Over the past few decades, Scarborough Centre has grown from vacant land into an urban hub with a mix of land uses and public amenities. Following the completion of the Scarborough Centre Secondary Plan, more detailed planning work is being undertaken for its four component sub-precincts. The McCowan Precinct, an area with significant population and employment redevelopment potential, constitutes the eastern portion of the Scarborough Centre Secondary Plan.
After a two-year study process involving extensive community and landowner involvement, Council approved the McCowan Precinct Plan in June 2014. Council also adopted accompanying urban design guidelines and a conceptual master plan.
The Plan’s vision includes: a finer-grained street network to promote comprehensive redevelopment, a ‘promenade’ design linking the Civic and McCowan Precincts along Town Centre Court and Bushby Drive, and a hierarchy of public streets with streetscape and cycling infrastructure improvements.
The McCowan Precinct Plan will inform future redevelopment in the area, managing growth while identifying needs and opportunities for improving the public and private realm, parks, transportation, and community and social services. The Precinct Plan, together with future transit infrastructure investment, will help transform the area into a vibrant, complete community.
The purpose of the McCowan Precinct Plan Study is to develop a "Precinct Plan" for the McCowan area of the Scarborough Centre. This Precinct Plan would further articulate the policies of the Official Plan (including the Scarborough Centre Secondary Plan), as well as develop a framework to guide future growth and development of the McCowan Precinct. The Precinct Plan is intended to provide implementation and policy changes to:
- inform, evaluate and shape future redevelopment in the area
- guide change and manage growth
- identify necessary public and private realm improvements
- identify needs and opportunities for improvements to parks, transportation and community and social services
- strengthen the employment base within the precinct
- direct infrastructure investment
- provide a foundation for the preparation of any policy and zoning by-law amendments for the McCowan Precinct to manage future development.
At its meeting of June 13, 2014, City Council considered and approved a final report on the McCowan Precinct Plan Study.The report recommended the adoption of Official Plan Amendment No. 242 to add "Site and Area Specific Policy No. 9" to the Scarborough Centre Secondary Plan (which forms a part of the Toronto Official Plan) for the McCowan Precinct. OPA No. 242 was adopted by City Council. It establishes a development framework and design strategies for the future residential and employment development of lands within the McCowan Precinct. It serves as a guide for the provision of community services, facilities, parks and open spaces and public realm improvements and enhancements for the Precinct. Site and Area Specific Policy No. 9 includes a Vision Statement and Guiding Principles for the McCowan Precinct.
OPA 242 has been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board.
At its meeting of June 13, 2014, City Council also adopted the McCowan Precinct Urban Design Guidelines including the McCowan Conceptual Master Plan. Together, OPA 242, the McCowan Precinct Urban Design Guidelines and the McCowan Precinct Conceptual Master Plan for the "McCowan Precinct Plan". In adopting this Plan, City Council, in addition to applying the policies of the Official Plan, directed staff to "use the McCowan Precinct Urban Design Guidelines including the McCowan Conceptual Master Plan in the evaluation of all new and current development proposals and public initiatives.