Toronto’s brick-and-mortar retail landscape has suffered immensely with the rise of online shopping and exponentially more during the pandemic, and it looks like the thirst for new housing could soon bring about the end of a shopping mall that’s been a North York staple for over a half-century.
Opened in 1966 in what was then pre-amalgamation North York, Centerpoint Mall has since become a de facto gateway to Toronto at the city’s northern boundary of Yonge and Steeles.
Like many owners of aging malls across the city, Morguard appears to be re-assessing the 144-retailer suburban shopping centre’s value, recently submitting a development application that, if approved, would permit the entire property to be demolished over a period of several years.
In its place, the developer plans to construct a mixed-use community that would capitalize on the upcoming Yonge North Subway extension, bringing several new buildings to the site (in close proximity to the future Steeles subway station) with heights ranging from four storeys all the way up to 50 storeys.
Details are still scant about the 6464 Yonge project, with renderings of the development expected to emerge in the coming days or weeks.
For now, a brief description of the proposal offers a preview of the sweeping plans, which would include over 29,000 square metres of non-residential and more than 635,000 square metres of residential space.
The site of the central mall building and its surrounding sea of surface parking would instead host a network of new public and private streets framing blocks of residential, retail, and office buildings, plus a central public park and privately-owned publicly-accessible spaces.
This application is being used to help shape the city’s Yonge Street North Planning Study, which is being designed to determine how much development can be supported along the future Yonge Line extension.
And if approved, it would join a growing list of mall redevelopments and intensifications across the region, including Square One in Mississauga as well as Scarborough Town Centre, Sherway Gardens, and Yorkdale in Toronto to name a few.