The City is experiencing significant development within the urban area as directed by the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) and the City’s Official Plan (OP) particularly in proximity to the City’s existing and planned rapid transit system. Intensification, improvement of active transportation, and development of complete communities are all part of this trend and are contributing to a healthier city with enhanced livability and increased opportunities for current and future generations.
As part of the change that is occurring, the Preston-Carling District is emerging as one of the most significant re-urbanization areas in the City, transforming into a destination within a broader downtown context. The principles and directions for the Carling Avenue-Preston Street area acknowledge and embrace the significance of the change anticipated in the area while ensuring that the broad objectives of the Official Plan are met.
Two elements are critical to the transformation of the Preston-Carling District: a built form strategy that will define the area as the western gateway into the larger downtown area; and a comprehensive public realm strategy to ensure sufficient, generous, and high quality public spaces supporting the transformation of the District. The challenge will be to achieve the broader area wide improvements required to establish a complete and dynamic urban place. This will require development interests to contribute to the funding and the implementation of the broader area wide works that have been identified as important elements needed to achieve a successful transformation of the area.
Built Form Strategy
The design of built form is critical to the success of the transformation of the Preston‑Carling node. The built form strategy will orchestrate the design of various private projects by clarifying the placement, height, and general expected qualities of the development.
Station Area – Located adjacent to the LRT station along Carling and Champagne Avenues, this area will see the highest density and tallest buildings in the entire District and the City, with transition towards the surrounding stable residential neighbourhoods. Exceptional architectural design will be required for all buildings to ensure the highest streetscape quality and to create a unique skyline that represents the south western gateway to the downtown area. Integration with the LRT station will be encouraged for buildings immediately adjacent to the LRT station. Opportunities for a nationally significant building will be explored on lands owned by the NCC.
Mainstreet Corridors – Preston Street will continue to evolve and thrive as the commercial spine of the Preston-Carling District. Stemming from Preston, Beech Street will be developed as a link between the residential neighbourhoods west of the O-train, the potential development at Booth Street Complex, and Preston Mainstreet. Both streets will be characterized by an eclectic collection of mid-rise buildings.
Rochester Corridor – As an entry route to both the Preston-Carling district and Booth Street Complex, Rochester Street will form an urban edge between the two distinctive areas. The buildings along the west side of the corridor, up to 18‑storeys, will offer a transition between the Booth Street Complex and the neighbourhood around Preston Street.
Eastern Edge of O-train – Properties along the east side of the O-train, immediately adjacent to the City’s Multi-function Pathway, have convenient access to the existing O-train station and two future LRT stations. Moderate residential development will be encouraged to capture opportunities for intensification and to animate the Multi-use Pathway without introducing abrupt changes to the neighbourhood fabric.
Mixed-use Residential Blocks – The vacant and/or underutilized properties east of the O-train corridor south of Young Street will be suitable for a mixed-use development and serve as a buffer between the Queensway and the neighbourhood. The surface parking area between Aberdeen and Beech Streets, west of Preston will offer a great opportunity for a mid-rise mixed-use project that could potentially accommodate a much needed major grocery store.
Mixed Use Neighbourhoods – The street blocks flanking Preston Street will continue to evolve and intensify organically. The City needs to encourage redevelopment in the form of infill to ensure the unique quality and characteristics that define the identity of the Preston-Carling District will not be lost in the wake of the major urban transformation.
High profile mixed-use development up to a height in the order of 40-storeys will be permitted on blocks fronting Carling Avenue adjacent to the LRT station.
High profile predominately residential development up to a height of 25-storeys will be permitted along the west side of the O-train corridor up to Ev Tremblay Park. Low to medium profile mixed use development to a maximum height of six‑storeys with continuous ground floor commercial uses will be permitted along Preston Street. With the exception of properties along the north side of Adeline Street, low profile development to a maximum height of four-storeys will be permitted in areas flanking Preston Street, with areas east of Preston Street being a mixed use zone and areas west of Preston Street being predominantly residential.
Medium profile mixed use development to a maximum height of nine-storeys will be permitted along the north side of Adeline Street to provide a transition between the high profile development south of Adeline Street and low profile neighbourhoods to the north. Medium profile predominately residential development up to a maximum height of nine-storeys will be permitted along the western ends of the street blocks between Preston Street and the O-train corridor subject to the introduction of an access mews from Adeline to Beech Streets parallel to the Multi-use Pathway with these developments incorporates low profile elements to provide transition towards and ensure a harmonized relationship with the existing low profile buildings within these blocks.
