Overview: Midtown in Focus
Midtown in Focus, an inter-divisional initiative led by City Planning, is a response to the rapid intensification and change underway in parts of the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan area. The study seeks to ensure that growth positively contributes to the vitality and quality of life in one of Toronto’s most dynamic neighbourhoods.
The Yonge-Eglinton area of Midtown Toronto is situated at the centre of the city and combines many of the best qualities of Toronto: tower neighbourhoods and tree-lined sidestreets, local businesses and regional transit connections, historic main streets and expansive open spaces.
An era of sustained development in Midtown has been underway since the early 2000s. This concentration of activity, investment and intensification presents challenges but, planned for appropriately, also offers opportunities to sustain a livable, complete community.
The Midtown in Focus study is a comprehensive response to these opportunities that will outline a clear and compelling vision and detailed plan for the continued evolution of the community. In the current phase of the study, City Planning is leading an inter-divisional review of growth and infrastructure issues in the Yonge-Eglinton area. The current study builds on the direction of the 2014 Midtown in Focus: Parks, Open Space and Streetscape Plan to address other key contributors to a livable community (for information about the 2014 Midtown in Focus: Parks, Open Space and Streetscape Plan, contact Leo deSorcy).
The review will inform the development of up-to-date planning policies and identify key capital upgrades needed to improve the area’s parks and public realm and local transportation, municipal servicing and community infrastructure.
The Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan area is situated in Midtown Toronto, focused around the intersection of Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue and extending across six square kilometres.
The Secondary Plan area is generally bounded by Briar Hill Avenue and Blythwood Road to the north, Mount Pleasant Cemetery to the south, Bayview Avenue to the east, and Chaplin Crescent and Latimer Avenue to the west. The area includes the Yonge-Eglinton Centre, one of four Centres identified in the City of Toronto’s Official Plan and an Urban Growth Centre in the Province of Ontario’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
The area is represented by City Councillors for Wards 16 (Eglinton-Lawrence), 22 (St. Paul’s) and 25 (Don Valley West).
The study includes the following activities:
- Built Form Study and Growth Analysis – analysis of the area’s character and development trends and creation of new policy directions to guide the location, scale and form of future development. Population and employment estimates generated through this analysis are informing the associated infrastructure assessments.
- Cultural Heritage Resource Assessment – an archaeological assessment, documentation of the area’s history and identification of properties of cultural heritage value for listings and designations. The cultural heritage analysis provides key inputs for the built form vision for Midtown’s character areas.
- Community Services and Facilities Strategy – identification of priority projects across multiple service-providing sectors, informed by analysis of existing community facilities and programs and an assessment of needs and opportunities in the context of future growth and demographic change.
- Parks Plan and Davisville Public Realm Strategies – building from the 2014 plan for the Yonge-Eglinton area, public realm priorities for the Yonge-Davisville area and an area-wide Parks Plan highlighting parkland expansion and acquisition priorities to meet the needs of a growing population.
- Transportation Assessment – assessment of the local transportation network and key problem areas and the identification of priority projects to safely move people in and around the area and support the shift to active and sustainable travel modes.
- Municipal Servicing Assessment – analysis of the performance and capacity of existing water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and identification of infrastructure gaps in the context of future growth.
Schedule and Phasing
The Midtown in Focus: Growth, Built Form and Infrastructure Review began in late 2015 building on the Parks, Open Space and Streetscape Plan completed in 2014. The Review seeks to address additional elements of a liveable community in the Yonge-Eglinton area.
Population and employment estimates generated through the Review are being used to inform policy directions to guide the location, scale and form of future development and the on-going infrastructure assessments being developed for the area (community infrastructure, parks, municipal servicing, and transportation).
In fall 2017, City staff are bringing forward a proposals report to City Council. The report will include a draft of the proposed Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan and an update on the infrastructure studies. Following the December 2017 report to Council, City staff will continue to engage the community on the proposed secondary plan policies and the infrastructure assessments. Staff will report back to Council in the second quarter of 2018.