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GM Canada rolls out plans for mobility campus

Patricia Williams
GM Canada rolls out plans for mobility campus
GENERAL MOTORS CANADA — An innovation centre as well as other GM facilities are to be housed in a five-storey building, part of a proposed multi-use campus to be built on a seven-acre site on Eastern Avenue in Toronto. The building has been designed by Quadrangle.

General Motors Canada has rolled out plans for an ambitious project that would transform a seven-acre site in Toronto’s east end into a master-planned, multi-use “employment” campus.

The proposed development at 721 Eastern Ave. would include a five-storey building housing various GM facilities — among them an innovation centre.

The Toronto GM mobility campus would occupy Site 1 of the property, previously owned by Cinespace Film Studios and acquired by GM Canada about two years ago.

GM Canada has submitted an application with the City of Toronto to develop this site, located on the southern portion of the property. It is moving through the approvals process.

As part of the proposed project, the automaker is engaging with potential partners in the non-residential community to develop Sites 2 and 3 on the property’s northern edge. Office buildings are envisaged, said Erin Whitton, manager of communications at GM Canada.

“Sites 2 and 3 remain in the schematic design stage,” said Whitton. “Therefore details relating to internal configuration, final massing, at-grade uses and parking structures have yet to be determined.

“For the present, a zoning envelope is proposed to secure the overall development density, building setbacks and height and to secure the range of uses on the lands.”

Site plan applications will be submitted to the city at a later date for these two sites, Whitton said.

Designed by Quadrangle, the centrepiece GM building will house office space, vehicle sales and services as well as research and development facilities in such areas as autonomous vehicles.

Whitton said the building has been carefully designed “in order to ensure prominence, visibility, access and an active frontage on Lake Shore Boulevard East, Eastern Avenue and a new public right-of-way.

“The overall design is contemporary and dynamic with eye-catching forms that relate to the existing and emerging urban context in which it is located,” he said.

Plans call for the overall development to be serviced by a new public street that will connect Eastern Avenue to Lake Shore Boulevard and the Lower Don Recreation Trail.

On its website, GM said it is working with its partners, the city and the community to proceed with the project as quickly as possible. A timeline is contingent upon completion of the approvals process.

GM Canada is headquartered in Oshawa, Ont.

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