Development Update – (April 12, 2018) : Infrastructure, schools, transit are BIG concerns! 

By Andy Gort, SERRA President

The opposition to overdevelopment in our neighbourhood is growing.  We enjoy a strong patrnership with our councillor, Josh Matlow and City Planning/Legal staff, in efforts to work for more appropriate development. Now the TDSB and Shelley Laskin, the TDSB school trustee for Ward 11, are adding their voices.

Concerns have been expressed for some time about the wider impacts of development on “hard” infrastructure such as water and sewers, and “soft” infrastructure such as schools, daycare, parks, etc. Increasingly there is a concern about congestion inside our neighbourhood and transit capacity to downtown (Yonge line) during rush hour.

Recently, together with Josh Matlow and City Planning, we have been successful in tying lack of infrastructure to individual development proposals and have received a lot of media attention for our efforts. Here is some of that coverage:

CBC article by Rima Hamadi, Apr 03, 2018:  Neighbourhood activists celebrate as OMB replaced but ‘wicked witch’ isn’t dead yet

Toronto Star article by Jennifer Pagliaro, April 3, 2018: Worried about local water and sewer capacity, Toronto staff move to pause condo development at Yonge-Eglinton

Toronto Star article by Jennifer Pagliaro, April 4, 2018: Water and sewer capacity aren’t the only concerns in Yonge-Eglinton, transit and school issues must be addressed, councillor says

Stay tuned for more updates on infrastructure issues such as lack of school capacity and TTC Line 1 (Yonge line) congestion.


“18 Brownlow”
(Now 174-188 Soudan and 71-73 Redpath):

The proposal for “18 Brownlow” was submitted originally in November, 2015 and appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in June, 2016.

As a result of various hearings at the OMB, this development on a full block on Soudan, between Redpath and Brownlow, has been reduced from the original 2 tower proposal of a 25 and 20 storey rental buildings with 463 apartments, to 1 tower development of 24 storeys with 176 units on the western portion of the acquired property.

Also, green space has now been provided with a setback of the building, opening up the NE corner of Soudan and Redpath. The question remains, what will be proposed for the other half of the acquired land?

Revised application for 174-188 Soudan Ave. and 71-73 Redpath Ave. 

The planning issues remaining for the current proposal are for a lower tower height and additional space between the 83 Redpath townhouses and the new development. Final arguments are being prepared for the contested hearing to start on May 7th and last for up to 2 weeks. Originally, the Parties registering for this appeal were the developer (for) and the city and our community team (against). But…at the 11th hour, the TDSB requested to join as a Party in opposition to this development. They argue that it should not be approved – at all – until the lack of school capacity can be resolved, especially at the Eglinton Junior Public School (around the corner).

If the OMB Chair rules in favour of some development, but also agrees with the TDSB that construction has to await completion of much needed school facilities, this development and future ones could be waiting a long time. ARE OUR VOICES FINALLY BEING HEARD?

700 Mt Pleasant Rd.
(Extension of the Briton House retirement home)

Proposed 25 Storey Tower on a Massive 7 Storey Podium

No one would object to an expansion of retirement facilities in our area. The possibility of seniors remaining in our neighbourhood is welcomed. The proposal calls for the addition of 123 independent and semi-independent condo units and 133 assisted nursing rooms. It will also have room for 124 bicycles – (you have to love those fit seniors;). Unfortunately, the space required for this addition far outstrips the land  the Briton House has purchased (2 homes on Brownlow and 6 semis on Soudan) plus an existing Briton House Soudan home.

A proposed 25-storey tower on a massive 7-storey podium is as inappropriate as the original “18 Brownlow” development, setting off another potentially drawn-out application. To make matters more complicated, the application was filed before a December, 2017 deadline, which would have enabled the developer to appeal to the “old” OMB, but the application was not “complete,” when the applicant originally applied to the city.

Maybe the developer should consider acquiring an additional adjacent property(s) to accommodate the proposed facilities and to build them in accord with the newly drafted City Planning Midtown in Focus guidelines.

