Midtown towers to be put on hold?
City staff ask OMB to halt development due to capacity concerns
City of Toronto staff have requested a two-tower condo development by Times Group in the Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue area be put on hold until infrastructure can keep up with an influx of new residents. Staff are concerned about the strain so much development is putting on resources such as public transportation, schools, parks, water and sewage.
On April 4, the Toronto and East York Community Council approved a City of Toronto Planning report that requests the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) put a hold on any future decision concerning the development and services would be able to keep up with the density.
“I agree with the intent behind it,” Matlow said. “Here’s the problem: nothing in the provincial legislation ensured that adequate social services and infrastructure would keep up with that pace of growth.”
If development in the area continues at its current rate, Matlow said the Midtown in Focus study has noted a concern that there won’t be adequate water and sewage capacity for new residents.
“The city has determined that there is a real fear that if some developments take place now, including the Times Group basic services and infrastructure,” he said. “Then you’re just approving the development rather than approving good planning and a good community. We’re going to do everything we can to fight the development so it’s not approved.”
Andy Gort, president of the South Eglinton Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (SERRA), said he is concerned about overdevelopment in the YongeEglinton area because the schools and transit systems are already severely crowded, and only a small fraction of condos slated for development have been built so far.
“We’re starting to really notice infrastructure creaking quite badly, and most of the growth that’s planned for this area hasn’t really arrived yet, so it’s making us quite worried,” Gort said.
Cassidy Ritz, project manager with the city planning strategic initiatives unit, said the city is still in the process of finalizing the Midtown in Focus study, and is assessing the impact new developments will have on the area in the long-term.
“We do know there is a concern related to the school capacity in the area that the school board has identified, and we do know we have constraints on the line one subway, so these are some of the wellknown challenges,” Ritz said. “How those will get resolved on any particular site is going to be different, and so we’re still assessing that.”
Ritz said the city is revising the plan and finishing the infrastructure assessment so they can report to city council in June.
A rendering of the proposed development via the City of Toronto