His­tory re­peats it­self with Yonge & York Mills condo

New ap­pli­ca­tion solves old eco­log­i­cal is­sue; height still a con­cern by Jes­sica Wei

Bayview Post - - News -

A new ap­pli­ca­tion to de­velop 4155 Yonge St. in Hogg’s Hol­low has been sub­mit­ted to the City of Toronto, rais­ing fa­mil­iar fears among lo­cal res­i­dents. The de­vel­op­ment by Green City De­vel­op­ments, a 14-storey res­i­den­tial tower at the cor­ner of Yonge Street and Wil­liam Car­son Cres­cent, is pro­posed to be con­structed over a TTC tun­nel and set one me­tre back from a veg­e­ta­tive slope that forms part of the Don Val­ley.

In 2011, an ap­pli­ca­tion was sub­mit­ted at this lo­ca­tion for a 10-storey de­vel­op­ment di­rectly set on the slope, en­croach­ing into the ravine sys­tem. It was fol­lowed by two years of strong com­mu­nity op­po­si­tion. An On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal Board (OMB) hear­ing even­tu­ally dis­missed the de­vel­op­ment for its eco­log­i­cal im­pact. How­ever, the OMB al­lowed the height and scale of the de­vel­op­ment, writ­ing, “What the Ap­pli­cants en­vi­sion for the site is ap­pro­pri­ate from plan­ning and ur­ban de­sign per­spec­tives.”

Ac­cord­ing to Trevor Jones, vice-pres­i­dent of Yonge Ridge Home­own­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, height was their main con­cern.

“The de­vel­oper was [also] propos­ing to re­move 46 per cent of the des­ig­nated nat­u­ral area within the prop­erty,” he said.

Green City’s pro­posal was sub­mit­ted on Oct. 10 with the as­sis­tance of the Gold­berg Group, a plan­ning con­sul­tancy. They worked with Toronto and Re­gion Con­ser­va­tion Author­ity (TRCA) to cre­ate an ac­cept­able de­sign. “We wanted the slope pro­tected and en­hanced,” said Mark Ra­pus, a se­nior plan­ner with the TRCA Plan­ning & De­vel­op­ment di­vi­sion. “From what we’re see­ing, the cur­rent de­vel­op­ment form sets it­self back from the edge of the slope and would re­sult in its long-term pro­tec­tions.”

The plan­ners also found that mov­ing away from the ravine would mean build­ing over the sub­way tun­nel, so they de­signed their build­ing in ac­cor­dance with en­gi­neer­ing re­quire­ments sub­mit­ted by the TTC.

“It pre­sented a real ar­chi­tec­tural, eco­log­i­cal and en­gi­neer­ing chal­lenge,” said Michael Gold­berg, a prin­ci­pal of the Gold­berg Group. “We think we struck that bal­ance very well.” How­ever, Trevor Jones re­mains skep­ti­cal. “From our per­spec­tive, the same con­cerns that were raised the last time still ex­ist,” said Jones. “The height is ab­so­lutely un­ac­cept­able.” Gold­berg said he was will­ing to work with res­i­dents. “I know that the com­mu­nity is very con­cerned about height and maybe we can work with them. I’m hop­ing we can.”

“It pre­sented a real ar­chi­tec­tural, eco­log­i­cal and en­gi­neer­ing chal­lenge.”

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