Mall sites are large sites that can accommodate many city building initiatives such as incorporating new and expanded parks and open spaces, community services and facilities, affordable housing, a broader range of employment opportunities, and other sustainability strategies.
As these mall sites redevelop over time, it is important to ensure their full integration with surrounding communities through the creation of a connected, safe and comfortable public realm network, including on-site public streets, parks and open spaces, internal connections and connections to transit, as well as appropriate built form.
The Mall Redevelopment Guide (the Guide) provides principles, supported by precedent photographs, illustrations and demonstration plans, to consider during the redevelopment and/or intensification of mall or shopping centre sites. The principles are focused on the structuring urban design elements of mall sites, such as streets and blocks, parks and open spaces, and the interface of retail uses and the public realm.
The principles support the long-term redevelopment of mall sites into and as a part of, complete communities that include a mix of uses, are compact, transit supportive, and provide the necessary physical and social infrastructure to meet the daily needs of residents, employees and visitors.
The Guide gives dimension to existing policy intent, and the principles build on Official Plan policies and best practices regarding matters of public realm and provide an additional level direction on the redevelopment of these unique large sites.
The Guide does not elaborate on other important matters pertaining to large site redevelopment such as affordable housing, parkland dedication, community services and facilities, or sustainable practices, which are addressed in the Official Plan and supporting documents and referenced in the Guide. The Guide recognizes that every site will require site-specific and context-driven, city building solutions.
This Guide encourages the integration of urban design considerations for mall redevelopments at an early stage in the process and should be read comprehensively and together with other City documents that provide direction on built form and public realm, including the City’s Official Plan, city-wide and area-specific guidelines and other applicable regulations.
Each mall site will continue to require site specific design solutions, through the application of Official Plan policies, while the Guide provides high level direction on the application of the principles to support each site’s transformation into vibrant complete communities.
The Principles, Mall Demonstration Sites and Relevant Documents together provide guidance to help inform new planning and design frameworks for mall sites to be used by City staff, land owners, developers and their consultants, at the earliest stage of mall redevelopment proposals