Image Above: ARK Architects
York University is one of the leading universities in the GTA. Continued student growth and the construction of the Spadina Subway extension represent opportunities to transform the campus of York University, improve its relationship with the rest of the city and help attract and retain more students. Urban Strategies was selected as the Vendor of Record for planning services for the university’s development arm, leading the planning for the many undeveloped sites at the periphery of campus for both university and partnership uses.
As a Vendor of Record for YUDC, Urban Strategies was chosen to develop a Precinct Plan for the Southwest Precinct and the approvals for the first phase of a student housing development. The Southwest Precinct Plan is a comprehensive framework for renewal and development that focuses on four key areas to improve the precinct. An enhanced movement network has been designed to facilitate pedestrian and bicycle traffic, along with improved accessibility to open spaces. The Phase 1 area is currently a large surface parking lot which will be redesigned through sustainable land use development and will feature a mid-rise built form.
The Precinct Plan key areas will be achieved through: the integration of the University and its natural surroundings, intensification and in-fill of existing block parcels, by providing a mix of uses and services to create a complete community, multiple connections and improvement of open spaces, and utilizing undeveloped areas of the Precinct. The Phase 1 development will provide a number of suite-style residences and amenities within a mixed-use urban setting that is lacking on campus and will help keep York University competitive in the quality of student life experience they offer.