to bespoke suites and living spaces, here are just a couple of factors that should put The Millway on your radar.

Luxurious amenities

An elevated rental experience means you’re not just getting any run-of-the-mill gym or apartment party room. At The Millway, luxury is the name of the game.

Rendering of a luxurious condominium gymnasium

That means you can sweat it out in their yoga studio, get in your steps with a lap on their indoor running track, or bask in the sun in The Millway’s outdoor infinity pool.

Regardless of how you stay active, this development has 24,000 square feet of super amenities that scream rest and relaxation.

If that isn’t enough to get you fit, you can also count on the cardio and weight training area, K2 ultimate training centre or squash court to deliver the best workout experience — no gym membership required.

City living without compromise

One of the main reasons people decide (and pay exorbitantly) to live in a city is because of its bustling dining experience, top employers and maintained facilities.

SmartLiving has taken all of these factors and actually built The Millway around them, providing city living without the traffic, noise or cost.

Rendering of BUCA restaurant in Vaughan Ontario

Residents can experience fine dining at the now open Buca location, one of the best Italian restaurants in Toronto, or sip a chai latte at the trendy Balzac’s Cafe at SmartVMC.

Top employers are just steps away, like KPMG, PwC, Miller Thomson, GFL and more, which can help chop your commute down from hours to minutes.

Don’t forget there are plenty of activities to do in the area, like getting blown away by Canada’s largest LED art gallery, the PXL Gallery; taking a stroll down along ArtWalk Murals, a 30,000-square-foot mural painted by renowned artists; or relaxing in Transit Square, a 49,000-square-foot public space.

You’re also steps from a local YMCA and multiple library locations.

Sense of reliability and safety

The Millway by SmartLiving is one of the best places to rent for many reasons besides the amenities. With decades of experience, SmartLiving is an industry leader in providing security of tenure.

Rendering of people playing squash at The Millway

Unlike dealing with your typical city landlord, you won’t have to worry about your apartment selling without your knowledge or any forced move-outs.

Plus there are no down payments, mortgages, maintenance fees or property taxes, which means your money stays in your pocket.

Their concierge property management delivers a professional, reliable and immediate response to all of your needs while state-of-the-art security in a touch-free and pet-friendly building promises the highest level of safety.

Connectivity at your doorstep

At The Millway, you’re not just steps away from an interconnected transportation centre, you’re living in it — thanks to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre TTC across the street.

Just a 30-minute subway ride will whisk you into the heart of Toronto, and a 40-minute ride will take you to Union Station.

Photograph of a TTC subway car arriving at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station

A five-minute subway line will drop you off at York University while a 15-minute trip will have you shopping at Yorkdale Mall. And, literally 450 meters away is the VIVA Station, which provides a rapid connection to Markham, Richmond Hill, Newmarket and Brampton.

The Millway is right across the street from the SmartVMC Bus Terminal, which offers YRT, VIVA, ZUM and GO transfers — so you can keep that car in the parking garage for a real road trip.

Nine-acre park designed by renowned landscape architects

One of the jewels of The Millway is their gorgeous and gigantic planned park, which will come together under the meticulous hand of Claude Cormier + Associates.

Not familiar? The firm is known for projects including creating Sugar Beach, Berczy Park and the Leslie Slip Lookout Park. 

Rendering of a 9-acre park

Once completed, the nine-acre park will boast a sunken lawn for community sports, markets and concerts, a dog park, a sky fountain, outdoor patios, a civic square and trails.

The Millway by SmartLiving is now available for rent, with model suites that just opened for viewing. To learn more about the GTA’s hottest development, make sure to visit The Millway’s open house every weekend or book an appointment on their website.

SmartCentres Proposes Landmark High Rise at Yonge and Wellington

Source: UrbanToronto

A new tower is set to rise at Yonge and Wellington that will grace the skyline of Toronto’s growing Financial District. SmartLiving, the residential sub brand of SmartCentres REIT, is proposing a redevelopment at 49-51 Yonge Street. Currently home to a restaurant and offices, the pair of heritage buildings will be preserved and transformed into the base of a new 60-storey mixed-use tower designed by architects–Alliance.

49-51 Yonge Street, SmartCentres REIT, architects–Alliance, SmartLiving, GBCA Architects, Toronto
Close-up of the base of the tower, image courtesy of SmartLiving.

The proposed building will contain over 1,700m² of commercial office space located on Levels 2 through 5, a slight increase from the existing commercial space currently on the site. The residential portion of the tower above will contain 258 condominium units in a variety of sizes, ranging from one to three bedrooms. Amenity spaces are proposed for the 6th, 21st, and 22nd floors, including a pair of outdoor terraces on the 22nd level. Given the site’s transit connectivity — situated between King and Union TTC subway stations and close to GO transit lines — and its Yonge Street location, there are no vehicular parking spaces proposed in the development; however, 284 bicycle spaces will be provided on two below-grade levels, promoting a more sustainable mode of transit for residents.

