Yonge Eglinton Square Coalition

History

Residents who live close to the four corners of Yonge and Eglinton have spent hours researching and attending meetings  to find ways to convince the city and RioCan, the mall owner, to take a more enlightened approach to improving the public space. Below are some key points  gathered by Ben Daube, president of the Sherwood Park Residents’ Association, from city documents. And lower down, you’ll find documents and reports for keeners who want to know all the details of the issue.

“.. a high quality public realm featuring public squares .. is essential..”
Official Plan – 2.12  (p 29)

“Public space creates communities. … Great cities are judged by the look and quality of their .. public spaces…”
Official Plan – 3.1.1 (p 48)

“A plaza exists on the northwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton where open space is desirable and upgrading should be encouraged.”
Yonge Eglinton Urban Design Guidelines – (Public Amenity Space. p 10)

“the square .. which is one of the key open spaces in the area, should be redesigned and improved.”
Urban Design Workshop (Charrette) – Nov 14, 2009 Summary Report  (6.6)

“Rigorous urban design guidance should be provided for all development and streetscape initiatives at Yonge-Eglinton Centre.”
Urban Design Workshop (Charrette) – Nov 14, 2009 Summary Report  (6.10)

“The current size of the square at the northwest corner of the Yonge Eglinton intersection should be maintained to the extent feasible, particularly as it is the only available open space that currently exists at the intersection.”
Urban Design Workshop (Charrette) – Nov 14, 2009 Summary Report  (6.15)

“Built form elements such as canopies, awnings and windbreaks as well as water fountains, tree and shrub plantings and bike racks should be incorporated into the design to make it a very comfortable open space for people to want to come to and linger.”
Urban Design Workshop (Charrette) – Nov 14, 2009 Summary Report  (6.16)

More background documents

In the fall of 2009, a group of Toronto residents, along with politicians, planners and developer representatives took part in a day-long planning session called a charrette to discuss RioCan’s plans for the Yonge Eglinton Centre including the square. Here is the workshop summary.

The city planning department supports RioCan’s plans for the Yonge Eglinton Centre. Here is its report .

And if you’re interested in what the city may have intended back in 1967 when the Yonge Eglinton Centre was first planned, here is a document entitled Yonge-Eglinton Centre 1967 (Site Plan Report) dug up from the city’s Urban Affairs library and thought to be the background notes to the original site plan.

Some cities are much farther ahead than others in planning for the public realm.  Copenhagen, Melbourne and London are touted as among the best. And now New York City is pushing hard to catch up. Check out World Class Streets: Remaking New York City’s Public Realm for what that city has accomplished in a very short time and what it hopes still to achieve.

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  1. I would like to know in which way people can help
    I know write to M.P.
    Are there any notices other than E-Mail (Maybe posters can go up in shop windows?)
    I just hear through a customer of mine.

  2. I have sent the following letter to the MAyor and allcity councilors:

    Proposed Rio-Can Devolpment ofthe Yonge/ Eglinton Square
    Mr.Miller and Councilors,

    Many of the residents of this city and myself are appalled at the proposal put forth by Rio-Can to enclose the existing square on the north west corner of Yonge and Eglinton. In this day and age with Toronto’s growing population there is now more than ever a need to maintain open space. We should definitely keep what open space currently exists…especially at what is now the geographic center of Toronto. It is wrong to take this square away…when studies show that cities around the world are preserving and also adding parks and squares for the benefit and well being of their citizens and the environment.

    The Rio-Can proposal is coming to council shortly for approval …I urge you to take the well being of the citizens of this city into account and oppose the enclosing of this square.

  3. Can’t access the link to the 1967 YEC site plan report…

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