Paclo

Administrator
Staff member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
2,350
Reaction score
10,359
This is listed as an upcoming project currently in pre-consultation on Atria's website:
Towers of 40, 50 and 28 storeys surrounding an existing YMCA facility will feature 1,456 units with convenient access to the Queen Elizabeth Way and major retail, restaurants and entertainment.

skye_st-catherines.jpg


More information on the YMCA building and potential development here:

And here:
 
This is in the middle of a Big Box Power Centre and opposite St Kitts Fairview Mall:

1696605501163.png


Streetview:

1696605555776.png


Looking the opposite way:

1696605592195.png


1696605639322.png


Moving to the next flank of the site; site on left, Home Depot on right:

1696605760865.png


I don't see this site as currently appropriate for residential. It could be made to be, but needs to be planned out w/the other commercial sites adjacent.
 
During Covid both Niagara Falls and St. Catharines YMCAs shuttered. The largest 2 in Niagara region. It was a big deal when both of those YMCAs opened. The Walker family (big philanthropists in Niagara region) donated a substantial sum to get the 110,000 SF St. Catharines facility built in the 1990s.

I hope any residential development can reactivate the YMCA building and reinvigorate the Fairview Mall which decades ago was Niagara's largest enclosed mall before Pen (Peninsula) Centre renovations. If I'm not mistaken Fairview Mall was one of the first enclosed shopping centres in Canada opening in 1961.

Having almost 1,500 units of residential is a big shot in the arm not just to this area but St. Catharines overall which is only around 140,000 people and the largest city in Niagara by far (Niagara Falls is around 100k).

It would be great to coordinate site planning for better incorporation of residential with the overall big box/ mall owners, but I'll be satisfied with any high density residential at this point.
 
Last edited:
This remains, in my judgement, an inappropriate site for residential, for now. There needs to be a comprehensive plan showing how the area will take shape in a mixed use form, and demonstrate a reasonable plan for sustainable transportation through here as well as needed services for residents.

Aside from that, the podium boxes framing the YMCA are absolutely atrocious, if ugly required a visual description, the render of those would suffice.
 
The design leaves much to be desired.

However with so much surrounding waste of space parking lots it's prime for high rise residential as you don't have NIMBYs within close proximity.

I'd love to also see high-rise residential on the Fairview Mall property itself. Thousands of condo units could certainly reinvigorate this mall, the oldest in Niagara.

*I agree they need a comprehensive area plan, and not just piecemeal developments to transform this into a mixed use area.*
The mall owner, condo developer and city of St. Catharines need to work together on a plan for this area.

Integrating the former YMCA to hopefully get reactivated would be great for not just the condo residents but the local community as well. That was a blow losing "the Y" during Covid. It used to be ridiculously busy at one time offering many different programs in addition to the pool, gyms, walking track.

The Fairview Mall has solid local bus service literally steps from the proposed site/former main entrance to the YMCA just across the road. One can also pick up GO Bus or others (Megabus still exist?) to Toronto from here.

Screenshot_20240516-144450-549~2.png


There's 2 grocery stores, Zehrs and Food Basics (Costco is even closer walking distance immediately to the West😆), one of Niagara's nicest LCBO stores within walking distance, in addition to PetSmart, Staples, Chapters, Dollarama, SportChek, Harvey's/Swiss Chalet, Tim Hortons, CIBC bank.

Even though it's suburban, because of the mall/out parcels so much is within 250m-500m walking distance.
Screenshot_20240516-144847-963~2.png


TL;DR
If any area in the Niagara region besides downtown St. Catharines can build as high as the city will let them it's this area/Fairview Mall site or near the Pen Centre site.
 
There's 2 grocery stores, Zehrs and Food Basics (Costco is even closer walking distance immediately to the West😆), one of Niagara's nicest LCBO stores within walking distance, in addition to PetSmart, Staples, Chapters, Dollarama, SportChek, Harvey's/Swiss Chalet, Tim Hortons, CIBC bank.

Even though it's suburban, because of the mall/out parcels so much is within 250m-500m walking distance.

Broadly, I agree, though there are a couple of issues:

1) If walking entirely by City streets (or as much as one can do so) the distances for some of these stores would be closer to 800M.

The challenge is that you may need to pass through the mall, where such connection does not exist and/or outside of mall hours where such connection may be closed.

2) The City streets themselves are not particularly hospitable to pedestrians. Its not simply a question of whether there's a sidewalk, but whether its remotely pleasant to use. Is there shade on a hot summer's day? A wind break on a cold winter's day? Are the sidewalks plowed regularly in winter? Are roads convenient to cross? Even if one passes on those counts, walking next to a large mall parking lot for any distance somehow lacks appeal.

3) The location of many existing stores is within a sea of private parking. Are there safe and pleasant pedestrian routes across said parking?

I'm more than happy to support development here, in the medium term, but these are questions that have to be answered, or you end up with local businesses or good bus stops being 'so near, yet so far'.
 
I understand your gripes.

Better pedestrian environment is needed.

Overall comprehensive plan needed for the area with city, mall owner, developer stakeholders all on the same page.

Like I stated the one thing that is hella close is public transit. For a smaller city like St. Catharines (pop ~140k), there's many busses throughout the day. They all line up on YMCA Drive right across from the former YMCA main entrance (subject property), on the backside of Fairview Mall which has a rear entrance close by.

Screenshot_20240516-160257-343.png


GO Bus ticket machine is there too. I've used this as a park and ride to Toronto before. It was convenient to use the mall washroom and pick up snacks for the journey 🤪
Screenshot_20240516-160050-529.png


Of all of the stores, Zehrs grocery store has pretty good hours. 7am-9pm everyday except holidays.

Having thousands of new residents would be a booster shot in the arm the Fairview Mall needs.
 
Last edited:

Back
Top