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24 Mississauga Articles | Page: | Show All

RAW Design’s whimsical Parapan sculptures deliver time-limited fun

Not every structure has to last forever to provide citizens with delight.
 
In January, Toronto’s RAW Design hosted a competition (which we wrote about in February) to transform five lifeguard stations in Beaches Park into playful temporary shelters from the winter wind and cold, luring out Torontonians who would have otherwise stayed inside waiting for spring to come. The project was inspired by Winnipeg’s annual Warming Huts competition, and caught the attention of Yvonne Koscielak, the City of Mississauga’s public art coordinator, who was looking for a project to celebrate the Parapan Am Games.
 
The resulting collaboration, a temporary public art installation called Art of Sport: Fitness Follies, opened last week on the Mississauga waterfront and will close—likely—in just six weeks. The three brightly coloured pieces, called Synchronicity, Velocity and Colosseum, are “designed to engage the body in a different way, provoking participants to test their balance, agility and perception.” In Colosseum, for example, kids can weave around or climb on a circular field of wooden poles of different heights. A platform in the middle is meant to evoke a medal ceremony podium.
 
“It’s a fun thing to design because it’s ephemeral, not weighty. You don’t have to worry about it hanging around for a long time, which is not to say we don’t take it seriously,” says Roland Rom Colthoff, founder of RAW. “It takes us five years to do a building. This took us five months. The immediate impact and the pleasure of creation and seeing people use it right away is great for us.”
 
Although the location in Lakeside Park, at the bottom of Southdown Road on Mississauga’s waterfront trail, seems remote, it can be a busy, well-used recreational space.
 
“At the opening we saw people using it exactly how we thought they would be, climbing all over the telephone poles, sliding and running up and down Velocity and hopping from post to post on Colosseum,” says  Rom Colthoff.
 
At least two of the pieces are tough enough to find a permanent home somewhere, he says, when the six weeks are up.
 
Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Roland Rom Colthoff

Sherway Gardens joins other GTA malls in dash toward luxury

Five new retailers opening in Etobicoke’s Sherway Gardens shopping mall signal the early stages of the mall’s multi-phased, $550 million expansion.
 
“Preppy-bohemian luxe” US designer Tory Burch is first out of the gate. Cosmetics maker LUSH, shoe designer Vince Camuto, jewelry and watch retailer Thomas Sabo and Canadian fashion label Rudsak are also making their Etobicoke debuts over the next few weeks. Some of the stores will be located in the existing property while others will be in the most completed parts of the redevelopment.
 
“At Sherway Gardens we are writing the next chapter in retail and we are delighted to share our growing space with some of today's most influential brands,” stated Andy Traynor, the mall’s general manager. 
 
Sherway’s north expansion, set to open this September, will feature a new flagship Harry Rosen, a relocated Sporting Life and a new food court. Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom will open stores there 2016 and 2017. The reboot will add an additional 210,000 square feet of retail space to the centre, bringing the total size to 1.3 million square feet.
 
But it’s not just Sherway that’s getting ritzier. As serious shoppers know, four of the GTA’s best known malls are currently in some sort of flux.
 
Sister Cadillac Fairview property, Toronto Eaton Centre, is also getting a Saks Fifth Avenue this fall and a Nordstrom store in the fall of 2016. Saks will bunk with Hudson’s Bay in the historic Queen and Yonge building, which is currently being renovated to make room. Nordstrom will share the old Sears space at the north end of the mall (formerly Eaton’s, if you’re keeping track) with other smaller retailers.
 
Another Nordstrom location will open at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, owned by Oxford Properties and Alberta Investment Management Corporation, as part of that mall’s $331 million expansion, which started in January 2014 and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2016. About 25 smaller stores are also part of the expansion.
 
Not to be outdone, Mississauga’s Square One, owned by Oxford Properties, is expanding to the south, with 113,000 square feet devoted to the first Simons in Ontario and another 120,000 square feet for a flagship Holt Renfrew. That expansion, expected to be complete in the spring of 2016, will cost $237 million.
 
Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, Vanessa Jenkins

Pearson's Terminal 3 renovation moved into the check-in area

Pearson Airport has turned into a construction zone.

Terminal 3, which opened in 1991, has been undergoing an upgrade since last year, but the work only recently came to the surface when hoardings went up on the departures level in full view. According to Greater Toronto Airport Authority spokeswoman Shabeen Hanifa, there are new floors being put in behind there.

But this week, hoardings went up in the much newer Terminal 1 too, in the arrivals area. A new Starbucks is going in, and one level up, a Booster Juice. As soon as it’s done, Starbucks will be the first thing people see when they come through the sliding doors from their international flights. Perhaps appropriately, passengers coming through down the hall at domestic arrivals will continue to be greeted by Tim Hortons. (And as of today, to add another local touch to the often placeless 2004 terminal,  you can grab something from Caplansky's snack bar to substitute for whatever horror Air Canada was thinking of charging you $10 for.)

