This site lies just outside the western edge of the Church Wellesley neighbourhood, and includes 10-16 Wellesley Street West, 5-7 St. Nicholas Street and 586 Yonge Street.
In 2017, the developer, Fitzrovia Capital, proposed a 64-storey condo tower. City staff recommended refusal of the application. Fitzrovia appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).
Fitzrovia has since sold the land to Centrecourt Developments. In July 2019, Centrecourt resubmitted the proposal at 55 storeys. For comparison, Wellesley on the Park, now rising across the street at 11 Wellesley West, will top out at 60 storeys. There is an LPAT hearing scheduled for January, 2020.
Originally proposed as a 16-storey condo on the Beer Store property at 572 Church Street, the project has now been reduced to 12-storeys, according to a Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Settlement.
The building will have a 44 degree angular plane rising from Church Street, so that it better relates to the low-rise buildings that characterize the Village, and contain 96 units.
This 34-storey condo project was approved several years ago, but went into dormancy until late 2018, when the application was revived as a rental building with an updated design.
The new building will replace the heritage buildings housing fly nightclub and Olympic Pizza, though the facades will be preserved.
In June, the Design Review Panel -- which is comprised of private sector design professionals who provide independent advice to city staff -- panned the new design on numerous counts and voted to send it back to the developer for a rethink. [see Urban Toronto article for details.]
Downtown East Toronto is in the midst of an overdose and housing crisis and we can see the effect on our streets and public spaces. Last summer, a one year Downtown East Action Plan, initiated by Councillors Wong-Tam and Troisi, was adopted by Council. The Plan included 36 actions to address the areas of mental health, substance abuse, housing and homelessness, public safety, economic opportunities, and parks and public realm.
On July 18, City Council approved a 5-Year Action Plan for the Downtown East that will build and expand upon the work of the 12-Month Action Plan that has been in effect since last year.
The graphic below illustrates some of the immediate actions implemented by the one year plan that will be expanded upon with the 5 Year Plan. While the Plan alone will not fix the addiction epidemic, it does rally City resources to address the complex issues of addiction and homelessness.
You are invited to attend the City of Toronto's public consultations on the following topics:
1. Temporary Signs By-law Review
July 22, 6 to 8 p.m. City Hall, Second Floor, Committee Room #3
More information: www.toronto.ca/signsreview
2. Property Standards and Building Maintenance
July 24, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Metro Hall, Room 308/309
More information: www.toronto.ca/propertystandardsreview
3. Payday Loan Establishments
July 25, 6 to 8 p.m. North York Civic Centre, Members Lounge
More information: www.toronto.ca/paydayloanreview
Feedback from these consultations will be used to inform reports to City Council expected at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020.
This summer there's a big variety of free lunchtime and evening music concerts to choose from, sponsored by the Village BIA and the Downtown Yonge BIA. So pick a date or two to relax and enjoy some alfresco tunes.
The Village Music in the Park concert series takes place 5 days a week in Barbara Hall Park until late September. Lunchtime concerts take place from Wednesday to Friday from 12:30 pm to 2;30 pm; on the weekends concerts shift to the early evening, from 7 pm - 9 pm.
The Downtown Yonge BIA's Play the Parks series is comprised of 50 concerts at seven outdoor venues, including College Park and McGill Granby Parkette. Most concerts start between 11:30 and 1 pm; others are geared to the after work crowd, starting at 5 pm. You can find the concert schedule on on the DYBIA's Play the Parks page.
Downtown East Toronto is in the midst of an overdose and housing crisis and we can see the challenges everywhere around us. Last summer, the one year Downtown East Action Plan, initiated by Councillors Wong-Tam and Troisi, was adopted by Council. The Plan includes 36 actions to address the areas of mental health, substance abuse, housing and homelessness, public safety, economic opportunities, and parks and public realm.
There is now a proposal for a 5-Year Action Plan for the Downtown East that will build and expand upon the work of the 12-Month Action Plan that has been in effect since last year.
On Wednesday, June 26, the Economic & Community Development Committee will vote on the plan. It will be considered by City Council on July 16, subject to the actions of the Committee.
It is extremely important to have the 5 Year Plan adopted by Council. Please sign the petition to support the Plan today.
In the the space of two days in June, the Doug Ford government passed a pair of measures that severely set back the City's ability to regulate development.
Bill 108 brings back OMB, enriches developers, weakens cities
On June 6, the Conservative government passed Bill 108, the More Homes, More Choice Act, which weakens 13 existing laws regulating the development industry. Notably, the new law brings back the rules of the old Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), allowing provincially-appointed panels to decide what development is allowed, often overruling decisions of local councils.
It was just a little over a year ago that the Liberal government phased out the OMB and replaced it with the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), which was to have much less power over local decision-makers. Now those reforms will be reversed.
Now that the law is passed, we can expect the old ways to continue, with towers being built that are much taller and denser than what city planners call for. But the situation for Ontario cities will be even worse, as the bill also merges — and significantly weakens — the tools used by cities to negotiate funds from developers to create new parks, schools, community centres and other infrastructure. As well, the law changes where the City can require new affordable housing and how heritage buildings are conserved.
For more information on Bill 108, see the City's web page:
Bill 108:Changes to Ontario's Planning System.
Queen's Park rewrites City's plan for downtown
The City's Official Plan Amendment for downtown, dubbed TOCore, had been in the works since 2012. A key goal was to make sure that development did not run amuck, outpacing infrastructure and crowding out open space. The City is required to have its Official Plan approved by the province, so it sent the TOCore plan to Queen's Park last fall.
On June 5, with no previous consultation, the Province sent TOCore back to the City -- with 224 changes. The amendments weaken language setting out the principle that development should not outpace available infrastructure like community centres, parks and sewer capacity, and allows much taller and denser development than previously considered. The changes also loosen rules around sunlight, shadowing and building setbacks from streets and other rules meant to create more livable neighbourhoods.
The City has little recourse; under the Canadian Constitution municipalities are entirely creatures of the province.
Click here for the In-Force Downtown Plan which incorporates the modifications, as well as a redline version which illustrates the Minister’s changes. City planning staff have prepared a report which summarizes the Minister's modifications to the Downtown Plan as well as the impact associated with Bill 108.
Downtown Councillors Push Back
On July 18, City Councillors Mike Layton, Joe Cressy and Kristyn Wong-Tam announced that they are creating a "green light / red light" system to evaluate development proposals in their wards and determine how helpful they will be in moving those proposals forward. Those deemed unreasonable could be delayed by tactics such as de-prioritizing the projects, holding provisions on development permits and even denying municipal permits during the construction phase.
The measures are designed to encourage developers to start the application process with projects that are more in keeping with the original TOCore plan, rather than the severely weakened provincial version. How effective these measures are in the long run remains to be seen. Delays will significantly increase costs to developers, but they will measure those costs against the potential for greater profits from taller and denser towers.
The City of Toronto is consulting the public to help develop a new 10-year housing strategy. HousingTO: 2020-2030 Action Plan will address homelessness and housing affordability today and in the future. Join us for a presentation, panel discussion and community conversation.
When: Wednesday, June 5, 2019 from 6:30PM-8:30PM
Where: St Lawrence Hall, 157 King Street East (corner of Lower Jarvis St.)