Massive five tower development proposal on YMCA site faces delays in Mississauga

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Published March 30, 2023 at 11:05 am

mississauga ymca development
Renderings via City of Mississauga submission

A plan to demolish the Mississauga YMCA building for a five-tower development faces some hurdles.

Last May, many residents were upset to learn of a proposal to build five towers, each over 50 storeys tall, at 325 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W., the site of the YMCA fitness centre.

The property sold in 2020 and the new owners, RGF (Mississauga) Developments Inc. plan to build five towers, ranging in height from 52 to 65 storeys, with a total of 4,277 residential units. The plan is to build out over two phases with a pedestrian mew between them.

Phase 1 includes the development of three towers of up to 62 storeys over the existing parking lot. This phase will have 2,436 units and 1,618 parking spaces. Phase 2 would encompass the redevelopment of the existing YMCA facility into two towers over a seven-storey podium, totalling 1,841 units and 1,226 parking spaces.

mississauga ymca development

At public meetings last May, residents expressed concerns over increased traffic, blocking sunlight and views, the loss of the YMCA and parking.

“This site that has been treasured so long…the YMCA, is kind of, private sure, but a community centre in Ward 4 that we are losing. That is disappointing,” Ward 4 Councillor John Kovac said.

mississauga ymca development

However, the development, at its current heights and density is permitted on the property as it is in the downtown core. Unlimited heights and density is permitted in this area.

But the proposal hit a snag after the developer sought approval to convert a planned city road into a pedestrian walkway or mews on the property. After there was no decision from the City of Mississauga on the walkway, the developer went to the Ontario Land Tribunal for approval.

mississauga ymca development

At a Mississauga planning committee on March 27, City of Mississauga planner Jonathan Famme recommended council approve the walkway. The removal of the local road won’t have any significant impact on the road network, and it would connect pedestrians to main roads for transit and shops.

The walkway “supports the vision for the downtown core to transform it from a suburban, car-oriented centre to a vibrant urban area with a focus on the pedestrian experience and maintaining safety,” said Famme.

But Kovac said the developer knew there was a planned city road on the property when they purchased it.

mississauga ymca development

Currently, there is work to improve the road system downtown, Kovac said. There can be space for pedestrians and cyclists along with vehicles, he said. Roads are needed for school buses and public transit as well as for the community.

“This is all about increasing travel connections as far as I am concerned,” Kovac said.

The development will bring many residents and the road is needed, he added.

Ward 11 Councillor Brad Butt said the city may have made mistakes in the past in not including or building roads as development increased downtown.

“Here’s another example where once you do it (close the road), it’s gone forever,” said Butt.

The Planning Committee voted in favour of keeping the road and city legal services and staff will attend the Ontario Land Tribunal to fight for the road.

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