High profile mixed use development up to a maximum height of 18-storeys will be permitted along the west side of Rochester Street provided such development is located along the entire frontage of Rochester Street between the east west streets extending from Preston Street to Rochester Street.
In addition to satisfying the existing Official Plan policies and applicable Council‑approved Urban Design Guidelines, development projects will be required to meet the following specific conditions with respect to development type:
Projects that incorporates a high profile building:
- The development site shall have frontage on public lands along three sides which could comprise a combination of streets and/or public owned open space (i.e. frontage on three streets or frontage on two streets with one frontage on public owned open space).
- The podium and/or base of the development shall incorporate uses and human scale features to animate adjacent streets and open spaces.
- Point tower design with multiple faces shall be provided for high-rise buildings.
- Small floor plates will be encouraged with a residential tower being no greater than 750 square meters and office tower being less than 2,000 square meters.
- A minimum distance of 20 metres between the towers shall be provided to minimize shadowing impacts on public and private realms, ensure liveability, and to protect views and privacy.
- The relationship between potential towers within the same street block shall be addressed with towers being provided as shown on the tower location plan (Document 4) and measures being introduced through the development review and approval process to ensure orderly development of the block.
- Coordination of tower locations shall be pursued to optimize views from towers to Dow’s Lake and other public amenities.
- Projects that a building up to 40-storeys will be expected to meet the following additional conditions:
- A minimum distance of 30m between the towers shall be provided to minimize shadowing impacts on public and private realms, ensure liveability, and to protect views and privacy.
- The development shall display exceptional architecture quality and pursue design excellence and will be subject to a specialized peer design review process.
- The development shall pursue distinction and variation and no single project shall have high-rise buildings of the same height and identical design.
Projects along the west side of Rochester Street:
- Only one tower will be permitted on each block end.
- The development shall ensure compatibility, transition, and integration with the existing and future low profile buildings on the remainder of the block
- Projects along the east side of O-train adjacent to the Multi-use Pathway:
- The development shall ensure compatibility, transition, and integration with the existing and future low profile buildings on the remainder of the block.
- The development shall contribute to the establishment of a series of access mews from Adeline to Beech Streets parallel to the Multi-use Pathway.
Continuous retail and commercial frontages shall be provided along Preston Street.
Commercial and other active frontages will be required for development along Beech and Adeline Streets west of Preston Street.
All development projects will be required to be oriented to the streets, pathways, or parks and animate the public spaces they face through pedestrian-friendly uses and architectural features such as doors, windows, and porches.
Public Realm Strategy
The successful transformation of Preston-Carling District will require the provision of a sufficient and generous high quality public realm. A comprehensive public realm plan should be prepared and implemented through collaboration between the City and all stakeholders.
Streetscape improvement initiatives that will build on the successful implementation of the Preston Street streetscape plan and incorporate all aspects of streetscaping with priority projects that may include Carling Avenue, Champagne Avenue, Beech Street, and Rochester Street.
Pedestrian and cycling initiatives that will include improving existing connections and introducing new connections such as the Multi-Use Pathways along both sides of the O-train, street sidewalks, cycling-friendly streets, pedestrian and cycling bridges across the O-train, and pedestrian mews.
“Complete street” initiatives that aim at re-griding the street network within the District and strengthening the integration of the neigbourhoods on both sides of the O-train.
Public open space initiatives that will enhance existing and develop new municipal parks to serve the existing and new populations as well as explore opportunities for introducing publicly accessible private spaces such as squares.
Set out the means and methods to provide for those developing in the area to cover the costs for implementation and maintenance of defined public realm improvement initiatives.
Establish a list of priority projects, primarily in the “Station Area” described in this report, to be implemented in the near future in association with, and with contribution from, the approved and to be approved high profile development projects. Such projects would be expected to include implementation secured as conditions on site plan approvals or through Section 37 Contributions:
- The Pedestrian and cycling bridge approved to be constructed in 2013 near Hickory Street.
- The Multi-use Pathway along the west side of the O-train between Beech Street and Carling Avenue.
- Improvements to Ev Tremblay Park.
- Multi-purpose street initiative on Champagne Avenue south of Beech Street.
- Streetscape and sidewalk improvements along Carling Avenue, including the expansion and improvement of sidewalks of the Carling Avenue bridge over the O-train.
- Streetscape and sidewalk improvements along Sidney.
- New street connection along east side of the O-train between Adeline Street and Sidney Street.
- Public square at the corner of Preston Street and Carling Avenue.
- Traffic calming projects throughout the entire Preston-Carling District.