Residents and developer reach settlement at OMB
Minto’s plan includes 192 townhomes, construction set to begin this year by Jessica Wei
Following a long battle with local residents, development company Minto’s proposal for 192 townhomes at 740–750 York Mills Rd. and 17 Farmstead Rd. was approved by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The application faced opposition from city council, which rejected it in June, and the York Mills–Leslie Residents Association (YMLRA).
The YMLRA presented the OMB with a petition with 1,600 signatures opposing the original proposal of 260 townhomes by the Minto Group. The association had also raised funds from the local community, but were still unable to afford a lawyer for representation at the hearing. Instead, a settlement was reached by all parties.
As part of the deal, Minto agreed to reduce the number of townhouses and compensate the city with $650,000 to go toward maintaining and improving Mossgrove Park and Kirkwood Park.
The construction staging area will also be turned into a publicly accessible green space upon the projection’s completion.
“We agreed not to oppose the project, but we are not in support of it,” said Tom Weinberger, the president of the YMLRA.
Weinbeger admitted residents still have existing concerns about increased traffic and noise in the neighbourhood.
“We as residents feel like [the development] will create significant problems past the construction time period. It will probably take about three years, and it’s going to create havoc for the neighbourhood,” he said.
Minto is more optimistic about the impact to the neighbourhood. Given that the townhomes will bring between 200 and 380 new residents to the area, Minto has promised to expand the existing infrastructure around the property to accommodate a larger population.
“It will definitely be an enhancement to the way that the site looks today, esthetically,” said Matthew Kingston, vice-president of development at Minto.
“And the kind of improvements to the landscape, in my opinion, in the end will be a better looking site, which, it could be argued, would help the community,” he added.
Minto hopes to start construction this year, with an anticipated occupancy date set for 2020.
“We agreed not to oppose the project, but we are not in support of it. ”