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The Future of Fairview Mall

On Monday evening, over 100 neighbours joined the first Community Consultation Meeting for the proposed redevelopment at Fairview Mall. What’s proposed would have a significant impact on our community: 12 new towers built over four phases, with approximately 4700 new units, four new public parks, and a number of new roads. Those of you who joined the meeting voiced a variety of concerns about the current proposal, and I share many of them. We have a lot of work to do together to turn this proposal into something that works for our community.

A preliminary rendering of the Fairview Mall Redevelopment, with the Phase 1 buildings highlighted and future phases ghosted out.

With this proposal, Fairview Mall becomes the latest to follow a growing trend in Toronto and North America: the redevelopment of shopping centre parking lots into mixed-use and residential buildings. Similar projects are already underway at Yorkdale, Sherway Gardens, Cloverdale and Galleria malls. Don Valley North is no stranger to this sort of development either. Bayview Village Mall had its own master plan approved by the Ontario Land Tribunal back in 2020. All these projects are a reflection of the changing economics of shopping centres. In order to sustain and continue to attract major stores, malls are looking to bring more residents on site and create community hubs.

We know that Fairview Mall is a key community, economic, and transportation hub for Don Valley North. It supports thousands of jobs and tens of thousands of transit riders daily. Any proposed development needs to acknowledge this reality and meaningfully engage our community in envisioning how this redevelopment can best support the needs of current and future residents.

As our city continues to grow, especially around key locations like Don Mills Station, we need to work creatively and collaboratively to build strong, transit-oriented communities with built-in community assets like greater local job opportunities, community spaces, expanded libraries, child care facilities, and parks. But this work can't be done without the community. That's where you and I come in, to work together.

At the Community Consultation Meeting, City Planning, the applicant, my team and I heard many concerns from the dedicated residents who took the time to join and share their feedback. The first thing I want to make clear is that the proposed redevelopment will not touch the mall itself, Fairview Library, or the medical building at Fairview Mall Drive and Don Mills Road. Those are all important community spaces, and while they will be impacted by the proposed changes to the surrounding area, you can rest assured that the proposal does not seek to change those buildings themselves.

We heard a number of concerns about the impact that this redevelopment will have on traffic. City Planning and Transportation Services staff share these concerns, and will be reviewing the transportation study submitted by the applicant to make sure it accurately reflects the impact this proposal will have on our roads. A few community members also suggested reviewing the number of resident parking spaces to reduce traffic impacts. Fewer parking spots for new residents means fewer trips in and out on Don Mills and Sheppard. While it may be worthwhile to look at the number of residential parking spaces for the new buildings, the community was loud and clear in stating that we need to preserve and enhance parking for the mall itself, and make sure there’s adequate visitor parking for the new buildings to prevent spillover into the surrounding neighbourhoods.

A preliminary rendering of the streetscape around the Phase 1 towers.

Affordable housing was the other major concern we heard from residents, and it’s one that comes up in every community consultation meeting we have these days. In the current proposal, the applicant has not committed to any of the housing being affordable. At the meeting, one community member asked: “Cadillac Fairview is wholly owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, so how many new teachers will be able to afford to live in these proposed buildings?” Cadillac Fairview really should have an answer to this question. In my mind, we should aim for 10% of these units to be affordable for middle-income earners, whether rental or ownership. We also need to look at how many two- and three-bedroom units are on site so that we can ensure there is space for families.

Community members also made it clear that they want to see better architecture and design for the buildings proposed in the first phase. It’s great to see that effort has been made to have shorter podiums and a nicer streetscape to mirror the mall, but there’s more opportunity here to design buildings that are creative and add something beautiful to our community. Parks and school space also came up. While new public parks are proposed, there are no parks included in the first phase of the development and no commitment on when the over 1500 new units from Phase One will be serviced with new park space.

A preliminary rendering of the Phase 1 towers.

These concerns about design, parks, and adequate community amenities really get to the heart of one of the key issues with this proposal, in my mind. When we considered the application at Bayview Village Mall, we were able to tackle the site holistically. We all understood how the different aspects of the site fit together and City Planning could work with the community and applicant to reshape the overall vision. Here, at Fairview Mall, we have a master plan concept but only have an application for the first phase. That means we’re not able to tackle the site as whole, and we risk losing key opportunities to reshape and improve whatever happens at this site.

