The shopping malls in the Toronto area have been closely tied to suburban culture for many years, but due to declining foot traffic, increased land values, and the collapse of brick-and-mortar retail in 2020, property owners are struggling to find ways to make the most of their vast plots of land through new development.
For the past few years, a plan has been in the works to increase the density of the sprawling parking lots around CF Markville shopping centre in Markham at McCowan Road and Highway 7. While some mall owners are planning to demolish their retail properties, Cadillac Fairview is planning to keep Markville Mall as the anchor of a new community, expanding the facility's surrounding parking lots with mid-rises and towers, while also relocating surface parking to multi-level garages.
The plan involves constructing up to a dozen towers, with some reaching 44 storeys, mostly situated along Highway 7. Blocks of mid-rise buildings will be built to the north and west of the mall. According to a conceptual phasing strategy submitted to the City of Markham in December, the tallest towers will be built in the first phase to the southeast of the current mall. The second phase will be constructed to the north, while phases three and four will wrap around the west side of the mall.
The mall's east frontage on McCowan Road will remain the main entrance to the shopping centre, with new pedestrian paths carved through the community to support interconnectivity between the surrounding streets and retail concentration. The new development will also include parkland to draw pedestrian traffic to the mall.
Other suburban malls that are facing redevelopment or intensification include Square One, Bramalea City Centre, and Dixie Outlet Mall in Mississauga, as well as Scarborough Town Centre, Yorkdale, Sherway Gardens, Fairview Mall, the ongoing redevelopment of Galleria Mall, Yorkgate Mall, Jane Finch Mall, Agincourt Mall, Atrium on Bay, Dufferin Mall, Centrepoint Mall, Cloverdale Mall, and Malvern Town Centre in Toronto.
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