Architecture: Ontario's Suburbs Curb Sprawl Through Intensification

    North York's newest mixed-use development helps Toronto suburbs curb
    urban sprawl, become sustainable community

TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - The effects of urban sprawl on city residents are well known; they range from increased pollution to loss of countryside. But LEED certified buildings are no longer enough. As suburban communities increasingly acknowledge, the key to socially, economically and environmentally sustainable cities is mixed-use, densely populated communities. In a year 2000 study, professor Rolf Pendall of Cornell University found that "smart-growth solutions, which focus on channeling growth into areas with existing infrastructure, were effective at slowing sprawling growth."

The Hullmark Centre in North York, Ontario is the area's newest development and marks a new way of thinking for Toronto's outlying areas. The two-tower residential/commercial site is situated above 2 subway lines at the corner of Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue and includes a 35-storey residential tower atop an 11-storey office building, with a grand public plaza and an environmental graphics wall for entertainment and community use. Hullmark Centre, designed by Kirkor Architects and Planners, was developed from the site's existing shopping centre, and is specifically designed using smart-growth strategies to transform this underdeveloped grey-field site into an exciting urban hub. Construction will begin in 2010 for completion in 2012.

According to Kirkor principal Clifford Korman, Canada's urban centres need to replace single-family dwellings with increased population density, smart growth, public transportation and design innovation. "The growth of our communities is going into urban centres," notes Korman. "Nodes, corridors, transit locations are vital to sustainable development whether they occur in the heart of the city or in the suburban outskirts." Hullmark Centre's two towers house 700 residential units on a four-acre site. The same number of residents living in single-family homes would occupy closer to 125 acres. According to the Centre for Neighborhood Technology, compact neighborhoods with walkable streets, access to transit and a wide variety of stores and services are efficient, allowing residents to commute less, saving both time and money.

About Kirkor Architects and Planners

Kirkor Architects and Planners is a multi-faceted architectural design and planning firm specializing in urban intensification and the creation of responsible, sustainable, economically viable, and architecturally relevant urban developments.

With 20 years experience and over 2,000 built projects, Kirkor offers fully coordinated architectural services ranging from large scale urban mixed-used commercial and high-rise residential projects to shopping centres, retail plazas, building conversions, industrial buildings, multi-storey town homes and single family residences. Kirkor Architects and Planners has an award-winning reputation for design excellence and client service.


For further information: For further information: For images of Hullmark Centre, more information or to schedule an interview with Clifford Korman, please phone Andrea Carson at (416) 460-3818 or email

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