The city's Official Plan will ensure that the City of Toronto evolves, improves and realizes its full potential in areas such as transit, land use development and the environment. Toronto’s Official Plan is constantly evolving and the Secondary Plan and District Plans inside it all work towards the greater framework that the Official Plan sets out.
A Secondary Plan, just like the larger Official Plan, is created and approved in accordance with the City of Toronto’s planning department. Input for the plan comes from a variety of sources, including official studies, expert analysis, Toronto City Council and local stakeholders.
In the case of the Downsview Area Secondary Plan, the original document was approved by City Council in 1999, then updated by the City in 2011 to align it more closely with City objectives.
Part of the 2011 updates were the inclusion of a transportation master plan for the area and a stormwater management plan.
The City of Toronto's Downsview Area Secondary Plan defines the area using seven smaller districts in order to focus future planning. Through public consultation, each district is individually planned to ensure local stakeholders have a say in how each specific neighbourhood takes shape.
The Secondary Plan defines seven districts inclusive of Downsview Park at the center. The names of the districts are shown in the accompanying map.
There are five land use designations within the Secondary Plan, as shown on the accompanying map. The land use policies implement the development framework provided for in the Secondary Plan.
Downsview has a number of heritage resources that reflect the area's aviation and military history. These resources include buildings as well as landscape features. The Secondary Plan will inform and guide future decisions regarding heritage resources within the defined area.
The parks and open space system within the Secondary Plan area is envisioned to develop with Downsview Park being the focus of a connected network of parks and natural areas.
The Secondary Plan will be supported by excellent transit infrastructure including three area TTC subway stations, a GO Transit rail station which will be integrated with the TTC, and surface transit. Future development will also be supported by street improvements that include the introduction of new municipally and federally-owned streets through the area.
The recommended transportation system will achieve a balanced range of travel options that encourage walking, cycling and transit.
When the Government of Canada announced the closure of the former Canadian Forces Base Toronto in December of 1995, the site transitioned into two distinct parcels: the Downsview Lands and Downsview Park, both overseen by Canada Lands Company.
Downsview Park is the 291-acre parkland component of the site, completely separate from any development undertaken in the Downsview Lands.
Downsview Park is an ever-evolving and growing space within the centre of the Greater Toronto Area. The Park features passive offerings as an innovative greenspace in an urban setting, as well as providing space for more active uses that involve a diverse range of public programs. The Discovery Centre, an on-site educational facility, is a leading destination for school and community field trips in the Greater Toronto Area, with an emphasis on environmental and outdoor education.
The Discovery Centre hosted students from 96 schools last year and presented collaborative programming along with the Toronto District School Board. Support from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation has also continued to contribute to the growth of Downsview Park’s educational programming. The Park also offers a range of free, nature-based programs to the wider community, allowing families to better connect with the natural world around them. Nature Connection, a free indoor/ outdoor program, enjoyed another successful year with more than 250 participants, an increase over last year.
Programming partners such as Bird Studies Canada, Fresh City Farms and the Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative have enabled Downsview Park to provide unique opportunities for participants throughout the year. Downsview Park, as a very young park, has seen progress in the implementation of several enhancements and features over the last few years as a direct result of important feedback and suggestions from the community, stakeholders and park users. For more information about Downsview Park, please visit www.downsviewpark.ca.
The Stanley Greene neighbourhood is 25.7 hectares (63.5 acres) bounded on its west side by Keele Street and the existing Cuffley Crescent neighbourhood, on the east by Union Station Metrolinx rail line, on the south by Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery and Downsview Secondary School, and on the north by Downsview Park. The neighbourhood is a mix of residential housing types. Canada Lands Company’s builder partners are Mattamy Homes and Stafford Homes. Please visit their website to find the home of your dreams right next door to one of Toronto’s most impressive parks.
The William Baker neighbourhood covers 25.1 hectares (62 acres) north and west of Sheppard Avenue and east of Keele Street. A central feature of this area is an existing densely treed woodlot. Demolition on the site as well as interim landscape work to make the site safe and accessible such as adding pathways, seating, and additional tree planting was completed in 2016. Access through the mature, permanent woodlot is perfect for having a leisurely stroll, birding and observing wildlife and nature in the southern portion of the William Baker neighbourhood. Much of this woodlot will eventually be a park area once the neighbourhood is developed in accordance with the approved Secondary Plan.
Community consultation and engagement are crucial parts of the development of this future neighbourhood. Canada Lands and its consultant team will be hosting a number of community and stakeholder consultations in the coming months to share information and seek feedback related to the plan for development of the William Baker Neighbourhood. Please visit the News & Updates page for further information.
Sheppard - Chesswood
The Sheppard neighbourhood is in the north end quadrant of the Downsview Lands and covers 29.6 hectares (73.2 acres). Key to the Sheppard neighbourhood is the new TTC/GO station, at the north end.
The Chesswood neighbourhood covers 17.4 hectares (43.0 acres) at the northern end of Downsview Park on the east side of the Metrolinx line. The land use designation is entirely employment and will include aerospace related uses, research and business park, educational and other institutional uses, including the recently opened Centennial College campus.
The Allen neighbourhood is 40 acres (16.2 hectares). This district has two owners: Canada Lands Company and CreateTO. The southern portion of the neighbourhood will be home to a new residential development, while the north end of the district will be primarily mixed use/commercial/employment development.
Canada Lands has launched an RFQ process for the design, construction, financing and facility maintenance services for an office building in the Allen Road and Sheppard Avenue area in Toronto. Interested parties are invited to apply for qualification to participate in the process, however, they are first required to complete a registration process. For more information and to view this RFQ in its entirety, please visit this link.
Canada Lands is leading the portion of the Allen district west of Allen Road, while CreateTO will lead redevelopment of the neighbourhood east of Allen Road. View the BUILD TORONTO project site for this district.