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By Stefan Novakovic
Few Toronto settings whet the appetite for urban revitalization quite like the shuttered Zellers near the southeast corner of Bloor and Dundas. Engulfed by surface parking, the defunct retailer is at the heart of an underutilized 10-acre (40,000 m²) big box site that’s slated to be redeveloped into a new mixed-use community.

A view of the site, with the TDSB lands also shown, image via Choice Properties REIT
Neighboured by a Loblaws, LCBO, Coffee Time, and Pizza Nova, the former Zellers played host to a preliminary consultation held by property-owners Choice Properties REIT. Sardined into a schvitzy little corner of the former big box store, a packed crowd of Torontonians was promised the chance to put community priorities at the forefront of the redevelopment’s priorities.
So far, no proposal has been tabled. Instead, the initial submission will already draw from community input once it is made, immediately incorporating local interests and concerns into the planning process. For community members, the meeting offered a mostly blank slate, with attendees asked to share their views on the current site, along with their aspirations for the future.