Dufferin Mall, a longtime shopping fixture of Toronto’s West End and subject of fascination/memes for many, is set to undergo a redevelopment in the coming years.
Primaris Management Inc., the owner and operator of the shopping centre and subsidiary of H&R REIT, has started discussions with the City of Toronto to redevelop the 22 acre site into a mixed-use property, including the expansion of the current mall and the addition of residential units.
While details are still minimal, BuzzBuzzHome has confirmed through a representative at Primaris that the current vision for the Dufferin Mall site includes the redevelopment of the parking areas on the northern portion of the property (in front of The Beer Store, Penningtons and Taco Bell/KFC), along with the expansion of the existing mall area and a new public park space. Quadrangle Architects and Urban Strategies are handling the architecture and planning of the project. Unlike other properties in the neighbourhood, the Dufferin Mall site is already zoned as Commercial Residential, which removes many barriers that other proposals face when attempting to redevelop into a mixed-use property.
The proposed redevelopment follows a long list of existing Toronto shopping centres who are switching to mixed-use under the pressure of stiff competition from online retailers like Amazon, and adding density and residential units to large commercial sites. In recent years, the city has seen redevelopment plans unveiled for the Galleria Mall (roughly 1.5 kilometers north of the Dufferin Mall site), Bayview Village, Agincourt Mall, Yorkdale Mall and Eglinton Square. The Dufferin Mall redevelopment comes at a time when the surrounding neighbourhood is undergoing big changes, with a large-scale, mixed-use development proposed immediately north of the mall.
Primaris is currently working with the redevelopment team and city officials on preparing an official development application, which should come some time in 2019. Before submitting the application, Primaris is planning a series of open houses to gather feedback from community residents on what they would like to see incorporated into the future site. While many Torontonians associate the word “redevelopment” with “condos”, Primaris has said that they are tentatively looking at purpose-built rentals being added to the site.
The first open house is scheduled to be held on January 21st at 1141 Bloor Street West (Bloor Collegiate Institute’s Cafeteria) from 6:30pm – 8:30pm, an event in which the public can share their ideas for the site and provide feedback.
As the development proposal moves through the consultation stage and enters into the application period, we’ll be sure to keep you informed about the future of our beloved Duff Mall.
Header photo: knehcsg via Flickr