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Elmvale Acres Shopping Centre Secondary Plan

Elmvale Acres Shopping Centre Secondary Plan

(Amendment #189, August 9, 2017)


The purpose of this Secondary Plan (“the Plan”) is to guide the redevelopment of the Elmvale Acres Shopping Centre (1910 St. Laurent Boulevard) as well as the parcel of land located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Smyth Road and Russell Road known as 1990 Russell Road.  The Plan is to be read as City Council’s policy direction for municipal actions and in the review of development applications.


The Planning Area is shown on Schedule A – Secondary Plan Study Area.


The following guiding principles have been developed to guide the redevelopment of the planning area:

  1. The area will transform over time to become an attractive and well-designed focal point for the community with active street frontages, outdoor amenity areas, and a new park.
  2. The area will accommodate a mix of land uses, including residential, office, and retail, which will offer a live, work, play environment for residents.
  3. The redevelopment will be integrated into the community with multiple connections into the area, and buildings with active edges.
  4. New development will frame the area with transitional building heights including low-rise buildings along Othello Avenue, mid-rise buildings along Smyth Road, and high-rise buildings closest to the transit station along St. Laurent Boulevard. 
  5. Efficient transit services will support existing and new development through multi-directional connectivity and improved transit movements.  Public transit will become an attractive mode choice to new and existing residents which represents a shift to sustainable modes of transportation.
  6. Transportation system efficiency will be improved by allowing users, particularly non-drivers, the opportunity to choose from a wide range of accessible transportation options. 
  7. New development will provide key pedestrian and cyclist connections within and abutting the site, including safe and convenient access to the transit station area, and adjacent neighbourhoods with sidewalks, landscaping and public open spaces. 
  8. Intersection and right-of-way improvements will ensure that access to the area is safe for all modes of travel.


The policies of the Arterial Mainstreet designation are applicable to the whole of the study area. In addition to the applicable policies in the Official Plan, this section provides detailed policies for each land use area identified on Schedule B – Land Use.  Maximum building heights are identified on Schedule C – Building Heights.

4.1 St. Laurent Boulevard Mixed Use Area

  1. Mid-rise building heights up to nine storeys are permitted along the Smyth Road frontage.
  2. High-rise buildings up to 16 storeys are permitted along St. Laurent Boulevard. 
  3. High-rise buildings must be well-proportioned, integrated with surroundings and should generally take the podium and tower approach in built form design. 
  4. New buildings abutting the transit terminal shall be designed with an articulated façade and mass and explore design techniques such as setbacks and step backs will be used to avoid the canyon effect along the public street and to minimize the visual and micro climate impacts on public and private realms.
  5. Generally, the floor plates for towers should not exceed 750 square metres.
  6. The height of a podium for a high-rise building should be between three and six storeys. The tower should be well set back from the podium faces and should be articulated to break up building mass and allow sky-view, sunlight, and transition towards the abutting properties.

4.2 Othello Avenue Mixed Use Area  

  1. Low rise buildings up to two storeys are permitted.
  2. The placement and form of buildings adjacent to Othello Avenue must occur in a manner that is respectful and compatible with the existing low-rise residential character of Othello Avenue.
  3. Loading for commercial areas will be directed to the interior of the site through phased redevelopment.


The success of the redevelopment of the planning area depends on the creation of an attractive and functional public realm. The components of the public realm are illustrated on Schedule D – Public Realm and Transportation. New development is to be consistent with this plan. The following policies apply to the area:

  1. New development along Othello Avenue will provide a continuous streetscape. The space between buildings fronting on Othello Avenue and the sidewalk will be landscaped in a manner that facilitates activation and animation of the street edge.
  2. In order to create a more urban environment on Smyth Road, buildings will be located closer to the street with building walls that will include clear glazing, pedestrian entrances, patios and courtyards where appropriate. 
  3. The St. Laurent Boulevard frontage is intended to become a transit supportive area with an urbanized edge including active frontage and sidewalks of sufficient width to accommodate users.
  4. Vehicle parking lots abutting St. Laurent Boulevard shall be screened from view.
  5. All building facades that face onto open spaces and the park shall be animated.  Blank walls are not permitted.