1951 Yonge (NE corner of Davisville and Yonge).
Two Towers 25 & 34 Storeys Adjacent to Davisville School

This development is planned to be right next to the new Davisville School and Community Hub. Since it’s also at a prominent heritage site, it requires extra care in planning and design. The design is L-shaped, in that there are still several privately owned storefronts on the property, including the original Davis House (now a Starbucks location). This development proposal is asking for huge density with (two) tall towers of 25 storeys (at Millwood) and 34 storeys (at Davisville). The towers are connected by a base building, which potentially will house a large grocery store, LCBO, pharmacy, etc. A total of 403 units are planned for the property.

Read the City of Toronto Staff Report: 1925-1951 Yonge Street, 17-21 Millwood Road, and 22 Davisville Avenue – Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Amendment Applications – Request for Direction Report

The development has been proposed for some time and was appealed to the OMB. In preparation for the first OMB hearing, City Planning prepared a report denying approval of the development and calling the proposal an overdevelopment of the site that will cast great shadow on the adjacent Davisville School. The city also called for a “hold” on construction of this building until the chief city engineer agrees that sufficient water, sewage and storm water capacity is available. SERRA appealed at Council for an additional “hold” provision for inadequate school and transit facilities (Yonge line at peak hours). Josh Matlow proposed the appropriate motions, which were promptly passed. The first OMB hearing will be on April 26th.

Close to 8,000 new condo and rental units in the SERRA area alone!

These are just three of our developments with 10 other additional ones currently under review. Of these ten developments, 6 have already been appealed to the “old” OMB with potentially 3 more to be appealed shortly. Fourteen (14) other large developments were previously approved with 3 having been completed. Most of these applications also were appealed to the OMB.

All developments combined will account for close to 8,000 new condo and rental units in the SERRA area alone, with many more units planned and under construction in the area north of Eglinton and in the not too distant future, along Eglinton in Leaside (Laird, Vanderhoof).

Click here to see the development map

City of Toronto municipal election and other updates – September 7, 2018

There is lots going on in our neighbourhood!   City of Toronto municipal election We await a ruling from the Superior Court on the legality of the province’s Bill 5 (The Better Local Government Act) to reduce the number of council seats to 25. In the meantime, the number and boundaries of wards continue to be in flux. In the event of a “25-seat council” election, the SERRA area would see FOUR incumbent councillors plus … Read moreCity of Toronto municipal election and other updates – September 7, 2018

Meet the 25 new City Council wards – August 19, 2018 Update

We wanted to thank the many residents who responded to our survey about reducing the size of City Council to 25 members, and in particular, for offering the many comments to explain your position. A large majority of respondents objected to the reduction in the number of Council members, mostly because they felt that the new size of the wards would significantly impact the level of representation needed in the city. They also felt that Premier Ford’s claim of “for … Read moreMeet the 25 new City Council wards – August 19, 2018 Update

TDSB Announced New Trustee Ward Boundaries

August 19, 2018 Update: The map of the new TDSB ward boundries is now available online. Click here to see the map. Click here to see a list of candidates. August 18, 2018 Update: **NOTE Bill 5, the Better Local Government Act, 2018, was passed by the Government of Ontario and received Royal Assent on August 14, 2018. More details about TDSB Trustee candidates and wards will be posted to the City of Toronto elections … Read moreTDSB Announced New Trustee Ward Boundaries

City Council, the Municipal Election and Ward Boundary Changes – August 2, 2018 Update

August 19, 2018 Update: The map of the new 25 wards is now available online. Click here to see the map. August 18, 2018 Update: Bill 5, the Better Local Government Act, 2018, was passed by the Government of Ontario and received Royal Assent on August 14, 2018. City Council has been reduced to 25 wards. To read a list of names for the 25 wards, click here. There is a special City Council Meeting scheduled … Read moreCity Council, the Municipal Election and Ward Boundary Changes – August 2, 2018 Update