Sustainable housing developments that prioritize giving back more than we take from the earth are everyone’s dream, right? Lakeview Village is a new development in Canada that is attempting this feat with a mixed-use waterfront community on 177 acres of waterfront land west of Toronto.
Lakeview sits on land that was once home to the Lakeview Generating Station, a large coal-fired energy plant. After 50 years of industrial use, this land could use a facelift both economically and environmentally. Here’s how the development will regenerate the land.
The Lakeview Village development combines high-quality housing options for multiple lifestyles and life stages. The development will include office space, retail and restaurants, cultural and recreational spaces, and trails and parks. Because it’s waterfront, unique piers will extend out into the water and create new spaces for recreation on the water, including a beachfront at the base of the pier with parks and pavilions built into the pier for resting out at the water’s edge.
The developers behind Lakeview Village, Lakeview Community Partners Limited (LCPL), committed to building sustainably by creating not just a housing complex but an environmentally conscious 15-minute interconnected city that is powered by clean technology.
The Lakeview district has its own community energy system that provides heating and cooling to all buildings using effluent from the nearby G.E. Booth Wastewater Treatment Plant. The system recovers heat in a plan that is the largest of its kind in North America.
Serson Creek runs through this site and was environmentally degraded by the years of coal plant operations here. LCPL is restoring Serson Creek by bringing in excavators to dig a new low-flow channel, stabilize it and create new green space for a natural heritage corridor that runs through the center of Lakeview Village and into Lake Ontario. We wrote about this project when it first was planned, and the first phase of Serson Creek’s restoration has now been completed as of December 2021, setting up the creekshed for native biodiversity to return and spread to adjacent areas.
Further sustainability goals can be reached by cutting down on the travel required for residents living in Lakeview Village. Emissions are reduced by having mixed-use business spaces on site so people don’t have to travel to get food or meet for social gatherings. Lakeview is connected to the broader community by mixed transportation, through vehicular, pedestrian, public transit and bike networks. The village also has bike paths and pedestrian paths within the community for exercise and local sustainable transport.
What we love about Lakeview is the green space left undeveloped to the side of the piers. By leaving these spaces open on the shores of Lake Ontario and removing the source of pollution locally, the developers have allowed for nature to do its own rehabilitation of the local green spaces and reclaim territory previously lost to coal. There are 45 acres of green space within Lakeview, with access to 450 additional acres of adjacent parkland and a 64-acre nature preserve.
Lakeview has a public square, cultural events, a chef-run restaurant and paddle boats for residents to use out on the water. We can’t help but wonder if mixed-use sustainable communities like Lakeview might become a viable alternative for early retirees and families in various stages of life. The hope is for people to find a community that is more revitalized and connected than the current alternatives.