Design-led, one-of-a-kind neighbourhood will create a new, city-defining destination connecting the Beltline to the city while supporting vibrant community life
OCTOBER 10th, 2023 - TORONTO, ON - World-class Toronto real estate investment and development firm Hullmark in partnership with their long-standing partner, BGO, a leading global real estate investment manager, is unveiling its master plan for Beltline Yards - a unique mixed-use, community-driven neighbourhood set to become a landmark destination in Toronto. This new project will showcase transit-oriented urban planning, a variety of housing tenures including purpose-built rental housing, employment space for innovative retail and light industry, high-quality public space and parkland connecting to the city’s most expansive linear park system, and varied and unique architectural design inspired by Toronto’s historical vernacular. Built around the core idea of creating a place for making of all kinds, Beltline Yards will be a design-led neighbourhood that will reframe the mental map of Toronto and the greater region. This new addition to the neighbourhood will define a new standard for master-planned, mixed-use communities in Toronto and is planned to be fully approved with phase 1 shovel-ready in 2026.
Augmenting its Community
Encompassing 7.3 acres (almost 320,000 square feet) of land in a part of Toronto that will benefit immensely from a landmark destination, the new neighbourhood is located at the intersection of Bowie Avenue and Caledonia Road, adjacent to the new transit hub at Caledonia Station, and is bounded by the York Beltline Trail along its northwest edge. To bring Beltline Yards to life, Hullmark and BGO have convened acclaimed international talent, including Britain’s award-winning architecture and urban planning firm, Allies and Morrison. Hullmark and BGO will be drawing upon generations of expertise in designing and investing in both suburban communities and mixed-use neighbourhoods across the city to ensure that Beltline Yards reflects the spirit and values of Toronto. By combining global best practices in urban design with a demonstrated love for the communities where they work, Hullmark and BGO will ensure that Beltline Yards will show the potential and power of place.
This project, conceived as a family of buildings and supportive green spaces, brings much-needed housing to Toronto, taking a layered approach with buildings at various heights and scales, ensuring visual and functional entry points for residents, the surrounding neighbourhood, and visitors. Hullmark and BGO are committed to using great design to positively impact the places where they invest, and Beltline Yards will be an active part of its neighbourhood, enhancing opportunities for the people who live nearby. The project promises abundant gathering spaces as part of its design, including a series of light-industrial yards within which makers, residents, and visitors can connect and access local shops, eateries and other spaces within the site as well as along the York Beltline Trail. Central to this is an acre (43,000 square feet) of publicly accessible park, an open-air covered yard, and over 10,000 square feet of community space, all centrally located in the heart of the site. In addition to bringing much needed and thoughtful intensification to a key transit intersection, Beltline Yards will boast almost four acres, or over 160,000 square feet of open space – almost 50% of its total land area, not even including the improvements proposed to the York Beltline Trail adjacent to the site.
Connecting the City
Under Hullmark and BGO’s joint vision, the goal for Beltline Yards is simple: to create a neighbourhood unlike any other in Canada with connection as part of its DNA. The York Beltline Trail was developed from the remnants of the 19th century Toronto Beltline Railway, with both railway and trail meaning to connect the city to itself. Beltline Yards continues that ambition. The site will be adjacent to a multi-modal transit mobility hub—the new Caledonia Station on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and GO Transit’s Barrie line—connecting directly to downtown Union Station in 12 minutes as well as to Pearson Airport in 30 minutes. Coupled with the direct connection to the York Beltline Trail and expansive cycling infrastructure built into its design, Beltline Yards is set to be one of the best-connected new communities in the country. The York Beltline Trail is an often overlooked, hidden gem in the city, making it the perfect site to elevate the neighbourhood, unite the community, and bring in visitors from across the city and around the world. Beltline Yards will highlight the area’s natural greenery and parkland, while creating walkable space for families, professionals, creatives, and visitors as well as shopping, recreation, food, employment, and industry. This project will open up connections with parkland by improving the York Beltline Trail, attract retail and other light-industrial destinations that harness a maker spirit, and include world-class placemaking and public realm design.
