In order to meet provincially-mandated growth targets, the City of Toronto has embraced mid-rise infill development along transit-supported avenues as the preferred approach to intensification and reurbanization. In the Beach neighbourhood, growing development pressure along Queen Street East within the Woodbine Beach Precinct has resulted in a departure from fine grain retail, which is still prominent in the eastern part of the neighbourhood. Using a set of key retail vibrancy indicators, this study explores how this new built form is affecting retail businesses on an important historic main street. Implications regarding the existing retail planning approach are discussed, as well as recommendations for strengthening city-wide retail policy, and in turn retail vibrancy in the Beach neighbourhood.
Keywords: retail vibrancy, main street, fine grain, mid-rise, retail development, Toronto