Branded as RethinkT3, the work on Terminal 3 isn’t expected to be complete untli 2017.

“Looking at the near future, a lot of work will ramp up in the early part of 2015,” Hanifa says. “We are close to completing work by the east check-in area for an updated screening point which is proposed to open in the new year. This means an expansion of the pre-board screening area in Terminal 3, from 5 lanes to 8 lanes.

“Once the east pre-board screening area opens, work will ramp up for food and beverage, and retail, including a new duty free.”

And by the time that work’s done, it could very well be time to rethink T1 again.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Shabeen Hanifa

New planned community to take advantage of Kipling station hub

A major new transit-friendly development is almost ready to go ahead near the Kipling subway station and the future Metrolinx Kipling mobility hub.

The Kip District, being developed by Concert Properties, is a re-imaginging of a large site originally owned by Canadian Tire, who got the initial approvals for 1.1 million square feet of density back in 2005, equivalent to a 4.23 density.

And Concert thinks that will still work fine.

"We want to move the density around," says Andrew Gray, vice president of Vancouver-based Concert Properties' eastern region and former vice president of development with Waterfront Toronto, "but we don't want to increase the density."

The original Canadian Tire submission envisioned much of the ground covered in relatively squat buildings. Concert is planning to squeeze them upwards into higher buildings that allow for more green space, including a central square.

They also intend to build a two-level parking garage underneath the entire site, and include retail at the ground level of the buildings to encourage local activity.

"We really wanted to emphasize a quality public realm," Gray says. "You can leave your car, walk around the site at grade, and in the winter walk through the parking garage, because it'll be heated. It's a five-minute walk to Kipling station."

The first phase of what Gray figures will be a 10-year project will be going before the city's Committee of Adjustment on Nov. 13 for approval of, among other things, the initial 90-metre tower designed by IBI Page and Steele.

Given its proximity to the planned mobility hub, which would include a new regional bus terminal, Gray says that, over the decade it will take to build, the development's planned parking facilities may be reduced.

The old Canadian Tire store is being demolished now, in expectation of some form of approval in the offing.

The Kip District, if it goes ahead, will join developments by Tridel and others centred on Kipling station, all looking to take advantage of the area's access to the subway system and western-bound roads, as well as its relative proximity to Pearson airport.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Andrew Gray

First Gulf breaks ground on transit-friendly workplace in Mississauga

Great Gulf is in the middle of two developments of great significance to the GTA, one high profile, one less so.

Great Gulf, who just received five OHBA awards, are the people behind One Bloor East, the curvaceous condo tower going up at the corner of Yonge and Bloor. In addition to its location, One Bloor is the first residential tower to make use of a curtain wall, a non-structural way of building windows that is popular with commercial buildings, allowing a sealed interior environment while letting in a lot of light. It’s due for completion in the summer of 2016.

The other just broke ground on Sept. 24 in Mississauga. It’s a commercial building, constructed to LEED Gold standards, that will bring hundreds of jobs onto the GO Transit line, offering direct access to the Meadowvale station. It’s being developed under the Great Gulf Group’s commercial and retile arm, First Gulf.

This is the third phase of the Meadowvale Centre, which is also a 15-minute drive to Pearson airport. Once completed, phase 3 will be 100,000 square feet, available to tenants at $22.50 per square foot per month.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Madeline Zito

Airport work brings people movers to a halt

The people movers have been moving fewer people around Pearson airport's Terminal 1 lately.

For the last several weeks, one or more of the moving sidewalks meant to abbreviate travellers' journeys across the vast expanses of airport nothingness have been shut down for maintenance and repairs.

The new yellow Express high-speed one was first, and though the Greater Toronto Airport Authority is providing no details, it seemed to have been down for several weeks.

And as soon as that one – which the GTAA's Patricia Krale says is the only one of its kind in the world -- was up and running the regular, slow-poke ones went down, and remained out of service until late last week.

Visitors to the airport will also have noticed some major construction going on outside in front of the parking facilities. Much of this, according to Krale, is the result of damage done to the roads during the especially harsh winter just past, in addition to terminal work being done for the new rail link to Union Station, which will, when finished, offer passengers slightly less than $20 alternative to the TTC's current $3 fare to and from the airport.

This all comes hard on the heels of the long-term construction project inside the airport to add more than a dozen new restaurant kiosks.

No word from GTAA on when any of it's going to be finished.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Patricia Krale

Mississauga gives U of T $10 million for innovation centre

After 12 years on the back shelf, the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus is going ahead with a new "innovation complex."

