Slow progress at Morningside Crossing

Morningside Mall - a more modern look

Morningside Mall is crossing over to a more modern look.
The redevelopment of Morningside Crossing is expected to be
complete by fall of this year.

A local councillor says he’s going to contact officials at Morningside Mall to discuss what he says residents are perceiving to be slow construction at the site.

Councillor Ron Moeser of Ward 44 (Scarborough East) says he is sensing frustration from the community about the new site.

“I’m going to discuss it with Morningside Mall next week about how we can speed this up somewhat. It is frustrating for the neighbours; there’s no doubt,” Moeser says. “I want to keep working with [the company] to make sure that the impact on the community is minimized.”

While some of the stores in the new plaza are already open for business, much of the three-storey shopping venue is still under construction.

Moeser appeared to be unsure as to why the construction at the new mall is progressing so slowly.

“Every time I talk to them, it seems that the dates are moving. What I can do now is meet with them, and get a commitment to some final dates, so I can send an update to the community,” Moeser said.

Though he’s unhappy with the pace of construction, Moeser says he’s thrilled with the greenness of the new mall.

“Since it’s an environmental building, the community will benefit by not having as much electricity and heating costs. Environmentally, I think it’s a great approach. It’s a huge plus for the community,” Moeser explained.

Some of those familiar with the old Morningside Mall may not be happy with its redevelopment, but the new owners plan to get a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the mall. If First Capital Realty is successful, the new structure will be considered a “green” building.

Ronald Rivet, construction director for First Capital Realty, was unavailable to comment on why construction dates have been pushed back.

Though the demolition of the old mall is still not complete, the shopping centre’s CIBC and TD Canada Trust bank branches have already made the switch to the new buildings at the intersection of Kingston Road and Morningside Avenue. The two banks joined an existing Scotiabank branch. Village Variety and Starbucks are also among the new stores already open for business at the new Morningside Crossing.

Egan Vasconcellos of Scarborough expressed his concerns about when the mall will be complete and whether it could meet the demands of the community.

“We need another grocery store. Before [the redevelopment], we had Dominion and Wal-Mart, but now they’re all gone. No Frills is always crowded!” Vasconcellos lamented. “They’re not able to take care of the demand.”

Vasconcellos’ is in luck. The mall’s redevelopment plans include building a Food Basics grocery store next to the new Shoppers Drug Mart by fall of this year.