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Target is coming to Toronto’s South Core

Yesterday news broke that Target is opening a two-storey, 145,000 square foot store at the base of a new mixed-use development in Toronto’s emerging South Core neighborhood. The site is at the north east corner of York Street and Harbour Street. And the larger development, called Harbour Plaza, will include a 35 storey office tower and 2 residential condominium towers at 65 and 69 storeys.

Here’s the location map:

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And here’s the site looking east from York Street:

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This is going to be huge for Target. The amount of current and proposed density within a short radius of the site is mind boggling. In addition to Harbour Plaza itself, look at what’s planned for 1 Yonge Street.

Plus with Union Station next door, I dare you to try and find a better connected mobility hub in the region. Now all of a sudden that retail radius gets even bigger. I can easily imagine suburbanites picking up a few things before they hop on a GO train (our regional rail system) and head home.

As of right now, they’re also the only game in town, as far as big box stores in the central core are concerned. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a competitor emerge alongside the 1 Yonge project. The site is big enough for one and Walmart isn’t going to want to get shut out of the area.

My only hope is that, from an urban design standpoint, the project is able to enliven and give back to Harbour Street. Right now it’s an arterial road with really no redeeming urban qualities. But with the York Street off-ramp being relocated and the park underneath it being expanded, now is the time to really transform the area.

Let’s hope Harbour Plaza does that.

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