New heights at Eglinton & Bayview
Jon Burnside Ward 26 Councillor
Two years ago, I expressed concern when I discovered Metrolinx planned to build a foundation at the Leaside station LRT (light rail transit) site at Bayview Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East (formerly a McDonald’s) that would accommodate a 30-storey building above. Unfortunately, it seems my concern was justified.
Although no formal proposal has been submitted, it appears the developer, Condor (a profit-sharing partner of Metrolinx on this site) would like maximum density and, consequently, height.
If you remember, Metrolinx purchased the adjacent quadruplex for potential construction staging. Condor owns the building beside it. That means the development area could include the station site and two adjacent lots to the south.
The good news is we finally have some tools to fight back. Most importantly, Toronto City Planning is in the final stages of the Midtown in Focus study. Just recently, it decided to include the east side of Bayview. The study itself lays out a framework for heights and densities amongst other planning issues. It allows mid-rise form on the site with a maximum height of only seven storeys. Interestingly, the study allows for a height of up to 23 storeys at the Metro grocery store site on the northwest corner.
Additionally, Metrolinx’s heritage consultant has advised that its quadruplex is of historical significance, which normally means heritage designation by the city. Although this doesn’t stop development, it does add stricter controls. I’ll continue to work with city planning staff and keep you updated along the way.