First Gulf has big plans for the former Unilever site at Lakeshore blvd and the Don River. First Gulf is hoping that 60 acre site will eventually have 12-million square feet of office, institutional and retail space that will employ over 50,000 people.
The site has some challenges that will need to be overcome before it can be fully developed including: lack of transit access, being boxed in by the Gardiner expressway on the south, and flood protection. However, there are plans in the works to address this like Smart Track or the Downtown Relief line and the Gardiner realignment plans.
Community consultation for this massive project began early this year. At the three previous community workshops, residents identified the need for cultural and public spaces, entertainment, parks, restaurants, and connections between citizens and businesses. Residents also voiced the need for the site to be a walkable and cycling friendly neighbourhood.
First Gulf is inviting residents of the area to a workshop to help plan the new neighbourhood. The workshop will take place on October 1st, from from 6:30PM to 9:00PM at the Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen Street East). For more information see http://project21.firstgulf.com/