Multiple Mississauga Neighbourhoods Could Undergo Massive Change
While some sleepier GTA municipalities have fought intensification and decried the notion of embracing increased density, Mississauga has enthusiastically tackled a number of grand scale development projects that will effectively transform the city into (in some areas, at least) a bona fide urban space.
Over the past few years, the city has moved forward on its Lakeview and Port Credit redevelopment projects, embraced the incoming Hurontario LRT and welcomed the massive M City condo community development.
Now, it's taking a look at several other neighbourhoods—ones anchored by well-known indoor shopping malls—and deciding what, if any, intensification potential they have.
Late last year, the City of Mississauga announced its new Reimagining the Mall project, an initiative that will guide the long-term evolution of six areas anchored by indoor shopping malls into "healthier, mixed-use communities."
Reimagining the Mall is being led by the City of Mississauga in partnership with the Region of Peel.
A consultant team led by Gladki Planning Associates, and supported by DTAH and urbanMetrics, is providing specialized expertise in land use planning, policy development, urban design and finance.
The city has also hosted multiple walking audits and open houses in order to glean insight and invite suggestions from residents.
What malls will the city be focusing on?
Meadowvale Town Centre, Erin Mills Town Centre, South Common Centre, Sheridan Centre and Rockwood Mall.
The city says these malls and their surrounding areas have already been identified for intensification in the City's Official Plan. According to the city, this study and the resulting policies will help ensure that future intensification is done in a way that enhances these areas.
It is important to note that while these areas are being looked at, there are no immediate plans to begin redeveloping them.
It's also important to note that this project will not include mall redevelopment.
At a recent open house at City Hall, Gladki Planning Associates conducted a presentation on the project and took questions from residents who are wondering what the vision might mean for them and their city.
So, what are the implications of this initiative?
According to the city, the project aims to ensure that any future development will:
* improve the quality and functionality of the physical surroundings;
* promote active lifestyles; and
* support local retail offerings in a mixed-use environment.
At the presentation, Gladki representatives emphasized the fact that Mississauga's mall-based nodes will continue to be community focal points anchored by retail, community facilities, higher density housing forms and transit accessibility.
Ideally, as redevelopment occurs, these areas will evolve into "healthy sustainable complete communities with: densities and a mix of uses which allow people to meet many of their daily needs locally and within walking distance, an attractive and well-connected built environment that promotes physically active lifestyles; and a unique quality of place which makes these areas vibrant and desirable places to be."
One of the main changes that residents could see in the future?
More walkability, more amenities and more community places.
The presentation also touched upon a range of building types (which is good news for condo critics).
In terms of residential spaces, the neighbourhoods could become home to a mix of low-rise (1-4 storeys), mid-rise (4-9 storeys) and high-rise buildings (9+ storeys).
The presentation also mentioned the goal of creating mixed-use communities, or communities where people can live, work, shop and socialize.
Some examples included the West Don Lands and the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood in Toronto and the live-work buildings in Seattle.
Here's what the neighbourhoods could potentially look like:
Meadowvale Town Centre
South Common Mall
Erin Mills Town Centre
While there are no plans to break ground on any one plan, the presentation did say that the revitalization of the nodes could take years, and that developers would have to carefully consider "the impact of each phase on the overall character and vision of the place."
But while there are no immediate plans to begin any kind of construction, it's encouraging that the city is looking to transform sprawling suburban neighbourhoods into places where people can walk and cycle safely from one nearby destination to the next, all while enjoying nature, connectivity, modern design and vibrancy.
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