The Parkdale Hub project, located at the intersection of Queen Street West and Cowan Avenue, is a transformational city-building initiative that will deliver wide-ranging social, cultural and economic benefits to the Parkdale community.
The intersection is currently home to an important cluster of City-owned facilities and community services, all of which are in need of significant capital investment over the next 10 years in order to maintain current service delivery levels.
The Parkdale Hub Study Area includes approximately 4.24 acres of City-owned lands and includes the following properties:
- Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreation Centre (220 Cowan Avenue)
- Parkdale Library Branch (1303 Queen Street West)
- Parkdale Arts and Culture Centre (1313 Queen Street West)
- Toronto Parking Authority lot (1325 Queen Street West)
Potential Enhancements to Public Realm and Site Integration
- Masaryk Park and Dunn Avenue Parkette
- Public Laneway at rear of library (Milky Way Lane)
- Toronto Community Housing residential apartment building (245 Dunn Avenue)
Reimagining the future of this area provides a unique opportunity for CreateTO to collaborate with City divisions, agencies, the non-profit sector and the broader community to create spaces that will more efficiently and effectively serve the Parkdale community into the future.
The benefits that will be delivered to the Parkdale community through this project include:
- The revitalization and expansion of the Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreation Centre, to better deliver recreational programming through a more efficient design and the addition of up to 30,000 square feet of space;
- The revitalization and expansion of the Parkdale Library Branch, to provide increased visibility and accessibility to the third busiest library branch in the city;
- The creation of new affordable rental housing delivered through the Housing Now Initiative;
- The ongoing delivery of Artscape’s cultural hub program, which provides affordable live-work housing for local artists as well as an art gallery and community office space;
- The creation of new inclusive and accessible community space and design elements that will strategically connect programs, services and people – creating an integrated “Hub”; and
- Significant enhancements to the public realm in the heart of the Parkdale neighbourhood, through the sensitive adaptive re-use of heritage buildings and improved connectivity with the adjacent residential neighbourhood.This project was initiated by City Council in 2017, with a request for City staff to convene an Inter-Divisional Agency Table to determine the feasibility of a coordinated City plan for the City-owned properties located at 1313, 1303 Queen Street West and 220 Cowan Avenue.
In 2018, CreateTO was directed to undertake a Feasibility Study during which the agency, in collaboration with the City of Toronto Real Estate Services division, held several preliminary stakeholder and community meetings to learn what Parkdale residents, community organizations and local City agencies would like to see included in a future community hub. This included meetings with Parkdale Arts & Culture Centre’s live-work tenants, the community organizations currently operating in the Study Area, public town survey and community organization surveys and public town hall meetings. View materials from the 2019 community here:
In December 2019, a report from City staff on the Parkdale Hub project was adopted by City Council. That report provided an overview of the findings from the first phase of the Feasibility Study and recommended next steps for moving the project forward. CreateTO and several other City divisions were directed to develop the following:
- A more detailed Schematic design;
- Heritage impact assessment;
- Construction phasing study;
- Operations and collaboration framework;
- Community engagement strategy;
- Programming model;
- Affordable housing model;
- Environmental studies; and
- Capital budget and financing model
At the direction of City Council, the Parkdale Hub project will follow the guiding principles and objectives of the Housing Now Initiative, and 1303 Queen Street West will be included in the next group of properties to be considered for the Housing Now Initiative.
The Parkdale Hub project was one of CreateTO’s first projects launched under the new city-wide model to centralize the delivery of the City’s real estate services. The project is a great example of CreateTO serving as a catalyst for city-building and supporting the vibrancy of the community, while contributing to the City’s broader city-building objectives.
DetailsMajor Intersection: Queen Street West and Dufferin Street
Surrounding Uses: Retail to the north, east and west and low-rise residential to the south.
Ward: Parkdale - High Park
Councillor: Councillor Gord Perks
Site Area (acres): 4.24
Current Use: Library, Housing, Community Recreation Centre, Parkdale Arts + Culture Centre
Planning and Staff Reports: