Condo crunch heads up­town

Two Chatsworth area pro­pos­als show den­sity push at Yonge and Lawrence

Bayview Post - - News - KAREN STINTZ

On­go­ing con­struc­tion at Yonge Street and Eglin­ton Av­enue is now com­mon. How­ever, in light of two de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions filed just be­fore the end of the year, it looks like there will be more ac­tiv­ity at Yonge and Lawrence Av­enue.

One of the ap­pli­ca­tions is for a de­vel­op­ment at 41 Chatsworth Ave., the for­mer site of a church. This is the se­cond try by the de­vel­oper to build con­dos on a neigh­bour­hood street. The orig­i­nal ap­pli­ca­tion was de­nied by the On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal Board (OMB). The sum­mary of why the ap­pli­ca­tion was de­nied was suc­cinct and clearly out­lined how ap­pli­ca­tions need to be in keep­ing with the built form of the sur­round­ing neigh­bour­hood. The six-storey de­vel­op­ment was com­pletely out of char­ac­ter with the sur­round­ing prop­er­ties, which are de­tached homes on wide lots.

The im­per­ti­nence of the re­vised ap­pli­ca­tion is as­tound­ing in that the pro­posal com­pletely ig­nores the spirit of the OMB rul­ing.

It is mind-bog­gling why the de­vel­oper fig­ured that tak­ing a floor off the top of the build­ing would some­how be ac­cept­able to the com­mu­nity and the City of Toronto. Ei­ther the de­vel­oper did not read the OMB rul­ing or doesn’t par­tic­u­larly care. Although the ap­pli­ca­tion has been filed un­der a new de­vel­oper, it turns out that it is the same de­vel­oper with es­sen­tially the same plan. This is also the same de­vel­oper that cut down trees next to a ravine with­out a per­mit on a Satur­day morn­ing.

If ever there was a fight worth hav­ing in north Toronto, it would be over this pro­posal. The com­mu­nity and the city have al­ready paid hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars to ex­plain to the de­vel­oper that the ap­pli­ca­tion does not work. The OMB con­firmed that the ap­pli­ca­tion does not work. Tweak­ing a pro­posal that fun­da­men­tally does not work will not make it work any more than try­ing to put a square peg in a round hole.

The com­mu­nity is al­ready gear­ing up for the fight. The res­i­dents are or­ga­niz­ing, are far more knowl­edge­able about the process and have the re­sources to smack down this ap­pli­ca­tion, just like they did the last one.

In the mean­time, the com­mu­nity should de­mand that Chatsworth re­main a one-way west­bound street from Yonge to Lawrence in or­der to pre­vent the de­vel­oper from try­ing to turn it into a two-way street as was at­tempted in the last go-round.

The other ap­pli­ca­tion is for a 13storey condo at 2908 Yonge St., cur­rently the site of a gas sta­tion. This plan is not as odi­ous but is ag­gres­sive in height for the area. The de­vel­oper points to a sim­i­lar build­ing height closer to Lawrence as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the ap­pli­ca­tion but the ref­er­ence should be the eight-storey build­ing next door. The cur­rent pro­posal will cast shad­ows on the par­kette to the west and onto Alexan­der Muir Park.

North Toronto res­i­dents have wit­nessed much change over the past decade and are not NIMBYs. They are well versed in the de­vel­op­ment process and un­der­stand how to in­flu­ence.

With an up­com­ing mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion, res­i­dents are look­ing for lead­ers who un­der­stand how to build neigh­bour­hoods. Karen Stintz is a for­mer city coun­cil­lor, elected in 2003, and was a chair of the TTC. She lives in Ward 16 with her fam­ily.

A con­tro­ver­sial new de­vel­op­ment pro­posed at a north Toronto site back­ing onto a park has neigh­bours or­ga­niz­ing and ready for a fight

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