Heritage plays a prominent role in the proposal with an emphasis on the relationship between the new tower and its heritage base. Currently existing on the site are two heritage buildings: 49 Yonge, a 4-storey office building with a ground-floor restaurant constructed in 1875; and 51 Yonge, a 4-storey office building constructed in 1847. Focusing first and foremost on preservation, protection, and enhancement of the heritage, the team is committed to redefining a landmark property that is recognizable both on the ground and in the skyline. Both buildings’ exterior elements will be retained as part of the development, and both have informed the design of the new tower rising above.

49-51 Yonge Street, SmartCentres REIT, architects–Alliance, SmartLiving, GBCA Architects, Toronto
Context map, image courtesy of SmartLiving (Mapview data from Google LLC).

Working with heritage specialist GBCA Architects, the heritage exteriors will be carefully restored in situ, with the limestone cladding, decorative metal, and intricate woodwork cleaned, repaired, and replicated where necessary. The mansard roofs will be preserved, with the existing asphalt shingles replaced with more historically accurate slate shingles. Minor alterations are proposed to increase accessibility at the building entrances, and most notably on the east facade, where a one-metre widening of the laneway is proposed to facilitate safe access for loading and garbage. On the interiors, though, it is still early in the design process, SmartLiving has indicated their intent to restore and preserve the remaining heritage features, including the pressed tin ceilings, columns, and plaster and stone moldings.

architectsAlliance have taken the approach that while the design of the new tower should be contemporary and stand out, it should also be informed and influenced by the heritage structures at its base. The one proposed alteration to the heritage exterior, on the ground level along the east laneway, will be to reimagine the entrance, finished in a different material that will contrast yet complement the limestone facades. “It’s a challenge to resolve some of the complexities of a site like this one, balancing the character and beauty of the [heritage buildings] with the client’s need to achieve the occupancy of the site,” states Blair Robinson, Project Architect at architects—Alliance. “As architects, we always feel like we’re in a conversation with our predecessors.”

49-51 Yonge Street, SmartCentres REIT, architects–Alliance, SmartLiving, GBCA Architects, TorontoFrontage along Wellington Street, image courtesy of SmartLiving.

The massing and form of the proposed tower is intended to spotlight the heritage buildings. The fifth and sixth floors, just above the heritage structures’ roofs, are set back from the property line and are clad with transparent glass to allow the existing heritage exteriors to maintain their presence and character at street level. Eleven metres above that, the tower projects back out above the heritage buildings and is finished with glass and bronze-coloured panels, with the massing punctuated by setbacks at the 22nd floor where the outdoor terraces are located.

49-51 Yonge Street, SmartCentres REIT, architects–Alliance, SmartLiving, GBCA Architects, TorontoView of 49-51 Yonge looking northeast, image courtesy of SmartLiving.

49-51 Yonge is located directly next to another 60-storey tower proposal at 55 Yonge. SmartLiving has initiated discussions with the development team next door to coordinate the design of the two towers for an integrated redeveloped block that enhances the neighbourhood, preserves the heritage components at street level, and adds striking new architecture to Toronto’s maturing skyline. 

Have an artistic flair? Then you should check out the Toronto events on this week

Source: The Hamilton Spectator

Ready to get out and be creative? If so, you’re in the right place as Toronto is the only city in the country designated a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts. With the arts on our minds, here’s a roundup of the happenings around town

Immersive Van Gogh exhibition

It starts right on our home turf, with the ImmIt starts right on our home turf, with the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibition inside the Toronto Star building at 1 Yonge St. Continuing the trend of immersive digital art experiences, the exhibit delivers one of the greatest artists of all time through art, light, sound, movement and imagination. Opens July 29. To buy tickets, visit

imagineNATIVE at the DriveInTO

Enjoy a free outdoor film at Ontario Place on July 27 at 9:30 p.m. As part of DriveInTO, imagineNATIVE will screen Falls Around Her, a dramatic feature that follows a world-famous Anishinaabe musician Tantoo Cardinal returning home. The film was the opening gala film at the 2018 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival where it won the Air Canada Audience Choice Award.

ROM reopens

The ROM is now welcoming back visitors, with safety measures like timed-ticketing and wider spacing for physical distancing in place. Current featured exhibitions include The Cloth that Changed the World: India’s Painted and Printed Cottons, and Great Whales: Up Close and Personal. To get tickets, visit

ArtWalk at SmartVMC

It’s a summer-long art celebration in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. ArtWalk features massive art murals, free drive-in movies and a food truck market. For more information, visit

Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.

