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toronto | october 1–3

Facing change and guiding Ontario into the next quarter century

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204: Unlocking Unilever – Accommodating a New Wave of Office Growth Beyond Toronto’s Downtown

October 01, 2019

1:15PM - 2:15PM

In a thriving economy, downtown Toronto office vacancy rates have maintained a record low for years, despite new office construction. Continued growth has led to a dwindling supply of major office sites within Toronto’s downtown to accommodate new office development. These constraints, combined with the City's long-term policy of preserving and maintaining its supply of designated employment lands has created opportunities to expand office growth to emerging major transit stations beyond downtown. The most significant opportunities for such growth exists at East Harbour, a large, former industrial site immediately east of downtown. A new planning framework for the Unilever Precinct, including the East Harbour lands, creates the potential to build a Downtown-linked major office cluster east of the Don River. Recently approved through an integrated planning and approval process, East Harbour has the potential to accommodate over 10M ft2 of new commercial space and 50,000 jobs. 

The redevelopment of the Unilever Precinct is contingent on the implementation of significant new infrastructure, including a major multi-modal transit hub, flood protection, a parks and public realm network, and the creation of new streets throughout the district. This session will explore the complex and integrated planning approval process, and related infrastructure coordination, that will support the transformation of the Unilever Precinct, reflecting the perspectives of the municipality, the owner, and the master planners.