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lower yonge precinct planning

Guiding future development in the Lower Yonge Precinct

Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto have completed two studies which create the foundation for the Lower Yonge Precinct Plan: an Urban Design Report and a Transportation Master Plan Environmental (Phases 1 and 2). Located between Yonge Street and Lower Jarvis Street, Lake Shore Boulevard and north of Queens Quay, this area is currently home to the Toronto Star building, the LCBO warehouse and retail store, a Loblaws grocery store and several parking lots.

These studies establish the planning context required to guide the future development of this important waterfront area. The Precinct Plan will refine these recommendations and confirm the requirements for community services and facilities, servicing infrastructure, heritage, affordable housing and the development of phasing and implementation tools.


urban design report


The Lower Yonge Urban Design Report, which was jointly developed by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto, articulates the overall urban design vision for the precinct. It provides guidance to the public, stakeholders and decision-makers in implementing that vision. The report outlines a set of principles and recommendations for the neighbourhood including how blocks, streets, parks and publicly accessible open spaces in the area should be organized. The report also establishes expectations for built form including the general height of base buildings and tall buildings and how buildings are organized on the site. The way buildings meet streets and open spaces has also been considered.


transportation master plan


The Transportation Master Plan identifies the transportation infrastructure required to support development within the Lower Yonge Precinct. It also assesses the role of Harbour Street as far west as Lower Simcoe Street. The Transportation Master Plan was carried out in accordance with Phases One and Two of the Municipal Class EA, which is an approved planning process under the Environmental Assessment Act.


The Environmental Assessment identified a local street network for the Precinct by extending the existing Harbour Street from Yonge Street to Lower Jarvis Street, adding a new local street east of Cooper Street, connecting Lake Shore Boulevard East to Queens Quay East, and providing a more permeable street grid for pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists. Several other changes to the regional transportation network were also included to improve traffic flow as well as help minimize the impact of regional traffic on the local street network.


In May 2015, the Lower Yonge Precinct Transportation Master Plan was placed on public record and a Notice of Study Completion was issued. 


notice of study commencement - lower yonge precinct area municipal class EA


In January 2016, Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto jointly commenced a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) Study and Public Realm Concept for the Lower Yonge Precinct Area.  Additional information is available in the Notice of Study Commencement


engaging the community


Public consultation has been an important part of this work. A Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) comprising neighbouring residents, businesses and other interested parties was established to provide a forum for feedback, guidance and advice to the Project Team at key points during the project. Several public meetings were held throughout the process to give the general public an opportunity to provide input and feedback. Comments received during these sessions have played a significant role in the development of the precinct plan to date.


precinct planning


The Central Waterfront Secondary Plan is built on four core principles:


  • Removing barriers/making connections
  • Building a network of spectacular waterfront parks and public spaces
  • Promoting a clean and green environment
  • Creating dynamic and diverse new communities


These objectives are implemented through precinct plans. To date, Waterfront Toronto has developed precinct plans for East Bayfront, West Don Lands and the Keating Channel precincts. Precinct planning is about developing a sense of place for a community. It leads to the development of a vision for parks and public space and an understanding of what private development should look like in an area. It also examines how an area will be used, how the buildings will be arranged and how transit, housing and community facilities will be provided.


development applications


All development applications for the Lower Yonge Precinct are reviewed by the City of Toronto Planning Department. Applications for the Lower Yonge Precinct are public and posted on the City’s website.


public information centre (June 23, 2016)


A Public Information Centre (PIC) was held on June 23, 2016.  You can view the presentation material here: 


notice of study completion (May 2018)

Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto have jointly completed a Public Realm Concept and Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) study for the Lower Yonge Precinct Area. The objective of the study is to identify the infrastructure needed to support redevelopment of the Lower Yonge Precinct Area. Following consultation with regulatory agencies, City Divisions and the public, the following are the study’s key findings, accepted by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto:

  • Convert Harbour Street to two-way operations between York Street and Yonge Street.
  • Eliminate the eastbound Bay Street on-ramp to the Gardiner Expressway.
  • Shorten the eastbound Lower Jarvis Street off-ramp from the Gardiner Expressway.
  • Eliminate the Harbour Street S-curve at Yonge Street and normalize the Yonge Street / Harbour Street and Yonge Street /Lake Shore Boulevard intersections.
  • Provide an additional eastbound lane on Lake Shore Boulevard East from Yonge Street to Lower Jarvis Street.
  • Construct a new north-south street between Cooper Street and Lower Jarvis Street.

Opportunities for review

The study was carried out following the requirements for Schedule C projects under the Municipal Class EA. An Environmental Study Report (ESR) was placed on public record for a 30-day review period from May 31, 2018 to June 30, 2018.


Related Documents

Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Notice of Study Completion - May 31, 2018
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Environmental Study Report 
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix A - Natural Environment Memo and Tree Inventory
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix B - Drainage Memo
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix C - Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix D - Air Quality Screening Assessment 
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix E - Noise Memo
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix F - Inventory of Archaeological Resources
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix G - Heritage Inventory and Heritage Impact Assessments
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix H - Consultation Record
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix I - Public Information Centre Summary Report and Displays
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix J - Freeland Street - Revised Alternatives
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix K - Transportation Modelling Memo
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix L - Utility Conflicts and Relocation Plan Memo
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix M - Construction Phasing
Lower Yonge Precinct EA - Appendix N - Cost Estimate Breakdown


related news

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project status

Approved Budget:

quick facts

Boundaries:  Between Yonge Street and Lower Jarvis Street south of Lake Shore Boulevard East and north of Queens Quay East. The Transportation Master Plan will also assess the role of Harbour Street as far west as Lower Simcoe Street


Size: About 9 hectares (22 acres)


Proximity: 10 -15 minute walk to Union Station


Ownership: Private/public landowners


Project Team:

  • Perkins Will (Urban Design Guidelines)
  • ARUP (Transportation Master Plan)
  • MMM Group (Municipal Class Environmental Assessment)
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