Dav­en­port tri­an­gle dis­ap­pear­ing

Lo­cal busi­nesses & res­i­dents ar­gue city waited too long for study

Annex Post - - NEWS - — An­gela Hen­nessy

Some res­i­dents be­lieve the Dav­en­port tri­an­gle has al­ready had too much de­vel­op­ment for a re­cent city study to make any dif­fer­ence.

The neigh­bour­hood be­tween Dav­en­port Road, Dupont Street and Bed­ford Road con­tin­ues to face un­prece­dented lev­els of de­vel­op­ment, which in­cludes a con­tro­ver­sial pro­posal at 306–320 Dav­en­port Rd. that calls for 27 storeys. Al­though a City of Toronto de­vel­op­ment study is un­der­way to try to rein in the in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion and es­tab­lish guide­lines for de­vel­op­ers, res­i­dents say its ac­tion is too late.

In early March, Ward 20 coun­cil­lor Joe Cressy had taken two years worth of work and re­search and pre­sented the Dav­en­port Tri­an­gle Plan­ning Study pre­lim­i­nary re­port to the com­mu­nity. The study is in­tended to pro­tect the neigh­bour­hood from in­ap­pro­pri­ately sized de­vel­op­ment, pre­serve green space and work with the com­mu­nity and de­vel­op­ers to cre­ate the most livable space.

In the last few years, de­vel­op­ment has re­shaped the once friendly and ac­ces­si­ble block with thou­sands of units, far ex­ceed­ing the mid-rise lim­its that have been in place in this neigh­bour­hood for years.

The city plan­ning study was ini­ti­ated by Cressy, with the in­tent to set manda­tory guide­lines for fu­ture de­vel­op­ment.

“The broad frame­work here is an area like the Dav­en­port tri­an­gle, when new de­vel­op­ment is com­ing, that it’s re­spond­ing to the com­mu­nity and the city’s vi­sion, rather than the city and the com­mu­nity re­spond­ing to the de­vel­op­ment,” Cressy said.

Ac­cord­ing to Cressy, part of what is be­ing pro­posed is based on the com­mu­nity’s in­put and sug­gests a max­i­mum height of six to eight storeys, widen­ing the cur­rent laneways and side­walks and plac­ing an em­pha­sis on iden­ti­fy­ing and creat­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties for green space.

But some res­i­dents say the dam­age has al­ready been done.

“I think our block in essence is lost. We had great hopes for work­ing in part­ner­ship with the city and de­vel­op­ers. But now it’s too lit­tle, too late,” said Peter Gold­farb, co-pres­i­dent of the Dav­en­port Tri­an­gle Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion (DTRA).

Gold­farb ex­plained that, be­cause most of the de­vel­op­ment is al­ready in the works and will not be af­fected by this study, that this is ul­ti­mately a waste of city spend­ing.

“This isn’t much un­like clos­ing the barn door af­ter the horses have gone,” he said.

Gold­farb also ex­pressed up­set that DTRA had never been con­sulted on the study, de­spite the as­so­ci­a­tion hav­ing put in hun­dreds of hours look­ing at what could work best for the area.

With the abol­ish­ment of the On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal Board (OMB), the city will now have more con­trol over how neigh­bour­hoods han­dle in­com­ing de­vel­op­ment, but this will only ap­ply to pro­pos­als that came af­ter mid-De­cem­ber 2017.

Sev­eral de­vel­op­ment pro­pos­als have al­ready been ini­ti­ated for 321 Dav­en­port Rd., 342–346 Dav­en­port Rd., 350 Dav­en­port Rd. and 115 Dupont St. that will not be af­fected by this study.

“There is cur­rently a pro­ject that is be­ing dis­cussed that the city will not dis­cuss be­cause it has been ap­pealed to the OMB,” said Gold­farb, ref­er­enc­ing the 27storey pro­posal. So the is­sue at hand is that the city had agreed to do the study two and a half years ago, so that it would in­form.”

David Cur­rie is the owner of restau­rant Le Par­adis on Bed­ford Road and has been there for 32 years.

“I have lost all my park­ing, so my lunch has col­lapsed. Be­cause I have no park­ing, no one is com­ing.

He de­scribes the loss in busi­ness as “sig­nif­i­cant,” and he is faced with de­cid­ing whether or not he should shut down per­ma­nently for lunch hour: not an ideal choice for the restau­ra­teur. His prob­lem with the study is the same as Gold­farb, the dam­age has been done.

“The big one is al­ready done. You couldn’t put any­more den­sity in here. There are thou­sands and thou­sands of peo­ple here now,” he said.

“I have lost all my park­ing, so my lunch has col­lapsed. Be­cause I have no park­ing, no one is com­ing.”

Clock­wise from left: Ren­der­ings of the pro­posal for 306–320 Dav­en­port Rd., 321 Dav­en­port Rd. and 346 Dav­en­port Rd.

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