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Revamping Mississauga’s waterfront | Toronto Sun

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How a former coal-fired power plant became a destination site

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Urban designers rarely get the opportunity to design a mini-city from scratch. But that’s exactly what’s happening with Lakeview Village, the 177-acres of waterfront estate at East Avenue and Lakeshore Road East in Mississauga, on the site of the former Lakeview Power Generating Station.

“Our development inspiration came directly from former Mississauga City Councilor Jim Tovey,” recalled Brian Sutherland, vice-president of development, Argo Development Corporation.

“Jim put it on our radar and he would always talk about the Lakeview site, so when it came up for sale in the summer of 2017, we began really mobilizing and calling up the best builders we knew.”

Tovey passed away suddenly in 2018, but the newly-slated 26-acre Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation area will sit right beside Sutherland’s upcoming waterfront condo community.

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To say Lakeview Village is a development is a bit of an understatement. What Sutherland is spearheading is much more like building the bottom tip of Mississauga.

With 8,050 residential units, including 400 affordable units, 180,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, 67 acres of waterfront land dedicated to city parks, employment, and cultural use – Lakeview will comprise much more than just residences.

As a mixed-use space, its centerpiece will be a pedestrian pier jutting out into Lake Ontario – the longest pier on its Canadian side. An amphitheatre is also slated for construction.

“What I love about the project is its extensive network of parks, green spaces, and public spaces throughout the district,” says Dennis Pieprz, principal at the architectural firm Sasaki and head planner and urban designer of Lakeview Village’s master plan.

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“Every resident will be literally 30 seconds or less from a park-like spaceut the project and I have to see it’s rare to have a project with such an extensive network of parks, green spaces, public spaces throughout the district.”

Pieprz said that originally the government was thinking of rebuilding the power plant as a gas-fired plant, but the local community rose up. “City council, and Jim Tovey in particular, said ‘don’t put another power plant there – let’s develop it instead.” The result will be 3.5 km of waterfront space accessible to the general public, as well as an extensive network of trails.

In contrast to the environmental liabilities of coal-fired power, Pieprz says that Lakeview Village’s design highlights sustainability. “One unique feature of this project is it will have its own ‘sustainability centre’ – like a central energy plant that services every one of the 50 plus buildings on the property,” he notes. “This creates an efficient way to cool and heat buildings.”

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Pieprz also says they are designing a European-styled waste management system where recycling from individual units can be sucked up via a vacuum-tube system.

“It’s like in Sweden – this central waste system will also reduce the number of trucks entering the space.” With these innovative systems, the projected environmental savings is to offset 6,000 tons of greenhouse gases annually.

With Phase 1 building partners currently digging up the power plant to create infrastructure, Sutherland says that 2022 will be a year of tearing down the old plant and rebuilding everything from “the utilities, the parks, the roads, and the servicing of the entire site”. His projected timeline for the first residents to move in is around 2025.

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So far the list of builders involved includes Branthaven, Caivan, Greenpark, Group, DECO, Opus Homes, and Tridel. “This definitely won’t be a bedroom community,” says Sutherland.

“In fact, we are currently in talks with post-secondary institutions.” Argo hopes to host a campus on site so that it also becomes a workplace for faculty members and a destination for learners both locally and globally.

With Mississauga’s mayor Bonnie Crombie on their side, Pieprz says that Lakeview Village will make it a world class city. “Together with city council, Tovey’s vision of bringing people to the waterfront will be realized and that’s a good thing.”

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