New Hazelton Lanes plans revealed


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It’s been known for months the long-standing Hazelton Lanes Shopping Centre in Yorkville is anticipating a makeover. First Capital Realty has finally made public plans and renderings for the mall. The result is a modern and bright design with the wall fronting on Avenue Road being almost entirely glass.

It’s a popular move with residents of Yorkville so far. ABC Residents’ Association co-president John Caliendo said the design is a welcome change from the seemingly sleepy Hazelton Lanes of recent years.

“In the late ’90s, it kind of lost its direction,” said Caliendo. “The only thing that saved the mall, really, was Whole Foods.”

There are some aspects of local flavour Caliendo would like to see preserved. “Some people were concerned some of the renderings  looked a little bit like Yorkdale,” said Caliendo. “And if there’s any way the expansion brought back the skating rink, we would bow before them.”

A video rendering on the Hazelton Lanes website did not feature a skating rink.

Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam wants to make sure that Yorkville can keep up with these changes. “Things can go very wrong when you look at an individual proposal without evaluating the neighbourhood context,” said Wong-Tam. “We have a huge number of people moving into the neighbourhood,” she said. “But we also don’t have better sidewalk conditions, and the public spaces we do have tend to be very small and inadequate.”

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