An application has been submitted for Microsoft to build a new communications technological facility in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke.

WZMH Architects, the architect designing the facility, recently submitted an application to the City of Toronto’s planning department for Site Plan Control on behalf of 3288212 Nova Scotia Limited, referred to as Microsoft.

The site, located at 48 Lowe’s Place near Highway 401 and Islington Avenue in Etobicoke, currently includes a vacant “big box” retail store and associated surface parking lot which used to be operated by Lowe’s. The building design resembles a barcode.

According to a cover letter submitted by the architect, the proposal, which is still in the preliminary stages, includes a new two-storey building with a one-storey office administration-support component, surface parking and “state-of-the-art” emergency generator backup systems for the infrastructure within the complex.

A complete redevelopment of the site is being proposed, including a new energy efficient facility which is expected to be similar to other complexes currently under construction or recently completed by Microsoft in other locations around the world.

Like similar facilities, it is expected to provide equipment, space, bandwidth, power, cooling and physical security for the servers, storage and networking equipment of digital businesses.

The application was submitted following a pre-application consultation meeting at the end of November 2021 and an informal meeting with city planning and urban design staff in September.

The team also completed an application for a preliminary project review and anticipates an application for a minor variance will be brought forward soon for items related to the parking rates and other issues that may be identified through the site plan control process, the application letter indicates.

“The proposed facility aims to build on the growing success Toronto has seen over the past five years in attracting global companies to the city that create high paying jobs and position our region as one of the key technology hubs in North America,” the letter states. “As more businesses embrace digital technologies, these facilities are increasingly vital to Toronto’s economic health.”


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