De­vel­op­ments gone wild

We look at four Mid­town pro­pos­als that are push­ing the bound­aries and keep­ing things in­ter­est­ing for the city’s plan­ners. These un­con­ven­tional de­vel­op­ments aim to change Toronto’s streetscape in un­usual ways.

Midtown Post - - News | Fea­ture -

YONGE & ER­SK­INE

18–30 ER­SK­INE AVE. Pro­posed: A 32-storey condo by the KG Group was granted ap­proval by the On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal Board (OMB) in Jan­uary 2016. The de­vel­op­ment site abuts the John Fisher Pub­lic School; how­ever, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) did not par­tic­i­pate in the OMB me­di­a­tion process. A de­mo­li­tion per­mit for the three­storey rental build­ing cur­rently on the site was ap­plied for this year. Com­pli­ca­tions: Re­cently, the KG Group tried to en­ter into an agree­ment with the TDSB to use part of the school site next door for con­struc­tion stag­ing, but the pro­posal was taken off the ta­ble when par­ents de­manded a risk as­sess­ment be con­ducted. What’s next: A work­ing group is sched­uled to con­vene in the com­ing weeks to dis­cuss where the con­struc­tion stag­ing will go. Lo­cals are con­cerned con­struc­tion will spill out onto the road, turn­ing Er­sk­ine Av­enue into one-way street. Talk­ing points: “I never sup­ported this de­vel­op­ment. I al­ways said they [wanted] to build some­thing on a postage stamp–size lot from the be­gin­ning. It’s too big, it’s too tall, and it doesn’t have suf­fi­cient set­backs in my mind,” said Ward 25 coun­cil­lor Jaye Robin­son.

YONGE & BIRCH

1190 YONGE ST. Pro­posed: De­vel­oper Frank Cam­poli has pro­posed a five-storey of­fice build­ing at 1190 Yonge St., on the south­west cor­ner of Yonge Street and Birch Av­enue across from the Sum­mer­hill LCBO. The site is ad­ja­cent to the Cana­dian Pa­cific Rail­way (CP) line to the south and Hy­dro One site to the west. Com­pli­ca­tions: A vi­bra­tion study con­ducted by Val­cous­tics Canada Ltd. found the CP train move­ments ex­ceeded the Cana­dian Na­tional Rail­way guide­line lim­its as well as the In­ter­na­tional Stan­dards Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ISO) ref­er­ence lim­its on the site. As a re­sult, vi­bra­tion mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures will be re­quired if the build­ing is ap­proved. What’s next: City of Toronto Plan­ning’s pre­lim­i­nary re­port has not been re­leased. Talk­ing points: “It’s a clas­sic case of how tightly our city is de­vel­op­ing. That was a re­ally small, use­less piece of sup­ple­men­tary land right up next to the tracks, and I don’t think even five years ago peo­ple would’ve ever con­sid­ered a build­ing be­ing shoe­horned in there,” said Lewis Re­ford of the North Rosedale Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion (NRRA).

YONGE & SCOL­LARD

874–878 YONGE ST & 3–11 SCOL­LARD ST. Pro­posed: The Ci­tyzen De­vel­op­ment Group has ap­pealed its plan for a 59-storey build­ing, with 194 res­i­den­tial units, to the OMB. The de­vel­op­ment would in­crease the den­sity on the site from three to 37.5 times the area of the lot. Ci­tyzen had also pro­posed to trans­form the Frank Stollery Par­kette into a bowl-type struc­ture. Com­pli­ca­tions: Toronto City Coun­cil re­jected the pro­posal in Oc­to­ber 2016, cit­ing con­cerns over the build­ing’s height and den­sity raised by both city staff and lo­cal res­i­dents. City zen De­vel­op­ment Group re­duced the height of the tower by 50 me­tres and re­moved the par­kette fol­low­ing a com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion, but the plan was still de­nied. What’s next: The pro­posal has been ap­pealed to the On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal Board, with a pre­hear­ing ten­ta­tively sched­uled for May 4. Talk­ing points: “It’s just the wrong site. That tower is sit­ting too heavy and too force­ful down on this tiny piece of land in the mid­dle of Yorkville, and it just doesn’t work,” said Ward 27 coun­cil­lor Kristyn Wong-Tam.

EGLIN­TON & MT. PLEAS­ANT

66 BROAD­WAY AVE. Pro­posed: In­stead of start­ing from scratch, Beaux Prop­er­ties has pro­posed to build a two-storey ad­di­tion with 18 units on top of an ex­ist­ing 20-storey apart­ment tower. A new four-storey town­house block con­tain­ing 20 stacked town­homes and new amenity space fronting onto Broad­way Av­enue has also been pro­posed for the site. Com­pli­ca­tions: Sev­eral tall tow­ers and stacked town­house projects have been pro­posed for the sur­round­ing area. City of Toronto plan­ners con­tinue to work on the Mid­town in Fo­cus study to re­vise the YongeEglin­ton Sec­ondary Plan and ef­fec­tively ad­dress the rapid in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion. What’s next: The de­vel­oper filed a re­zon­ing ap­pli­ca­tion in De­cem­ber 2016 and is cur­rently await­ing city plan­ning staff’s pre­lim­i­nary re­port. Talk­ing points: “This is a truly hor­ri­ble pro­posal that is out of char­ac­ter with the street, flies in the face of good ur­ban plan­ning prin­ci­ples and will be strongly op­posed both by the com­mu­nity and the City of Toronto,” said Ward 22 coun­cil­lor Josh Mat­low.

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