A group of six residences on Gloucester Street and Dundonald Street has been put up for sale for $49.2 million; if the sale were successful a development application for a condominium tower could follow.
23 to 29A Gloucester Street are five townhouses running between Bumpkins Restaurant and Wabenose Lane; 16 Dundonald Street is to the south of the other properties, bordering James Canning Gardens. Bumpkins Restaurant is also for sale, separately, with an asking price of $12.8 million.
While the properties are being marketed as a consolidation, it is likely that there is an agreement in place between the six owners to seek a buyer together at the agreed price. A recent search of public land ownership records indicate that the properties are still owned separately.
Given the asking price, any developer purchasing the consolidated properties would be counting on approval of a tall building, similar in height to those on Charles Street.
According to the 2013 North Downtown Yonge Urban Design Guidelines, the properties are located in the Gloucester / Dundonald Character Area, which:
... contains the area’s prevalent mix of grade-related residential homes (single detached, semi-detached, townhouses) ... This Character Area as a prominent Neighbourhood should be preserved and maintained without any interruption to its existing built form and scale.
The Gloucester / Dundonald Character Area is unique in its aim of strongly protecting low-rise dwellings, because it is surrounded by other Character Areas that allow for higher density. The Isabella, Wellesley Wood, College / Carlton, and Church Street Village Character Areas are designated by Toronto's Official Plan as Apartment Neighbourhoods or Mixed Use Areas and allow for context sensitive intensification.
If the properties were sold to a developer, a proposal for a tall building would be opposed by the City and by CWNA. If the developer appealed the proposal to the Ontario Lands Tribunal and succeeded in having the Neighbourhood zoning thrown out in order to erect a tall building, the precedent would essentially green light the Manhattanization of our neighbourhood's quieter side streets, both east and west of Church Street.
Page 15 of the Toronto Urban Design Guidelines: North Downtown Yonge (2013) explains that the guidelines have expressly "... created a character area to protect this neighbourhood from future growth and any negative impacts from surrounding developments to ensure that the current built form and massing within this area are maintained ..."
Regarding heritage preservation, the Guidelines state that "Most of the buildings are not listed within City of Toronto Heritage Inventory, but a large number of them carry notable and distinct architectural design." Local historian Adam Wynne has recently submitted a Heritage Property Nomination for 16 Dundonald Street.
The Guidelines go on to enumerate design directions for new developments, including that, "they will be in the form of lowrise residential built form (single detached, semi-detached, townhouses) and small scale commercial, replicating the height of the existing low-rise buildings."
The Gloucester Street initiative would not be in keeping with Toronto City Planning. We will keep you informed of news on this enterprise.
Acknowledgment: Thanks to Adam Wynne for bringing this issue to the attention of CWNA, conducting and sharing research and submitting the Heritage Nomination.
City staff issued a preliminary report in December in response to KingSett Capital's new development application for 475 Yonge Street (Courtyard Marriot). The issues are primarily due to the size and mass of the proposed towers; KingSett's proposal is for two towers, of 78 and 75 storeys.
In September KingSett submitted the new development application for the site, located between Wood and Alexander Streets. KingSett first acquired the property in 2015. In December 2017, City Council approved a development application in which KingSett proposed to build two connected towers of 58 and 48 storeys on the site.
In pre-application documents, KingSett emphasized that the new application will provide more public parkland and privately-owned publicly accessible (POP) space than the 2017 application, since the podium between the two towers would be eliminated.
KingSett Capital is a multi-billion dollar private equity real estate investment firm with a portfolio that includes much of downtown Yonge Street. The corporation has also assembled lands at the northeast corner of Church and Wellesley; and the northeast corner of Church and Maitland (see map).
The decision to apply for 20 storeys more than was approved in 2017 is likely related to nearby approvals and applications for other very tall buildings on Yonge Street, including a 73 storey building immediately to the south, between Carlton and Wood, that was approved through a settlement agreement in April of this year.
The new application, including architectural plans and the shadow study can be found online at the City's Development Application Centre.
City staff issued a preliminary report in December, 2021 which details numerous issues to be resolved, primarily due to the size and mass of the proposed towers.
The Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association Development Committee met with the developer on January 13 to discuss the proposal. On March 2, the CWNA Development Committee also took part in the Working Group, hosted by Councillor Wong-Tam, to review the proposal and the City's preliminary report. The CWNA Development Committee will also be meeting with the City Planner assigned to the project.
The developer has offered community space in one of the building podiums; the type, size and location of the community space is yet to be determined.
An issue with the proposed design is that the much of the building at street level -- particularly beside the park and POP -- has no relationship to pedestrians or park users. Animation of these areas, preferably related to the community space, would be more desirable.
A community consultation meeting date has not yet been announced, but you can make written comments now and request to be notified of the community consultation by following the Public Consultation link on the proposal's Development Application Centre page.
In December 2021, Graywood Development submitted a revised development proposal for a midrise at 506-516 Church Street (Crews / Tangos and the adjacent parking lot). The revision reduces the building's overall height to 14 storeys from 15; decreases the number of condominium units from 197 to 164; and introduces additional step backs and terracing.
Graywood first submitted a development application to the City in July of 2020. City staff released a Preliminary Report regarding the application in September 2020. After two community stakeholder Working Group meetings, the developer submitted a revised application in early April 2021, which was followed by a community consultation later that month.
The developer submitted a revised application in December 2021. For background information, including the developers revised proposal, see the Development Application Centre (click Supporting Documentation and sort by date).
The Church Wellesley Village Development Working Group, led by Councillor Wong-Tam and composed of representatives of CWNA, the BIA and other stakeholders, met with Graywood for the third time on March 2, 2022 to review the latest application.
In addition to adjustments to the massing of the building, the presentation included more design details; the Crews/Tangos building restored to its original brick; and ideas for historical interpretation and laneway activation.
City Staff are expected to bring a final report to City Council in the coming months and work with the developer as it prepares its final resubmission, which should be brought to the Toronto & East York Community Council by June.
The CWNA Development Committee will be meeting to finalize feedback on site plan details, including the laneway, public art, lighting and street trees. The City Councillor's office will convene a site planning meeting once Graywood and City Planning have taken next steps.