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Architecture: Ontario’s Suburbs Curb Sprawl Through Intensification

North York’s newest mixed-use development helps Toronto suburbs curb urban sprawl, become sustainable community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 24, 2009: The effects of urban sprawl on city residents are well known; they range from increased pollution to loss of countryside and community spirit. But it’s no longer enough to build LEED certified buildings. As increasing numbers of suburban communities now acknowledge, the key to socially, economically and environmentally sustainable cities are mixed-use, densely populated communities. In a year 2000 study, professor Rolf Pendall of Cornell University found that “smart- growth solutions, which focus on channeling growth into areas with existing infrastructure, were effective at slowing sprawling growth.”

The Hullmark Centre in North York, Ontario is the area’s newest development and marks a new way of thinking for Toronto’s outlying areas. The two-tower residential/commercial site is situated above 2 subway lines at the corner of Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue and includes a 35-storey residential tower that sits atop an 11-storey office building, with a grand public plaza and an environmental graphics wall for entertainment and community use. Hullmark Centre was developed from the original existing shopping centre on the site, and is specifically designed using smart-growth strategies to transform this long-time underdeveloped grey-field site into an exciting mixed-use, urban hub. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2010 for completion in 2012.

According to Kirkor Architects principal Clifford Korman, the future health of Canada’s urban centres lies in our ability to replace single-family dwellings with increased population density, along with smart growth, public transportation and design innovation. “The growth of our communities is going into urban centres,” notes Korman. “Nodes, corridors, transit locations are vital to sustainable development whether they occur in the heart of the city or in the suburban outskirts.” Hullmark Centre’s two towers house 700 residential units, on a four-acre site. If the same number of residents lived in single-family homes in the suburbs, they would occupy closer to 125 acres.

According to the Centre for Neighborhood Technology, compact neighborhoods with walkable streets, access to transit, and a wide variety of stores and services are efficient, allowing residents to commute less, saving both time and money.

About Kirkor Architects and Planners
Kirkor Architects and Planners is a multi-faceted architectural design and planning firm specializing in urban intensification and the creation of responsible, sustainable, economically viable, and architecturally relevant urban developments.

With 20 years experience and over 2,000 built projects, Kirkor offers fully coordinated architectural services ranging from large scale urban mixed-used commercial and high-rise residential projects to shopping centres, retail plazas, building conversions, industrial buildings, multi-storey town homes and single family residences. Kirkor Architects and Planners has an award-winning reputation for design excellence and client service.

For images of Hullmark Centre or to schedule an interview with Clifford Korman, please phone Andrea Carson at 416 460 3818 or email andrea@profis.ca.

 
   
 
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