Your mission awaits at the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Running from July 29 until September inside Yorkdale Mall, the experience boasts 25,000 sq. ft. of fun for all ages. ​​Interact with sets, props and costumes, uncover Avenger backstories and test your worthiness lifting Thor’s Hammer. Visit for ticket information.

Walking tours at Toronto History Museums

Select City of Toronto Museums are now offering exterior walking tours through HistoricTO. Join Alan Colley from Toronto Aboriginal Eco Tours every Sunday from now until the end of August at Todmorden Mills, where you can learn, in a meaningful way, Indigenous cultural teachings. Visit Toronto History Museums to plan your visit.

SmartCentres Proposes Multimodal Transit-Oriented Development for Eglinton West

Source: UrbanToronto

New rapid transit—both planned and under construction across Toronto—promises increased connectivity for many neighbourhoods, and creates opportunities for TOD—Transit Oriented Development—in the process. The future Crosstown LRT has created several TOD opportunities along the less-densely built-out Eglinton East, though development along the Crosstown’s Eglinton Avenue West stretch has been limited to more constrained sites, with few TOD opportunities west of Yonge. 2400 Eglinton Avenue West is one such site to have its development potential enhanced by future improved connectivity. Developer SmartCentres REIT recently applied for rezoning to bring a new 35-storey tower to the site, part of a wider planned community known as SmartCentres Eglinton West. 

Located immediately adjacent to Caledonia station on the Crosstown LRT, the site is situated to take full advantage of multi-modal transit infrastructure. By the time residents move in, the new Metrolinx Caledonia station will be served by TTC buses and the GO Train servicing the Barrie GO Line with direct access to Union from Caledonia. A short ride to the west along the Crosstown will also allow residents to transfer to the Union Pearson Express, direct access to the Airport. The opening of the Crosstown will also improve travel times while making streets more pleasant for pedestrians too.

SmartCentres Eglinton West, Toronto, Turner Fleischer ArchitectsAerial context map looking northeast over SmartCentres Eglinton West, image courtesy of SmartCentres REIT

When in operation, the Crosstown LRT trains will make the trip between Keele and Eglinton West stations in just six minutes. By boarding at Caledonia station, residents of SmartCentres Eglinton West will be able to make it to the TTC’s Line 1 University subway in five minutes, and the Yonge subway in just five more.

Set to rise to 110.8 metres from a seven-storey, L-shaped podium, the planned Turner Fleischer Architects-designed project is being developed by SmartLiving, SmartCentres’ residential sub-brand. The 29,683 m² building will be predominantly residential in use with 400 units in a range of layouts, to be supported by 2,460 m² of amenity space, while the ground floor along Eglinton will be animated by 715 m² of new street-fronting retail space.

SmartCentres Eglinton West, Toronto, Turner Fleischer ArchitectsLooking northwest to SmartCentres Eglinton West, image courtesy of SmartCentres REIT

Design-wise, the podium features deviations from the traditional condominium tower massing that has been incorporated in response to the surrounding conditions. The east podium facade features a prominent curve, mirroring the former path of the Beltline here, while another curve to the south hugs the alignment of Eglinton Avenue West. Other more subtle gestures include decorative curved detailing on the tower facades and mechanical penthouse levels, with this horizontal banding to be executed using perforated metal finishes.

SmartCentres Eglinton West, Toronto, Turner Fleischer ArchitectsRetail at SmartCentres Eglinton West, image courtesy of SmartCentres REIT

With 360 long-term and 40 short-term bicycle parking spaces in the building, residents will be able to take good advantage of the nearby Beltline Trail—approximately 250 metres from the site—offering cyclists and pedestrians a multi-use path extending to the Don Valley.

Amenity spaces will include a party room, gym, guest suite, and a landscaped rooftop deck, and suites will cater to a wide demographic. Ranging in size from 600 to over 1,000 ft², in one, two, and three-bedroom layouts, of the total 400 units, 160 are planned to be multi-bedroom suites. With suite sizes, pricing, and amenity offerings being competitive with Downtown condominiums, and with abundant transit options providing quick commutes around the city and to the surrounding region, the project is expected to attract residents ranging from university students to young professionals to new families looking for livability at a more affordable price point.

The proposal marks the first phase of a planned Transit Oriented Community with adjacent access to both LRT and GO Transit stops. One of the first major developments on Eglinton West in a generation, the project also has the potential to shape future transit-oriented developments in sites unlocked by new transit expansion.

SmartCentres and Greenwin Plan Striking Rental Tower in Davisville Village

Source: UrbanToronto

A proposal recently submitted to the City of Toronto seeks Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Approval to bring a purpose-built rental tower and a new public park to 185 Balliol Street, a short walk east of Davisville subway station in Midtown’s Davisville Village area. The proposed development, a joint venture between SmartLiving by SmartCentres REIT with seasoned rental operator Greenwin, will rise 35 storeys from the current site of a private tennis club and two-storey retail and residential building occupying a plot at the southwest corner of Balliol and Pailton Crescent. 