"The Innovation Complex is a new facility that will house UTM's signature Institute for Management and Innovation (IMI)," says Deep Saini, principal of UTM. "The Institute is taking a novel approach to management education by offering sector-specific management education. IMI will be focused on educating mission-oriented graduates whose skills are aligned to specific sectors of industry and commerce, and who are deft at translating novel ideas into innovative applications for the society’s benefit.

"In addition to strong undergraduate programs in commerce and business administration, IMI also offers established and new professional graduate degrees in key economic sectors such as biotechnology, health care, professional accounting and environmental sustainability. UTM plans to grow student enrolment in IMI by 35 per cent – or by 700 – and hire approximately 30 new professors from around the world. Some space in the new building will be also occupied by administrative and academic offices, especially those involved in enrolment management."

The project is being funded by $25 million from U of T and a newly announced $10 million from the city of Mississauga.

The centre, which is being built on an open space behind the existing Kaneff Centre, will be headed up by Professor Hugh Ganz.

Writer: Bert Archer    
Source: Deep Saini

Union-Pearson Express hits minor milestone

The train from Union Station to Pearson airport reached a milestone last week.

On June 29, the last girder was put in place to link the existing airport train track with the spur that's being built to take the train from the existing Kitchener GO route to the airport.

"The service will operate along GO’s Kitchener (formerly Georgetown) corridor," says Union Pearson Express spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins,"and branch off onto a newly constructed 3 km rail spur near Highway 427 that will connect to a new passenger station at Toronto Pearson Terminal 1."

The new connection, named the project of he year in May at the Global AirRail Awards in Frankfurt, is meant to be up in time for the Pan-Am/Parapan Games in the summer of 2015.

It will provide a 25- minute ride to Pearson from Union, leaving every 15 minutes and making two stops, and the Bloor-Dundas and Weston GO stations, on its way.

Construction has already started on the two new stations, at Union and Pearson respectively.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Anne Marie Aikins

Pearson airport opens first of 13 new restaurants

There’s a renaissance of sorts going on at Pearson airport.

It has nothing to do with the American-style security, unfortunately, and a reasonable way of getting there is still several years away, but there are 13 new restaurants opening up, and that’s something.

What’s more, unlike the current crop of food outlets, the sort that give airport food a bad name (ugly, bad food, high prices, poor service), the new ones designed by New York firm Icrave won’t be ugly.

Also, there are iPads.

The first of these, Heirloom, a bakery-based restaurant, has just opened in the international departures section of Terminal 1. There will be 12 more, opening in both terminals, in space once given to departure gate seating. None of the old outlets is closing, yet.

"Typically now, if you want to go to the airport, go through your hour and a half security, and you have a choice: you can go to a restaurant, go to a newsstand, go pick up a $10 yogurt or whatever and go to your gate and wait for your flight," says Icrave principal Siobhan Barry.

But with Icrave’s modern design, not only will there be more places to eat and drink, the way passengers spend their time waiting for their flights will also be changed, adhering instead to the customs of the contemporary passenger. 

"The actual gatehold seating is where the biggest change is," Barry says. "It’s now a seat with a table, with an outlet to charge your devices, and an iPad for your use."

Each seat by the newly equipped departure gates will have a leashed iPad, which you can use to browse, but also to order meals from any of the nearby food outlets. To sign in, you’ll enter your flight number, and it will let you know if you have time to eat or drink before you have to board your flight. It will cut off ordering 15 minutes before boarding.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Siobhan Barry

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


Ground broken on master-planned community in north Mississauga

Pinnacle International has begun work on their master-planned community in northern Mississauga.

Pinnacle Uptown is being built on 37 acres of farmland, incorporating 14 acres of parkland and the Cooksville Creek into its plan.

"It's pretty exciting for us," says Anson Kwok, the Toronto VP of sales and marketing for the Vancouver-based developer, which is also in negotiations to buy the parking lot attached to 1 Yonge Street for a reported quarter billion dollars.

Once complete, Pinnacle Uptown will add 2,500 residential units, high-rise and low-rise, to Mississauga’s north end at Hurontario and Eglinton.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Anson Kwok

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


Mississauga pharmaceutical campus to transform warehouse into 200 new office spaces

As part of a $190-million investment, Roche Canada will be renovating its Mississauga campus to accommodate as many as 200 new employees.

"It's re-purposing the existing facilities," says Roche spokesman Mike Vesik. "We don't have enough room to build up on the property. We're taking a section of our warehouse to accommodate the new positions."

Vesik said renovations, which were to include new infrastructure and amenities such as a cafeteria, were going to begin immediately.

The $190-million, which includes $7.79 million from Ontario's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, will make the Mississauga campus into what Roche is calling a "global site for pharmaceutical development."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Mike Vesik

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

Daniels donates house to Habitat Mississauga, who volunteer 3,312 hours to complete interior

There's a new kind of low-cost house in the GTA, thanks to Habitat for Humanity and Daniels.

