Church Wellesley Update
News from the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association
625 Church (at Charles) appealed to LPAT
Manulife Investment Management has appealed its proposal for a 59-storey rental building at the northeast corner of Church and Charles, where the Traders Building presently stands.
In December 2019, the developer submitted a development application for the tower. Manulife had held two community consultations in the preceeding months. At the second community consultation on October 2, Manulife polled community members as to whether they would choose to preserve the current building's facade or to have the building demolished in exchange for more green space.
Subsequent to that meeting, Manulife submitted its proposal to the City. The development would be a 59-storey mixed-use building, inclusive of a 6-storey podium which preserves the facade of the Traders Building. The building would l house commercial tenants on the lower levels, with 651 residential units in the tower.
On June 8 City Council is expected to designate the 1956 neo-Georgian building, designed by Marani & Morris, as a heritage property.
A case management conference is scheduled for June 8 at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. In all likelihood the developer and the City will engage in a mediation process aiming for a settlement agreement.
2 Carlton settled at 73 stories
The fate of 2 Carlton Street, which was first proposed for re-development in 2016, has been determined in a settlement agreement between the developer and the City, after the developer appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.
The proposal calls for a tower with a maximum height of 251 metres (73 storeys), the same height the developer applied for. It will replace the heritage listed mid-century modern 18-storey office tower that currently stands there.
On January 4, 2021, the City received a settlement offer from the developer, which the City accepted on February 2. A decision issued by the LPAT on April 8, 2021 confirmed the details of the agreement.
The site of the former Catholic Children's Aid building on Maitland Street will see a tower of 41 storeys, the result of a negotiated settlement between the developer Plaza Corp. and the City, after the developer appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).
PlazaCorp proposed a 45-storey condominium tower in October 2019. In March 2020, before the City had made a decision, PlazaCorp appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).
The City's many objections to the proposal included inconsistencies with provincial planning policies, the Toronto Official Plan and area specific planning policies. The overall height and massing of the tower and the significant shadow it would cast on neighbouring areas were the major objections. City Councillor Wong-Tam made her concerns and objections clear throughout the process, and does not believe the development fits into the neighbourhood.
The negotiated settlement reduces the height of the tower by 16 metres or 4 storeys.
The settlement provides for almost $8 million in Section 37 community benefits:
A very small slice on the west side of the property will be dedicated to parkland, very likely to be incorporated into a much larger future park replacing the Wellesley Green P surface parking lot.
Had the City taken its objections to a full LPAT hearing, it is highly likely that the resulting LPAT ruling would have been less favourable. According to Tyler Johnson, Ward 13 Constituency Rep. for the Church Wellesley Village:
... in recent years, the City has negotiated settlements with developers at the OMB/LPAT so that they could at least secure some concessions on behalf of local residents as well as community benefits. Through experience, we have learned that when the City doesn't negotiate a settlement, we get developments that are even further out of context to the local neighbourhood than they would have otherwise been.
The single tower proposal came about after talks with Plazacorp for a more ambitious project led nowhere. According to Johnson:
Over the past 2+ years, the Councillor and City Planning have made numerous attempts to partner with Plazacorp to develop affordable housing as part of their condo development by expanding their development footprint to use part of the Green P Parking lot to the west and utilize the other portion of the parking lot for public parkland. Those negotiations deteriorated as Plazacorp wasn't interested in that model. So now, they are proceeding with their own application and the city will proceed with our own plans for the Green P lot.
The community will still have input on street level details through a Site Plan Working Group.
City Reports and Supporting Documents
City Council Decision on Settlement Offer (March 10, 2021)
LPAT Hearing Order (Oct. 28, 2020)
City Council Decision on Direction Report (Oct. 27, 2020)
Toronto Staff Request for Direction Report (Sept. 21, 2020)
Toronto Staff Preliminary Report (Dec. 11, 2019)
Development Application Information Centre
An online community consultation on Graywood Development's proposal for a 15-storey midrise at 506-516 Church Street (Crews / Tangos and the adjacent parking lot) has held on April 28.
In July 2020, Graywood submitted a development application to the City. City staff released a Preliminary Report regarding the application on Sept. 21. A community-based Working Group has met twice since then. The community consultation gave members of the public the chance to see how stakeholder feedback from these meetings had influenced the proposal, and an opportunity to raise their concerns.
For background information, including the developers revised proposal, see the Development Application Centre (click Supporting Documentation and sort by date) and the City Staff Preliminary Report.