The Unilever Precinct Plan and East Harbour Master Plan

City of Toronto / First Gulf


The City of Toronto’s Unilever Precinct Plan and First Gulf’s implementing East Harbour Master Plan work together to establish a regionally significant employment node, one that is supported by a planned generational investment in infrastructure. Designed as an office and commercial precinct, the master plan is not based on elaborate geometries or pattern-making that looks visually interesting from 1,000 feet in the air. This plan is noteworthy, however, for how it introduces to the City of Toronto a new contemporary commercial precinct which is fully integrated within the city and is inspired by its industrial heritage landscape. In designing the master plan for First Gulf’s East Harbour project, Urban Strategies Inc., in collaboration with the City of Toronto’s Planning Division, Adamson Associates Architects, Janet Rosenberg & Studio, Callison RTKL Architects, and BA Group, developed a plan that was rooted in the former Unilever Factory site itself. In the future, this will be a new commercial focal point within the City of Toronto that draws upon its location in the city as its inspiration. It was important for the development to be well integrated into the city and not an island onto itself. To do this, a series of street extensions and public realm moves became the organizing elements of the plan. Becoming rooted in its place also meant that the plan had to integrate elements of its industrial heritage past, giving the precinct a distinct identity and soul that would serve as the basis for regeneration and economic growth.

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