First Capital Realty (FCR), the owner of Humbertown Shopping Centre, is planning a major redevelopment and expansion of Humbertown. FCR recently provided a preview of the proposal to the HVVRA Board of Directors. The proposal involves a complete redevelopment of the property, including a multi-stage demolition of all of the existing shopping centre, and the construction of an entirely new “mixed use” development that includes substantially expanded retail and commercial/office space, and multiple new residential condo buildings. Nearly all of the surface parking would be replaced with two underground parking levels, and delivery and garbage services would be relocated to the underground.
FCR says that it wants to modernize Humbertown but maintain its character as a neighbourhood shopping centre. FCR also says that it plans to consult with the community and seek input from residents who are ultimately its customers.
This proposal will clearly entail a very major change to Humbertown and the character of the neighbourhood. Among the key issues are coverage, density, and the impact of the residential intensification – population growth, traffic, and pressures on local services. The proposal contemplates the addition of 44,000 square feet of retail space and an expansion of 52,000 square feet of commercial/office space. The property coverage would be 200%. The residential component includes the addition of 700 residential condo units, ranging in size from 700–1100 square feet, in TEN BUILDINGS around the property ranging in height from 4 to 21 stories.
The implications of this expansion for the neighbourhood are enormous. This proposal will dramatically change Humbertown and the streetscapes along Royal York Road and The Kingsway. While some residents may welcome the updating and modernization of the shopping centre, the scale of the proposal is overwhelming. This is illustrated by the estimate provided by FCR that construction will take 6 years to complete!
The HVVRA is very concerned with the impact that this proposal will have on the neighbourhood. We will carefully monitor the progress of the proposal, encourage FCR to remain in regular contact with us and our municipal representatives throughout the process, and ensure that residents have the opportunity to express their concerns. FCR has committed to keeping the HVVRA fully informed as its proposal moves ahead.
FCR intends to file a formal application with the City in September. Once the application is filed, Councilor Gloria Lindsay-Luby will be organizing a community meeting to seek neighbourhood feedback on this proposal. It is imperative that you attend this meeting to see first hand the details of the project and raise your questions and concerns with FCR and the City. Once the date of the meeting is set, it will be announced by Councilor Lindsay-Luby and the HVVRA. Following the community meeting, City staff will review the application and provide comments. FCR will then have the opportunity to make modifications to the proposal based on the comments from residents and the City. The final proposal will then be submitted to Etobicoke York Community Council for approval.
It is more important than ever that the HVVRA be strong and vigilant. We need your support. Please renew your membership in the HVVRA by completing the attached form. If you would like to be informed of future developments on the Humbertown proposal and the HVVRA’s intended course of action, please provide an email address, which we will use solely for this purpose.