Vaughan is Getting a Stunning New Central Park
Vaughan, like so many cities in the GTA, is currently experiencing incredible rapid growth. A lot of that growth is occurring in the 442-acre mixed-use master-planned Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) which promises to add a bustling new transit-oriented downtown core to the City of Vaughan.
SmartCentres Place is one of the first major communities proposed within the VMC. Once complete, this 100-acre development will add 17 million square feet of residential, office and retail to Vaughan’s burgeoning downtown.
Progress at SmartCentres Place has already been made with the completion of KPMG Tower, the first office building in the development. Work has begun on another office building which will include a 100,000 square foot YMCA and 20,000 square foot public Library at the base. Work has also begun on the York Region Bus Terminal. The first residential condo by CentreCourt and SmartREIT, Transit City, is about to be launched and the highly anticipated final stop of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension is nearing completion and will begin service later this year. Perhaps one of the most exciting projects, however, is the 9-acre central park that is sure to be a centrepiece of the SmartCentre Place development.
As Mitch Goldhar, Chairman of the Board of SmartREIT and co-founder of SmartCentres, describes in this video, SmartCentres Place was designed to be more like a “100-acre park that has buildings placed in strategic locations.” As a result, a great deal of attention is being placed on creating a vibrant interwoven network of public spaces, streetscapes and green spaces throughout anchored by the central park.
Famed landscape architect Claude Cormier and his team have been tasked with creating a comprehensive vision for the park and all pedestrian spaces in the entire development. They have designed the public realm to be walkable while also accommodating cyclists.
Located in front of the KPMG Tower, the park extends three city blocks west towards Highway 400 and will be framed in by buildings featuring a number of different uses. The park’s network of curved meandering pathways, inspired by the work of British artist Bridget Riley, act as unifying element connecting each of the three park blocks.
In between the pathways are a mix of green spaces, gardens, fountains, pavilions and hardscape plazas meant for a series of leisurely functions. Those include sports, recreation, cultural events, cafes, restaurants, seasonal farmers market, a variety pop-up markets and much more.
The park extends east past the KPMG Tower where it fronts both the bus terminal and TTC subway station acting as a unifying public element between these important buildings.
Work on the park has already begun with the installation of streetscaping and paving stone around the recently completed 360,000 square foot KPMG Tower with the remaining work to be completed in phases.
The intricate paving contains light strips formed in a grid offset by dark patterned squares containing a motif inspired by a pattern found on the fabric used by Louis Vuitton in its products.
It will be really exciting to see the vision of the park and the entire development come to fruition in the coming years. Be sure to join our mailing list so we can keep you updated with everything going on at SmartCentres Place, the VMC and more.
Images Courtesy of Claude Cormier + Associés Inc.