It is safe to say that fashion and design trends were a bit different when York Lanes first opened its doors for business in 1991. While light blue and pink pastels may have been all the rage at the time, today, like many items hiding at the back of your closet, York Lanes is looking a little dated.
As part of its continuing improvements to York Lanes, and based upon input received from the York community, the York University Development Corporation (YUDC) is undertaking a major facelift of the west end of York Lanes. The goal of the west-end renovation project is to replace worn out common areas and tenant spaces with fresh new circulation and gathering spaces that better reflect what the York community is seeking.
Looking west through the refreshed new lobby to the York Lanes offices
In response to frequent requests for more late-night food options on the Keele campus, the west end of York Lanes is being rebuilt to create new tenant units with separate patio access doors, which will enable the businesses to stay open beyond the normal operating hours of York Lanes.
Additionally, more seating will be added both on the new patio as well as inside York Lanes. The overall look and feel of York Lanes will continue to be updated in the years ahead, with the design of the west end setting the standard for other changes that are to come.
“One theme that came out of our conversations with the community is that the look and feel of York Lanes should promote the school spirit and character of York more than it does at present,” said YUDC Director of Commercial Land Use Development, Christopher Edey. “We want the new design to create a sense of place that is more closely tied to York and what York will be in the years ahead,” he added.
Inside the new west foyer, Bank of Montreal is to the right and the main York Lanes entrance is straight ahead
A second common need expressed by the community was for more comfortable seating in York Lanes and throughout campus in general. “One of the next projects for York Lanes, following the west-end renovation, will be an overhaul of the entire main hallway through the mall. We will look at adding more student gathering space and seating as part of that project,” said Edey.
The upgrade to the west end of York Lanes follows the renovation of the main washrooms and the office lobby as part of the long-term rehabilitation of a building that has otherwise changed little over its 20-year life.
The west-end renovation project includes the two tenant units at the northwest corner of York Lanes. The reconfiguration of this area will begin this May. The tenant spaces will be hoarded and vacant for approximately five months while the renovations take place. York Lanes’ west entrance will similarly be closed over the summer months while the renovations take place. The area will be reopened for foot traffic by the end of August.
The tenants for the new retail spaces in this area have yet to be selected. “We plan to seek out a number of bids for the new tenant spaces. Interested parties must be prepared to demonstrate that they will be serving a high-quality product and that they will create a space that the York community will benefit from.” said Edey. YUDC plans to seek out tenants for the new west-end spaces this summer.