must have mixed residential and commercial use. They can be no less than 20 to 30 metres from the railway track and must have a 2.5metre-high berm with a noise wall.
One proposal, submitted by Bianca Condos by Tridel, is for a nine-storey mixed-use condo on 420 Dupont St. Jim Ritchie, executive VP of sales and marketing at Tridel, said he supports the city’s design criteria, particularly the use of green space and multi-purpose buildings.
“It’s a great part of the city, and we wanted to be a part of that redevelopment,” Ritchie said. He added, “The railway has been there an awful long time, and it has operated, for the most part, reasonably well. We have to take certain precautions, which we are absolutely doing, but we are very happy to be developing in this location.”
Not all developers are on board with these precautions. According to a request for action report prepared by city staff, dated March 2017, the land purchased on 344–358 Dupont St. doesn’t have enough green space for the 20metre setback.The developer, Freed Developments, tried to negotiate alternatives with Toronto City Council, such as installing a crash wall, but ultimately reached an impasse. Freed Developments has also proposed the building to be 19 storeys high.
“It does not represent good planning and is not in the public interest, and for these reasons City Council should direct the City Solicitor and appropriate City staff to attend the Ontario Municipal Board in opposition to the proposal,” a staff report from the City of Toronto reads.
Freed Developments did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
“The reality is, the railway has been there for 100 years. The municipalities encroach closer and closer to the rail line,” co-chair of the Annex Residents’ Association Henry Wiercinski said. “This has nothing to do with antidevelopment. It’s a question of appropriate development, and Freed’s thing at 19 storeys is just completely over the top.”
The DSRAS notes that developers have a “civic responsibility” to meet the needs of the general public, which means adhering to both the safety and design guidelines, according to Brooks. The Ontario Municipal Board is expected to rule on Freed Developments’ proposal by September.