Downsview Airfield Transformation: A Sustainable Urban District for Toronto’s Future

The Downsview Airfield in Toronto located 15 kilometers northwest of the city center is scheduled to undergo a transformation into a mixed-use development comprising residential and commercial areas.

The redevelopment project is being spearheaded by three esteemed studios: Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects, local KPMB studio, and landscape architecture studio SLA. It represents an innovative approach, embracing community input, sustainability, and a well-designed urban framework.

The creation of an inclusive and interconnected space is central to efforts aimed at enhancing communal living on-site. Consequently, stakeholders plan on converting the two-kilometer runway into a sprawling pedestrian walkway that will link different communities across the expansive 520-acre property. Ten districts will accommodate around 80,000 residents, complemented by 40 hectares of parks for both new and existing residents.

Extensive community engagement involved over 3,000 individuals to shape the master plan. Construction of the district will take place over the next 30 years, gradually implementing green spaces, railroad revitalization, and interconnected districts.

The orientation of the airfield allows for an ideal living environment, harnessing natural light and wind patterns. The project also seeks to create density without relying on high-rise buildings, drawing inspiration from cities like Paris and Barcelona.

Rebecca Knight

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