Eglinton Connects awarded 2015 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence

Eglinton Connects has been awarded the 2015 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence under the City and Regional Planning category. The Canadian Institute of Planners annual Awards for Planning Excellence honour planning projects judged on their excellence, innovation, impact on the profession, implementation potential and overall presentation.

The project team for Eglinton Connects is comprised of Brook McIlroy, planningAlliance, HDR, Public Work, Antoine Grumbach & Associates, Swerhun Facilitation and Decision Making, ERA Architects, Public Workshop and N. Barry Lyons Consultants. The project was completed for the City of Toronto.

Eglinton Connects is a comprehensive planning study, completed in 2014, that establishes a vision for the transformation of Toronto’s Eglinton Avenue to complement new higher-order transit infrastructure. The Study takes advantage of the $5.3-billion investment by Metrolinx in the 19-kilometre-long Crosstown LRT that will cross midtown Toronto from the western edge of the city to the east.

The Eglinton Connects project provides an unprecedented opportunity for the City to plan for long-term change along this important corridor. The plan prioritizes intensification through a variety of built forms which provide housing choice and a range of new uses in close proximity to the LRT. It identifies new places for work and play, new open spaces and connections to Toronto’s spectacular ravines. Importantly, it also provides expanded, safer and more comfortable ways to reach all of these by foot, bicycle, vehicle and transit.

Through an extensive consultation process and the two-year study period, more than 5,000 Toronto residents participated in more than 60 events and online surveys. This wide-ranging participation generated support from community members, Business Improvement Association representatives, cycling advocates, City and Metrolinx staff, and City Councillors.

Important achievements of Eglinton Connects include:

*a redesigned roadway that promotes a mobility balance—including Toronto’s first cross-city bicycle lane, which is also one of Toronto’s first fully protected bicycle lanes
*a streetscape and public realm plan that includes Canada’s first planted trackway in which its LRT runs at grade
*an open space plan that identifies upwards of 50 acres for new park spaces, 26 new trail connections or gateways to existing trails, enhancements to existing parks and new civic plazas at LRT stations
*new as-of-right zoning for mid-rise buildings that is, to date, the most comprehensive realization of the City’s vision for mid-rise urbanism on the Avenues. Zoning and Official Plan updates have already been adopted by City Council.
*close collaboration with Metrolinx, which is responsible for building the LRT itself, to ensure that stations and LRT infrastructure will support the vision for the corridor

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