Re­de­vel­op­ment un­veiled for for­mer Av­enue post of­fice

Am­bi­tious plans call for mod­ern new ad­di­tion with a restau­rant

North Toronto Post - - News - By Ryan Ayukawa

Plans are un­der­way to re­de­velop the for­mer Canada Post sta­tion at 1780 Av­enue Rd. The cor­ner prop­erty near Mel­rose Av­enue sold for $5.8 mil­lion to Cres­ford De­vel­op­ers in 2014, and the com­pany has hired Of­ficeAr­chi­tec­ture to cre­ate a mod­ern build­ing for com­mer­cial use.

The first three floors will call for mixed of­fice, re­tail and restau­rant oc­cu­pancy, and the build­ing will in­clude six park­ing spots un­der­ground. The cur­rent de­sign pro­poses floor-to-ceil­ing glass win­dows to ex­tend across three sides of the de­vel­op­ment.

“It’s a nice neigh­bour­hood and [res­i­dents] care about what goes in. We’ve been for­tu­nate with these clients who al­low us to be more rea­son­able with den­sity,” said Wal­ter Bet­tio, an ar­chi­tect with Of­ficeAr­chi­tec­ture.

Bet­tio noted that the build­ing will not be de­mol­ished, but rather built upon, al­though he ac­knowl­edged that the plan is not yet set in stone.

Terry Mills, an ur­ban plan­ner, is fa­mil­iar with the City of Toronto’s Av­enue Road Study, which ex­am­ines is­sues of ur­ban de­sign and de­vel­op­ment on Av­enue Road from Lawrence Av­enue West to Wil­son Av­enue. Mills said he be­lieves park­ing is al­ways an is­sue and sug­gested that some of the build­ing space should be re­al­lo­cated to help ac­com­mo­date day­time park­ing.

“When­ever peo­ple re­de­velop, you need com­pre­hen­sive park­ing,” Mills said. He also stressed the im­por­tance of the com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion process. “It’s im­por­tant that ev­ery­one come for­ward and con­sci­en­tiously dis­cuss the project and re­fine it,” he said, be­fore he noted that Av­enue Road will also be an im­por­tant model for other ar­eas.

The South Armour Heights Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion (SAHRA) shares con­cerns over park­ing lim­i­ta­tions, es­pe­cially in con­sid­er­a­tion of the po­ten­tial size of a fu­ture restau­rant. Nearby res­i­dents’ pri­vacy is also an is­sue along with in­creased noise lev­els, traf­fic, sig­nage and light­ing.

Sheila Dun­lop, sec­re­tary of SAHRA, said com­mu­nity mem­bers hope for more trans­parency from the de­vel­op­ers.

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