A new neighbourhood in Toronto

First Capital Realty Inc has selected Allies and Morrison as the lead masterplanner to transform its 28-acre property in the attractive, high-growth Humber Bay Shores area in the city of Toronto – a unique opportunity to develop an integrated urban centre at the western gateway to Toronto’s downtown core. A design team led by Allies and Morrison will now develop proposals to shape the future of this strategically important site. The team also includes Edinburgh-based landscape architects Gross Max and London-based engineers AKT ll.

This former Christie Cookie factory site is surrounded by several high-density residential buildings built to satisfy the demands associated with this prime waterfront location, which is known for its beautiful parks, waterfront access and downtown vista. The property is traversed by local and regional rail lines, adjacent to a major expressway and close to significant pedestrian and cycling trails – however, the local community is not adequately connected to these valuable assets. First Capital Realty is pursuing discussions with the city government, the provincial transit agency and local stakeholders to repurpose the site as a mixed-use, transit-oriented urban centre that takes advantage of its unparalleled potential to better service the needs of this emerging community.

“This is a fantastic site that can provide a new heart for Humber Bay Shores. With its scale and potential comes great responsibility and we are looking forward to working with everyone involved to craft an exemplary plan,” said Alfredo Caraballo, partner at Allies and Morrison. “And as a practice, we are especially excited about expanding our work in Toronto, a city with a well-deserved reputation for thoughtful urbanism.”

Allies and Morrison was selected following a 6-month international search to find a masterplanner with a successful track record in developing projects of this scale and complexity. The transformation of the site will benefit from Allies and Morrison’s expertise in creating characterful places that knit new development into the urban fabric of cities, drawing on a range of experience from the renaissance of London’s South Bank to the transformation of King’s Cross into a highly mixed-use, distinct urban quarter.

The team has big ambitions for a new neighbourhood with a diverse portfolio of housing types, mixed with entertainment, education and health, shopping and retail, employment and recreation.  Once a planning framework is approved by the city council, future discussions with residents, assorted stakeholder interests and government representatives will generate design ideas focused on how to fuse together the new development with its immediate environment with careful attention to public realm and landscape considerations.