As illustrated in the following timeline, this area has evolved dramatically since its industrial past. The design team has been working to ensure that the future master plan reflects on each of these chapters of its history.
Dupont was built parallel to the CPR rail line, which offered easy access to goods movement for the factories that sprang up along the corridor. Previously referred to as both Van Horne and Royce Street, Dupont once boasted a Ford Model T factory and showroom at Christie Street with the Evening Telegram building located across the street, the Hamilton Gear plant at Dovercourt Road, and the abandoned Mono Lino Typesetting building near Howland Avenue. Over time, shops and businesses that served the adjacent residential neighbourhoods began to locate on the corridor, including the former Royce Theatre. The recent growth of creative industries and tech-sector businesses in the area are true to Dupont’s legacy as a place where things were made.
Galleria Mall – One of Toronto’s First Enclosed Malls
The Galleria Mall opened in 1972 as a neighbourhood shopping plaza. The mall had a large draw because of the fact that it was one of Toronto’s first enclosed malls. The mall was a popular destination for the area’s predominantly Italian shoppers and business owners. As the demographics of the area evolved, Galleria Mall became a destination for a sizeable base of Portuguese patrons.
Galleria Mall – An Aging Mall used as a Local Community Hub
Galleria has not seen many updates since it originally opened. The mall is pockmarked by vacancies, many of the mall’s amenities and retail spaces are out of date, and its built form is no longer consistent with current best practices in land use planning and urban design. Despite its current condition, the site serves an important social role. The large central court serves as a gathering area for the local community.
Entitlement Plan – Current Residential PermissionS
In 2004, the former land owners undertook an approvals process to permit the redevelopment of the site as a series of residential properties with ancillary retail uses. The current permissions allow the Galleria Mall site to be replaced with six towers ranging in height from 6- to 19-storeys and containing 1,600 residential units, as well as twenty 31⁄2-storey stacked townhouses on the western edge of the property. The configuration includes four new public streets, approximately 0.55 ha of parkland, and 1,449 below-grade parking spaces. The plan reduces the amount of retail on the site to roughly 38,750 sq. ft, just 15% of the amount of retail currently supported by the property.
Re-Imagining Galleria Mall
Elad Canada and Freed Developments purchased the site in the fall of 2015, and have a different vision from the 2004 Entitlement Plan (as-of-right). Their belief is that the site should continue to serve as a community hub. They envision a dynamic mix of community offerings including places to shop, live, work and play.