The Next Big Avenue
Where a bowling alley and strip mall once stood, Yorkdale Village, a mixed-use townhouse development from Decade Group on Wilson Avenue, is breathing new life into Downsview's main drag.
“This place was dying,” Decade Group VP Jordan Teperman (scion of the Teperman Wrecking family) tells Bisnow on a hard-hat tour of Yorkdale Village, now in its 96-home second phase (the first, with 75 homes, sold out). The project includes 5,000 SF of ground-floor retail. The goal is to soften the Wilson corridor, with its seemingly endless strip malls and parking lots, says Jordan, who’s also vice chair of the local BIA. “We’re bringing urban renewal to Downsview.”
The city is encouraging projects like Yorkdale Village (Phase 1 seen here) to increase mixed-use development along designated avenues, including Wilson. Farther west, Decade is planning a mixed-use project facing Downsview Park. They’re not alone. Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen Development Group are building Ion Condos in the area, and Mattamy Homes and Urbancorp are JVing on the Downsview Park townhouse project. Plus, Jordan notes, work on the new Humber River Regional Hospital is wrapping up at Wilson and Keele.
Remaking Wilson won’t be easy. Jordan and his BIA team are planning to landscape the street to make it more pleasant and pedestrian-friendly than what's pictured above. They're aiming for new, high-quality retailers, but the strip malls and parking lots have multiple ownership within a single complex and shallow lots, making land assembly and redevelopment tricky. "It can be done," Jordan maintains. "I see (Wilson) one day becoming the next Roncesvalles or Ossington Avenue."