New heights at Eglin­ton & Bayview

North York Post - - News - 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.

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