Vaughan downtown 'exploding,' says developer hoping to build 2 massive condo towers


Vaughan downtown 'exploding,' says developer hoping to build 2 massive condo towers
  1. Vaughan downtown 'exploding,' says developer hoping to build 2 massive condo towers
    www.cbc.ca
    The CN Tower defines Toronto's skyline. Roller-coasters define Vaughan's. But not for…
    Ontario

The CN Tower defines Toronto's skyline. Roller-coasters define Vaughan's.

For now, anyway.

One real estate developer is hoping to build condo towers, stretching 51- and 53-storeys tall, in an area that will soon be the city's downtown core. Other new buildings are already springing up in the same area — dubbed the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre by city planners.

  • Vaughan's newest library is nothing like the ones you grew up in

  • Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension track work complete

Several factors, highlighted by the nearly complete Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE), are driving the development.

And by 2031, the city hopes to have a dense downtown.

"This is an exploding market in the GTA now," said Steve Gupta, the developer behind the super-tall Icona condo tower proposal.

If approved, the two towers would be built near Highway 7 between Edgeley Boulevard and Jane Street and could be ready by 2020, Gupta said.

And yes, the condos would be far taller than the roller-coasters at Canada's Wonderland.

Toronto Vaughan Metropolitan Centre

Vaughan's much-awaited subway station, here still under construction, is set to start operating by the end of 2017. (Google)

When Gupta saw the plans for Vaughan Metropolitan Centre several years ago, he said he thought they were far-fetched.

"But now everybody can see that it's going to happen," he told CBC Toronto, adding that he believes roughly 50 new towers could go up in the next 10 years.

"The more the merrier," he said. "People have to live somewhere."

The City of Vaughan, which includes Concord, Kleinburg, Maple, Thornhill and Woodbridge, estimates that as of March 2015, some 319,893 people live there. That population is growing by about 11 per cent a year.

Development centred around new subway

But the city's grown without a central hub and, for many, Vaughan remains that suburban mix of purely residential areas and industrial space, Coun. Sandra Yeung Racco said. Building a downtown around the forthcoming subway's northern stop could solve that problem, she said.

'I am so excited that we are getting the subway. It's huge for us here.' - Lisa Sinopoli, Vaughan-based real estate agent

"We want to really bring everyone together to have an identity," said Racco, who represents the ward where the budding downtown is located.

Racco said plans to develop a pedestrian- and cycling-friendly area began as soon as funding for the subway extension was announced in 2006. Eventually, she hopes the area will be bustling, day and night.

"There's no point in building these things and letting them sit there," she said.

"I don't want us to be like the financial district in downtown Toronto. It is so busy during the daytime, but the minute five o'clock comes around it becomes a ghost town. That is s…

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