5.1 Park

  1. The equivalent of 10 per cent of the total area of the site is required for park purposes, which is approximately 0.52 hectares. The park must be regular in shape, have 50 per cent road frontage and be a minimum of 0.32 hectares in size. The balance owing is to be paid as Cash in Lieu of Parkland (CIL) as applicable to each phase of development.  The directives of the City’s Parks Manual will apply.
  2. Development and conveyance of the parkland is intended to coincide with the redevelopment of that portion of the planning area and will include facilities and programming suitable for the demographics of the planning area at the time of development as approved by the City.
  3. The design of the park and proposed park facilities is to be carried out under the direction of the City and in consultation with the community.

5.2 Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS)

  1. Approximately 3,800 square metres of the area is recommended to be occupied by Privately-Owned Public Spaces (POPS).  A series of four POPS are proposed throughout the area as shown on Schedule D – Public Realm and Transportation.
  2. Signage at each POPS is to be placed in visible locations to identify the name and address of the space and which indicates the space is open to the public.
  3. Each POPS is to have a minimum area of 650 square metres with a length to width ratio of no more than 2:1.
  4. POPS are intended to serve as outdoor open spaces in support of each redevelopment phase and are for the exclusive use of the public. No POPS are to be occupied with private space such as outdoor commercial patios.
  5. Changes to the location, configuration and/or size of the Privately-Owned Public Spaces do not require an amendment to the Secondary Plan.


Proposed improvements for transportation and circulation are illustrated on Schedule D – Public Realm and Transportation. Changes to the location, configuration and/or width of streets, drive aisles, intersections and pedestrian and cycling connections will not require an amendment to the Secondary Plan.

  1. The area will evolve over time with the intention that surface parking will be reduced. Parking to serve ground floor commercial uses will be located at the interior of the site and screened from view from the street. Parking inside buildings will be below or above grade, but not at sidewalk level.
  2. Private drive aisles will be designed and maintained in order to give priority to pedestrians by allowing safe crossing and requiring that vehicles yield to pedestrians.
  3. Access to and from the area is to be improved by breaking up existing building mass and providing landscaped walk-through areas.
  4. Connectivity to the transit station will be improved through the provision of an east-west pedestrian promenade through the middle of the site. At points where the pedestrian pathway crosses a parking drive aisle, enhanced pedestrian pavement markings shall be provided.
  5. Underground garage ingress and egress for the high rise buildings shall be designed to maximize vehicle circulation towards the arterial road network with the intent to minimize internal vehicle circulation and use of the adjacent local road network.

6.1 St. Laurent Boulevard

  1. The section of St. Laurent Boulevard abutting the transit terminal, shown on Schedule D – Public Realm and Transportation, will be designed with a “complete street” approach, with designated lanes for transit and emphasis on active modes of transportation.
  2. A new roundabout identified on Schedule D – Public Realm and Transportation will provide greater efficiency to the transit network and transit station while also improving vehicle and pedestrian connectivity moving through the area and into the site.

6.2 Othello Avenue

  1. Othello Avenue will be designed with a “complete street” approach with traffic calming measures including raised intersections to be narrowed with bulb-outs, sidewalks on both sides, and a speed limit reduced from 50 km/hour to 30 km/hour.
  2. Access to and from the site on Othello Avenue must be designed in order to minimize cut-through traffic to the adjacent neighbourhood.
  3. The intersection of Othello Avenue, Smyth Road and Russell Road shall be realigned to address long standing concerns at this intersection with delays associated with traffic signal timing, public safety and visibility.

6.3 Transit Terminal

  1. No new accesses are permitted in the area fronting the transit terminal on St. Laurent Boulevard in order to minimize conflicts with transit services and ensure spatial requirements are met for transit operations and enhance pedestrian safety.
  2. Proponents of new development will consult with the City to integrate new transit facilities (i.e. shelters, passenger information displays) shall be integrated into the main floor lobbies of new buildings that face onto the transit station on St. Laurent Boulevard.  Service and utility areas between different uses within a single building or between different buildings should be shared to maximize space efficiencies.
  3. As part of new development, the developer shall consult with the City to ensure that transit stops, shelters and crosswalks are to be centrally located for ease of access by all users and building occupants. Transit platforms shall be designed to enable ease of pedestrian movement as well as incorporate the necessary elements that support transit use.
  4. New development shall ensure that clear signage, landscaping and public art are provided around transit stops to promote walkability, wayfinding and sense of place.
  5. Direct well-lit, weather-protected pedestrian access shall be provided between the station and key destinations as part of new development to increase pedestrian comfort, clear sightlines and safety.


  1. Transportation improvements:
    1. At each phase of redevelopment, a transportation study must be undertaken to determine the detailed design of transportation and circulation measures, consistent with the City’s Transportation Impact Assessment Guidelines.
    2. The consultation process for the secondary plan identified existing community concerns regarding speeding and cut-through traffic within the broader neighbourhood beyond the immediate study area for the secondary plan. The developer will be required to undertake a Neighbourhood Transportation Management Study to identify appropriate mitigation measures within the immediate vicinity of the development as per the Transportation Impact Assessment Guidelines.  Assessment of other streets in the greater surrounding neighbourhood can be assessed and reviewed for potential traffic management measures if/when they prioritize City-wide as per the study parameters established in the Council approved Area Traffic Management Guidelines.
    3. Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies are to be implemented for the area at the time of redevelopment.  Transit passes for new residents as well as information signage are recommended Transportation Demand Management strategies.
    4. The provision of car sharing spaces as well as car charging stations should be considered through the site plan approval process.
    5. The realignment of the intersection of Smyth Road with Russell Road and Othello Avenue as well as the construction of the proposed roundabout on St. Laurent Boulevard are development charge related infrastructure that will be implemented through the development charge program.  The roundabout will be required to operate in conjunction with the provision of:
      1. A transit-only left-turn signal at St. Laurent Boulevard and Russell Road (southerly location) providing northbound access to Russell Road; and
      2. The provision of a transit-priority signal at the corner of St. Laurent Boulevard and Russell Road (northerly location).
      3. A public art and/or landscaping opportunity in the vicinity of the roundabout will be pursued at the time of its design and construction in accordance with the City’s Public Art policies.
      4. Depending on the timing of the realignment of the Othello Avenue, Smyth Road and Russell Road intersection, a northbound right turn lane from Othello Avenue to Smyth Road may be required when development occurs along the Smyth Road frontage, should that development occur in advance of the realignment.
    6. The proposed improvements to Othello Avenue as a Complete Street are to be carried out in phases by the developer through the development application process, and are to include the following:
      1. Traffic calming measures including raised intersections which are narrowed with bulb outs;
      2. A reduced speed limit from 50 km/hour to 30 km/hour;
      3. Improved opportunities for walking and cycling with sharrows;
      4. A new sidewalk along the west perimeter of the site from Smyth Road to Pleasant Park Road.
      5. Othello Avenue improvements south of the limits of the Elmvale Acres Shopping Centre are to be carried out through the development charge program.
  2. Park improvements:
    1. Any work required on the park block due to soil contamination will be at the expense of the developer. Services (water, storm, sanitary, hydro) will be required to the lot line of the park at the expense of the developer.
    2. The Ward portion of Cash in Lieu of Parkland payments shall be set aside in a reserve fund to help fund the construction of the park.
    3. Upon the transfer of the parkland to the City, additional funding for park development will be contributed by the developer at the rate per hectare for park development and an indexing rate utilized for park development by the City at the time the park block is transferred to the City.  The area used to calculate this per hectare funding rate will be for the full parkland dedication owing on the lands in the secondary plan (approximately 0.5 hectares of parkland).
  3. Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS):
    1. POPS are to be designed in consultation with the City and in keeping with the City’s Parks and Pathway Manual.
    2. POPS are to be designed in phases by the developer as part of the development application approval process.
  4. Any application for Site Plan Control Approval will be subject to public notification and consultation including the requirement to hold a community information and comment session in accordance with the City’s Public Notification and Consultation Policy for Development Applications, in addition to any requirements of the Planning Act, as amended, and the Official Plan.