Annex development draws community ire
Developer’s initial proposal for 17 storeys was opposed, and the new plan calls for 29
A highrise condo development in the Annex from a Burlington developer has rankled both City of Toronto staff and area residents alike.
Adi Development Group is proposing a 29-storey development at 64 Prince Arthur Ave., despite plans initially calling for a 17-storey building.
“It’s a general thumbing of the nose to the local planning department and the local community,” said Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina councillor Joe Cressy.
Annex residents voiced their concerns at an open house held in February, and the overwhelming sentiment there was that the development would not be suitable for the neighbourhood.
“It belongs in Dubai, not in the Annex,” said Edward Leman, of the Annex Residents’ Association (ARA). “To me, it was designed through Google Earth: find a site, look at it, put a building down, and that’s it.”
“With any new development, there is always going to be resistance to change,” said Rebecca Eyres, spokesperson for Adi Development. “We will continue to listen and formulate a solution that enhances and adds value to the neighborhood.”
The position of both the city and the ARA is that, at 29 storeys, the height of the proposed tower would be inappropriate and would dwarf neighbouring buildings. Additionally, they identify significant setback and adjacency issues with townhouses in the areas.
“We told the developers when they proposed 17 storeys that we’d be prepared to work with them,” Cressy said. “They chose to ignore us.”
In 2016, Adi met with city officials and the ARA about its initial proposal. The consensus was that, with a few tweaks, it was an appropriate starting point, and Adi was encouraged to hold a public meeting.
Instead, Adi applied for a 29-storey proposal in August of 2017 and quickly filed an appeal to the Ontario Municipal with no prior public meeting.
“This is fundamentally irresponsible,” said Coun. Cressy. “It’s not how you engage with people [and] it’s exactly how not to do development.”
“Despite the fact that we feel terribly wronged by them,” Leman said, “we are still willing to work with them to bring the height down and the massing to scale for the Annex, if they’re willing to do so.”
In the meantime, Coun. Cressy will direct his City of Toronto Planning team to oppose the application in its current form and would only consider it if substantial revisions were made.
“At the moment, this project is dead on arrival.”
Eyres added that Adi has not yet updated the proposal, but that it “continues to explore and analyze the development within the context of the community.”
A rendering of the proposed development