Planning Studies & Initiatives

Yonge Street North Planning Study

The City has initiated a planning study to develop a vision for the future of the Yonge Street corridor between Finch Avenue and Steeles Avenue in response to existing and anticipated development pressures in the area.

The Study will be undertaken in the context of the existing Provincial policies and plans. The Province's Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe identifies 'urban growth centres', including North York Centre, where significant employment and population growth is to be accommodated and linked by high order transit to other urban growth centres.  The Province's Regional Transportation Plan (Metrolinx's “Big Move”) identifies the northerly extension of the Yonge subway and east-west rapid transit along the Steeles Avenue corridor. 

The Study will determine the level of development that can be supported by the existing and improved transportation network and planned higher order transit system.  The primary objective of the Study is to provide a comprehensive set of planning tools to realize the vision for the area and respond to increasing development pressures.

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Contents


Study Area

The focus of the Study is the Yonge Street Corridor, but the Study Area includes the lands between Steeles Avenue on the north, Willowdale Avenue on the east, Finch Avenue on the south and Talbot Road/Hilda Avenue on the west.  The Study Area includes some areas that are not expected to undergo significant change, however such lands may be may be affected by redevelopment which does occur and so must be considered as part of the Study.  The Yonge Street Corridor comprises property on or in close proximity to Yonge Street where the appropriate areas for redevelopment must be identified and where physical change must be anticipated, facilitated and managed.  

The Study Area contains a diversity of uses.  The uses along Yonge Street currently range from low rise, small scale, and automobile-oriented commercial development to the regionally-oriented Centerpoint Mall, as well as taller mixed use development with ground level retail and office or apartment uses above.  Lands to the east and west of the Yonge Street Corridor consist primarily of low density residential neighbourhoods with a number of open space and institutional uses.  Different parts of the Study area each have their own unique characteristics which will be examined as part of the Study process.

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Study Process

The Study will be undertaken in three phases.

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Phase 1 – Study Initiation


Phase 1 will involve background research to review the current policy framework and existing facilities and conditions. It will also identify major opportunities and constraints to development in the Study Area.  Input has been provided by the public at a vision workshop held on December 8, 2011 (See Workshop Report).     At the conclusion of this phase, a Background Summary Report will be prepared outlining the results of the background research, including input from the public.

Phase 2 – Land Use Options


The second phase of the Study will involve the preparation of a series of land use options that will be modeled and tested.  The options will consider key elements such as building heights and densities, improvements to community facilities, the parks and open space system, pedestrian amenities and streetscape, and the transition to the abutting low-density residential areas.  As part of the evaluation of the options, the public will have an opportunity at a workshop to rank specific elements, as well as the options as a whole.

The preferred model will then be prepared based on the feedback received.  The preferred model will then be tested to confirm the ability of the transportation and servicing networks to support it.  As part of this evaluation, the preferred model will again be brought back to the public for evaluation and input.

Phase 3 – Final Report and Recommendations

 

Based on the input received, a final report and recommendations will be prepared that include any draft Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments as well as urban design guidelines.  This final report will be presented to the public at a public meeting/open house and then will be presented to Community Council.


Environmental Assessment

The Study will examine the need for new infrastructure in the area such as new streets, water mains and sewers. In accordance with the Master Plan process, the Study will be conducted in accordance with the first two phases of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Planning and Design process. This process includes clearly establishing the problems and/or opportunities to be addressed, and developing and evaluating a reasonable range of alternative solutions. Further, public consultation is an important part of this process. While your comments and involvement are welcome at any time, the process ensures that there will be public meetings held a key decision points. Project updates and notices of these events will be posted on this website and mailed to residents within the study area.


Community and Agency Consultation

As noted above in the study process, there are four public workshops or meetings scheduled and the information panels presented at those sessions as well as summaries of the proceedings will be posted on this website.  You are invited to attend all of the public sessions to make your views known. 

A Technical Advisory Committee has also been established which includes staff from the relevant City departments as well as staff from the TTC,  Metrolinx, York Region, Town of Markham, and City of Vaughan.


Consulting Team

The consulting team working on the Study is led by Macaulay Shiomi Howson Ltd. and includes Brook McIlroy Inc. and LEA Consulting Ltd.