185 Balliol Street, SmartCentres REIT, Greenwin, Diamond Schmitt Architects, TorontoSite of the proposed development, image courtesy of SmartCentres REIT

Before embarking on the complex planning of the building, the developers held an invited design competition, selecting Diamond Schmitt Architects’ design for its balance of sensibility and striking aesthetics. The 115.8 metre-tall building joins primarily 20th-century modern rental towers that house the majority of the Davisville Village population, but exterior of sculpted, light-catching frames set the building apart as a standout amongst its neighbours.

The proposed plan includes a significant public realm contribution along the east edge of the site, designed by landscape architects Janet Rosenberg & Studio. This new 1,394 m² open space is proposed along Pailton Crescent, extending from Balliol Street in the north to the south lot line. A 477 m² share of the space could be dedicated to the City of Toronto as public parkland, while the remaining 917 m² would operate as a POPS (Privately-Owned, Publicly-accessible Space). Complementing the east side park and POPS, another public realm enhancement is proposed along the west and south ends of the site in the form of an L-shaped mid-block connection. 

185 Balliol Street, SmartCentres REIT, Greenwin, Diamond Schmitt Architects, Toronto185 Balliol Street, image courtesy of SmartCentres REIT

A Gross Floor Area of 32,395 m² is almost entirely dedicated to much-needed rental housing stock, while a 178 m² retail space is planned at ground level. In the tower and podium are 447 new rental units and 2 rental replacement units.

Architectural plans offer more insight into the exterior. Designed with thermal performance in mind to increase energy efficiency, the unique identity of the textured exterior provides plenty of natural light to suites while minimizing the large expanses of glazing known for their impact on energy loss. Projecting metal panels frame slender windows and perforated aluminum louvres, while balconies are inset. At street level, two-storey grade-related units and retail space will be finished in a mix of clear curtainwall glazing and solid limestone panels.

185 Balliol Street, SmartCentres REIT, Greenwin, Diamond Schmitt Architects, Toronto185 Balliol Street, image courtesy of SmartCentres REIT

A two-level underground garage will house 113 vehicular parking spaces, 90 of them for residents and 23 for visitors. With the site’s close proximity to Davisville subway station, it is expected mosts of the residents’ commutes will be accommodated by rapid transit. A total of 456 bicycle parking spaces, located on the P1 level and ground floor, will make cycling easy for residents too. Residents will also have access to 898 m² of indoor and 505 m² of outdoor amenity spaces.

13-Storey Retirement Residence Proposed on Wilson Near Bathurst

Source: UrbanToronto

An application submitted to the City of Toronto this month seeks rezoning to permit a 13-storey retirement residence at 381 Wilson Avenue, just west of Bathurst Street in the Clanton Park neighbourhood. Plans for the site, adjacent to a Highway 401 off-ramp, and vacant since 2004, come from developer SmartCentres REIT for a Global Architect Inc.-designed building that would house retirement units and provide 75 to 100 healthcare related jobs.

381 Wilson Avenue, Toronto, SmartCentres REIT, Global ArchitectLooking southeast over site of proposal, image via submission to City of Toronto

The 21,630.7 m²/232,831 ft² U-shaped building is planned entirely with residential uses, set to contain 278 retirement units in a mix of 66 studios, 157 one-bedroom and one-bedroom+dens, and 55 two-bedroom plans. Units include 34 designed for memory care, 34 assisted living units, 147 independent supportive living units, and 63 seniors apartments.

381 Wilson Avenue, Toronto, SmartCentres REIT, Global ArchitectAerial view looking northeast over 381 Wilson Avenue, image via submission to City of Toronto

A two-level underground garage would provide 153 parking spaces, 140 for residents and 13 for visitors. 40 bicycle parking spaces are also proposed, including 20 short-term visitor spaces at grade, as well as 20 long-term spaces for residents to be housed on the P1 level. Access to the garage would be provided via an internal roadway and ramp at the south end of the site.

381 Wilson Avenue, Toronto, SmartCentres REIT, Global ArchitectNorth elevation, 381 Wilson Avenue, image via submission to City of Toronto

The project is situated a few blocks east of a growing development node surrounding Wilson subway station, where several buildings have already been completed and many more mid-rise and lower high-rise projects are in various stages of planning and construction. While the 381 Wilson site is located over 450 metres east of the easternmost of these developments, proximity to these projects and the Bathurst and Wilson intersection to the east are being cited as justifications for the proposed density in a planning report prepared by MHBC Planning.