“We have been inspired by the York Beltline Trail and the Toronto Beltline Railway, and the incredible opportunity we now have to complete the vision in a modern context. We will be using this existing infrastructure to enhance the area, making sure that not only will people—locals and visitors alike—know about it, but will include it in their daily lives,” says Jeff Hull, President of Hullmark. “Beltline Yards will be unlike any other neighbourhood in Toronto, building upon the trail and the well-established maker spirit of the community, to energize and empower a sense of creativity within anyone who visits.’”
“Beltline Yards is a special project for us and is representative of our long-standing exploration of how to design great places with high density,” says Alfredo Caraballo, Partner at Allies and Morrison. “As architects, we have been dealt with the very interesting specificities of this site: how it relates to the York Beltline Trail so the landscape connects to a wider network; how it relates to the industrial uses around it so a culture of making and light industry remains as an intrinsic part of the character; how it relates to the public transport transformation of the area so that it unlocks many opportunities to live and work here. All these result in a design response that could only be here – a place ‘of its place’.”
“Through our partnership with Hullmark, we continue to shift the boundaries on innovative, thoughtful, and sustainability-driven development in Toronto. Beltline Yards is a large-scale, transformative masterplan that delivers much-needed housing with connectivity to public transit corridors and green space. Working with Allies and Morrison, we’re thrilled to bring our collective vision to life,” says Ross Strowger, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, BGO.
“Beltline Yards represents an opportunity for us to apply everything we have learned about design-focused neighbourhood development in a multi-phase master plan where we believe we will help establish a welcoming, lively community in the city,” says Hull. “By connecting the city to the beltline with this master plan, we are creating a destination that will become a calling card for Toronto.”
About Beltline Yards
Beltline Yards is Hullmark’s first master planned community and Toronto’s newest landmark destination. This almost 1,700,000 total square foot development owned in partnership with Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, an institutional investor with BGO, will be designed by world-renowned architects, Allies and Morrison. Situated along Toronto’s celebrated York Beltline Trail where it connects with two transit corridors, Beltline Yards sets a new standard for mixed-use developments in Canada, combining housing in a layered family of iconic buildings, dedicated rental housing, unique retail opportunities, extensive parkland, and maker-focused light industry. Beltline Yards will fulfil a need to enhance its community, and will connect Toronto to its natural spaces like never before. https://beltlineyards.ca/
Hullmark is a real estate investment and development firm in Toronto. Launched in 1950 by Murphy Hull, a Polish immigrant who started in the industry as a plasterer before moving into home building and real estate development, Hullmark built its name on investing in suburban communities and mixed-use neighbourhoods, as seen in projects like Yonge and Sheppard’s Hullmark Centre. In 2008 Jeff Hull took over the business from his grandfather and helped transition the company from its strictly suburban and residential focus to become an influential urban developer with over $1.2 billion of real estate assets under management. Hullmark remains a family-run city-building company with a creative and community-driven vision that continues to shape iconic urban and residential neighbourhoods, like Ossington, throughout Toronto. Hullmark has a vision of creating lasting destinations that define the city and show the world the potential of well-designed places, and also has proven expertise in private equity and debt, asset management, development, and placemaking. With over 246 tenants, including some of Canada’s most recognizable brands, Hullmark is seen as a leader in mixed-use development and tenant experience. Hullmark.ca
BGO is a leading, global real estate investment management advisor, real estate lender, and a globally recognized provider of real estate services. BGO serves the interests of more than 750 institutional clients with expertise in the asset management of office, industrial, multi-residential, retail and hospitality property across the globe. BGO has offices in 28 cities across fourteen countries with deep, local knowledge, experience, and extensive networks in the regions where we invest in and manage real estate assets on behalf of our clients in primary, secondary and co-investment markets. BGO is a part of SLC Management, which is the institutional alternatives and traditional asset management business of Sun Life.
For more information, please visit www.bgo.com