Daniels -- which has worked with Habitat before, giving the housing alternative organization a packet of land around Islington and Lakeshore a little more than three years ago -- donated a constructed but unfinished house in their new FirstHome development at 3050 Erin Centre Blvd.

Habitat for Humanity's Mississauga branch then rustled up 3,312 hours of volunteer labour to finish the interior, before it was sold to a family of six whose income, which is below the designated poverty line of $50,000 for that size of family, at market value, but with no money down and an interest-free mortgage.

Doug Clark, president and chairman of the board for Habitat for Humanity Mississauga, hopes that the Daniels gift will serve as an example to other developers.

"Maybe one of the reasons there hasn't been more of this thing happening previously is that there's sort of a stigma attached to affordable housing," Clark says. "With this project, we've amply demonstrated that that stigma is not deserved. We've got a project where there's a habitat home that's going to be within an existing community and four months from now, people will drive down the street and they won't know which one's the Habitat home."

The house will be ready for its new owners by September.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Doug Clark

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


New development of 148 town houses in Mississauga proves popular

For the developer, there are downsides to building things before people commit to buying them. For buyers, there are downsides to buying things before they're built. But Daniels Corporation seems to have hit upon a formula that works for everyone with its First Home brand of developments.

Daniels builds entire projects of townhouses, stacked townhouses and 4-storey low-rise condos, all aimed at first-time buyers and let the success of one project do the advertising for the next, and do no actual marketing for the developments before every house is completely built and ready to move into.

Their latest, phase two of Destination Drive at Erin Centre Blvd. and Winston Churchill Blvd., consists of 148 units on 10 acres. Construction started in March, 2010 and finished, with the exception of the landscaping, last week. And the day before they went on sale, Daniels reported buyers lined up to get the pick of the litter.

"We've had this repeated over several communities," says Daniels vice president Don Pugh. "Because we build first, it gives us the ability to market them in a very special way."

This special marketing includes the ability to give potential buyers walk-throughs, not only of model homes, but of their actual potential home, and down the streets where Daniels hopes they'll live.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Don Pugh

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


Mississauga development hub for last two quarters with over $400 million in sales

Mississauga is where it's at these days.

In addition to being home of the most talked-about condo design in the GTA – the Absolute tower, also known as Marilyn – Mississauga was the site of last quarter's largest commercial real estate transaction, and this quarter's largest residential land deal.

According to Realnet, in the last quarter of 2010, Cadillac Fairview sold Erin Mills mall to the Ontario Pension Board for $370 million.

"Those types of things are very rare," says Realnet president George Carras, "so when they come to market, there's a fair bit of interest."

Carras says that the sale shifted the entire balance of commercial versus residential land transactions in the GTA as, to a lesser extent, has the more recent sale of just under 57 acres north of Eglinton and west of Winston Churchill to Argo Developments, which plans to build low-rise residences. That sale was worth $68.1 million. It was enough to allow Realnet to title the announcement of its latest report "Residential Land Investments Lead the GTA Investment Market in Q1 2011."

"The overarching trend here is people want hard assets in the GTA," Carras says. "They want into the property markets. You're seeing the volumes coming back. The fact that you're seeing a resurgence in residential, that's where the market is right now."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: George Carras

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


36-storey Onyx, last tower in massive Mississauga city centre development, gets finishing touches

The last of four towers that helped transform Mississauga's city centre got one of its finishing touches this month.

Onyx, the fourth tower by Davies Smith Developments, across from Square One, got its rooftop terrace. Though it's been accepting occupants since last summer, the 36-storey, 353-unit building at 223 Webb Drive has only now reached is registration phase.

"When we started the ball rolling on this whole community, we put a lot of thought into the kind of style for the first building coming in there," says developer Ian Smith, "because that was very early in what has now become a well developed residential core in the city. We saw it not as a suburban site, but as Mississauga city centre, which could be pretty urban.

"So we went with a pretty sleek glass tower design, which hadn't been done there before. Before, it was very traditional suburban condo designs, more individual, punch windows, facades with individual windows breaking up the exterior. At that time, nothing in Mississauga city centre had lofts, two-storey units, and they sold incredibly fast."

The first designs for the four-tower project, which also includes CityGate I and II, and Solstice, were done in 2002, just after the zoning for the area had been changed to allow the increased density, according to Smith.

The towers' architect was Roland Rom Colthoff, current principal at Raw Design, who was a principal of Quadrangle Architects while designing the first three towers; the credit for Onyx is split between the two firms.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Ian Smith

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

CORRECTION: Raw Design was incorrectly credited as the architecture firm behind the four towers in the original version of this story. Roland Rom Colthoff was the principal in charge of these designs while at Quadrangle.
24 Mississauga Articles | Page: | Show All
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