Cambrian Mall Wants To Change Things Up

The Cambrian Mall on Great Northern Road has seen better days.

Like many shopping malls, popular in the 70’s and 80’s , retail shopping malls no longer draw tenants and customers. The Cambrian Mall have seen many retailers close or leave over the last decade and as a result, many of the retail spaces sit empty.

The owners of the Mall are seeking a rezoning that may lead to a new approach of repurposing the aging shopping mall.

The applicant 3476847 Canada Inc. (c/o D. S. Urso) wishes to amend the Official Plan and rezone a portion of the subject property to permit the relocation of the existing bank branch of BMO from within the Cambrian Mall to a stand alone structure on the subject property.

In recent years, two other shopping centres have recently allowed stand alone retail locations instead of part of the actual main mall. Wellington Square changed it’s mall to a store-front plaza along Highway 17east. The move has made the once down and out mall into a busy shopping plaza. Similarly, the Northern Ave. plaza on Northern Ave (The Northgate Plaza) has seen construction of a stand – alone strip plaza with four new tenants along Great Northern Road.

The applicant is seeking Council approval to amend the Official Plan on a site specific basis and by way of a notwithstanding clause to Commercial Policy 4 to permit the construction of new major office space (450m2) outside of the downtown area. The applicant also wishes to rezone a portion of the subject property (approximately 59m x 47.6m) from Shopping Centre (C5) Zone to General Commercial (C4.S) Zone with a Special Exception to increase the maximum Gross Floor Area for Office Uses outside of the downtown from 300 m2 to 450 m2.

The new Bank of Montreal location would be built as a store-front on Great Northern Road.

Over the past two decades the Cambrian Mall property has been subject to a number of Planning Act applications, primarily related to severing the mall into 3 separate parcels including: 1) Northern Parcel – Rome’s Your Independent Grocer; 2) Middle Parcel – The centre portion of the mall containing a retail stores, medical services etc.; and 3) Southern Parcel – Canadian Tire.

Although located on separate parcels, the current site plan agreement treats the required parking as though the development exists on one parcel.

Council will hear the application on Monday during its regular council meeting.

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