You wake up in your condo and jump on the subway for a quick ride to your office on the fifteenth floor of the KPMG building. It’s a beautiful, warm day, so on your lunch hour you decide take a stroll through a lovely eight-acre central park near your office. At the end of the workday you meet a few of your friends for dinner at a chic new restaurant and do some shopping before heading home to change for a night out on the town.
Where are you? You’re probably thinking downtown Toronto, but really you’re in the City of Vaughan. It’s hard to believe, especially for those of us who live in the sprawling suburban area that is Vaughan today. But believe it or not, by 2016, Vaughan will be well under way to becoming a ‘new downtown’. Here are the main changes to be expected:
If you’ve passed through York University or been around Highway 407 and Jane Street in the past couple of years, you’ve seen the extensive subway construction underway. What is the scope of the project? The Toronto – York Spadina Subway Extension will span 8.6km from Downsview Station northwest through York University north to the new “Vaughan Metropolitan Centre” (VMC). Six brand new stations (names subject to change) will be created along the extension:
- Sheppard West – on Parc Downsview Park lands, adjacent to the Barrie GO Transit Line
- Finch West – at the corner of Keele Street and Finch Avenue
- York University – near the common of York University
- Steeles West – at North West Gate and Steeles Avenue, east of Jane Street
- Highway 407 – adjacent to Highway 407 and Jane Street
- Vaughan Metropolitan Centre – near Highway 7 west of Jane Street
The subway service is expected to begin in the fall of 2016. If you want to learn more about the $2.6 billion expansion, check out this overview on the official TTC website for the project.
Expanding Commercial, Residential, and Retail Space
At the heart of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, the land owned by Calloway REIT and SmartCentres will be transformed into approximately six million square feet of commercial, residential and retail development. According to promotional material, the envisioned VMC is “a vibrant, modern urban centre for residents and businesses that encompasses all amenities of urban lifestyle.” You can expect to see new offices, condos (such as the Expo City condos), restaurants, cafés, hotels, cultural centres and landscaped outdoor spaces beginning to pop up in the area over the next few years.
The consulting firm KPMG will be one of the first major buildings in the area, constructing a new 300,000-square-foot, 15-storey office tower. It will be connected underground to the subway and a regional bus terminal. And east of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, an eight-acre central park and civic square are in the plans.
Population Increase and Job Creation
In an interview about the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, the major of Vaughan, Maurizio Bevilacqua said, “We want to attract people from beyond our city boundaries. We want to make it a place to be.” By 2031, it is predicted that the VMC will attract and accommodate 25,000 residents and 11,000 jobs, of which minimum 5,000 will be new office jobs. However, the pace of development will depend on the demand from potential tenants and residents.
If you’d like to see more images of the proposed Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, check out this slide show. And if you want to keep reading more about the project check out this property report from the Globe and Mail. HOw do you think this will affect real estate in Vaughan? Let me know in the comments below what you think of these plans for Vaughan!