Update on Etobicoke York Council Hearing on Grenadier Square

As you may have heard, Etobicoke York council voted unanimously to have the city of Toronto oppose the Grenadier Square application at the OMB.

Please find below a summary of the City hearing received from a tenant. The hearing took place February 25, 2014 and several HPTA members participated. The HPTA wishes to thank this tenant for sharing his notes. 

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Disclaimer: The HTPA makes no claim as to the veracity or accuracy of the information contained in this summary. The information is provided “as is” (with names of presenters withheld). The HPTA expresses no representations or warranties, express or implied. The information is offered for general informational purposes only, and should be treated as such. For official information regarding this hearing, contact the City of Toronto Planning Department directly, quoting the Reference Number: 13 101816 WET 13 OZ.

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The Etobicoke York City Council meeting to consider the 5 Feb 14 Request for Direction Report of the City of Toronto Planning Department.

The following is a brief summary of the remarks made by the speakers:

– Executive Member High Park Coalition

  • HPC formed in May 2013
  • received over 2,200 signatures opposing the development (90% from the neighbourhood)
  • had 5 working Group meetings with the Developer without achieving any meaningful concessions

– Vice Chair High Park Resident’s Association

  • emphasized how the High Park neighbourhood is confirmed as a model neighbourhood in a 2006 visionary study prepared for Bloor West and High Park Residents Association
  • suggested the Heritage Policies are the only part of the Official Plan that have any teeth and should be used to persuade OMB to decline the application

– Resident 255 Glenlake Avenue

  • proposed development is not permitted infill, but over-development
  • tall buildings should have minimum 5-floor height differential, these do not
  • the glass point tower design is not compatible with the High Park neighbourhood

– Manett Planning Services Ltd., Consultant to High Park Coalition

  • the proposed development has no contextual compliance with the existing site
  • EYCC should recommend that the interested citizens groups have an opportunity to participate with the Toronto Planning Department in any future negations with the Developer at the OMB

Resident 66 Pacific Avenue

  • participated with the Working Group
  • even the amended building heights will create shadows over a wide area that will be a major detriment to residents’ enjoyment

Resident 80 Quebec Avenue

  • resident in High Park for over 30 years
  • concerned about the legacy effects of the proposed development
  • High Park has a unique blend of building types and tenure not available elsewhere in the city
  • point buildings don’t belong and, if approved, this proposal will be precedent setting
  • it is council’s duty to protect this special quality and oppose the application

Resident High Park Avenue

  • How about fresh air from High Park, peace of mind and no Berlin Wall?

Resident 77 Quebec Avenue

  • proposal violates: Official Plan, Apartment Neighbourhoods Policy, Built Form Policies, Tall Buildings Policy
  • Developer has skirted meaningful discussion with residents and City Planning Department by going to OMB
  • Council must oppose the application

Resident 53 Quebec Avenue

  • the proposal eliminates the rental townhouse housing units
  • It places stress on the existing infrastructure – TTC, sidewalks roads

Resident 50 Quebec Avenue

  • agrees with the previous speakers
  • High Park is a unique area that should be preserved
  • the development application should be denied

After consideration, the Council unanimously voted to support the City Planning Department (subject to a street parking amendment submitted by Councillor Doucette) in its opposition to the Developer’s application to the Ontario Municipal Board for an amendment to the zoning by-law.

Notes:

  • Councillor Mammoliti voiced his concern about the loss of the rental townhouse units and the fact that developers are using the OMB appeals process to circumvent the planning process and the will of residents and Council
  • Councillor Palachio remarked that large institutional developers were not interested in resident feedback or in contributing to neighbourhood quality; only in creating a fast increase to the company balance sheet in order to augment bonuses and then they would move on
  • Planning Department staff were asked to provide clarification on the legality of demolishing the townhouses (legal because of above-market rents) and providing financial assistance to the HPC to hire planning expertise (unnecessary as the Department will be at OMB with and on behalf of the HPC in opposition to the application)