Fairview Mall is too vital to our community to get this wrong. It matters to everyone, from those of us old enough to remember the mall’s moving sidewalks, Simpsons, Loblaws, and Bittner’s Deli, to the many newer residents who course throughout Fairview Mall daily as part of the first and last mile in their transit commute.

To ensure that we have the time and ability to work together on reshaping this proposal, I have directed City Planning to bring forward a new Public Engagement Strategy for this application at the next meeting of North York Community Council in January. We simply must move beyond the prescribed virtual consultation meeting to something more collaborative, active, and fruitful. I sincerely hope you will join me in these efforts.

I am so grateful for and indebted to the residents from all over Don Valley North who showed up in such numbers for what I’m calling Fairview Mall Meeting #1. We deal with rapid growth in our community every day. You all showed Cadillac Fairview, just by logging on, that we are serious about demanding a robust community process for and major revisions to this application.

This is just the beginning of the process. I want to keep this conversation going, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office with your question or concerns, and to sign up for site-specific updates. It is my job to keep you informed and engaged, and to make sure our community has every opportunity to collaborate on this application. I look forward to all the work we will do together to shape the future of Fairview Mall.

Local Transportation Updates

There are a number of ongoing and upcoming road construction projects in our ward. Below are updates on some of the major projects here in Don Valley North:

Cummer Avenue Road Reconstruction

Road reconstruction and infrastructure improvements on Cummer Avenue are ongoing. The goal of this project is to improve traffic safety and enhance the overall experience for people taking all modes of transportation.

The current expected completion date for this project is October 2022, as the project has experienced labour disruptions and unexpected site conditions. These types of improvements take time, and I greatly appreciate how engaged local residents have been every step of the way to help improve the neighbourhood.

For more information on this project, visit the link below:

Road Resurfacing on Hobart Drive

The City of Toronto will be resurfacing Hobart Avenue from Van Horne Avenue to Seneca Hill Drive. This is part of the City's effort to renew aging roads and sidewalks for current and future needs.

The project will include digging up the road surface, re-aligning maintenance holes and catch basins, repairing sidewalks and curbs, and repaving the road surface. Work is scheduled to begin in late summer 2022 and end in summer 2023. Residents in the affected areas will receive a complete Pre-Construction Notice by mail in the coming weeks.

Sheppard Avenue East Road Reconstruction

Sheppard Avenue East is in need of road resurfacing and reconstruction due to poor condition of the road. In Toronto, roads are resurfaced every 25-35 years and reconstructed every 50-100, years presenting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the City to improve the design of the street.

Thank you to everyone in the community who has taken the time to share their feedback on the proposed plan for the portion of the road reconstruction from Bayview Avenue to Leslie Street. Based on the feedback from our community, staff are refining the design and will come back for another community consultation meeting later this year. I will share more updates in future E-Blasts, and you can find more information on this project at the website below:

Fourth Doses Now Available for All Adults 18+

As of today (Thursday, July 14), individuals age 18 and older who received their third dose (first booster) five months ago are eligible for a second booster dose. This group joins previously announced eligible high-risk groups, which includes individuals aged 60 and older, immunocompromised individuals, and First Nations, Inuit or Métis peoples. Individuals who have been infected with COVID-19 need to wait three months before receiving their next dose. Appointments cam be booked through the provincial booking system online or by phone:

  • Online:

  • Phone: 1-833-943-3900

For more information on vaccines, visit the link below:

More Info: VaccinesMeet Jeanne Hopkins, our Don Valley Northerner of the week!

Jeanne has worked tirelessly to preserve Don Valley North's history, both through her work with the North York Historical Society and by authoring two books documenting the storied neighbourhoods of Bayview Village and Henry Farm. Jeanne's passion for local history and her continued commitment to spreading historical awareness in her neighbourhood are a great service to us all. Thank you, Jeanne, for everything you do to commemorate Don Valley North!

Nominate a Neighbour! Do you know someone in your neighbourhood who makes a difference? Nominate them for Don Valley Northerner of the Week! To submit a nomination, please send a short blurb (~100 words) about the person you are nominating to My team will contact you if we select your nominee as Don Valley Northerner of the Week!


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