As you may recall, the SRA together with the Deer Park Residents Group, asked after the 1421 Yonge mediation for (and Council approved) a comprehensive planning study of the Yonge/St Clair area and recommendations for a new secondary plan. Following pushback re resource availability from Planning, this was reduced to an initial secondary plan study for the Yonge/St Clair intersection, from the Racquet Club site to Ferndale on the East, from Heath St in the north to Rosehill in the south.
Cathie Macdonald (Deer Park Planning committee chm) and I have met with planners and Josh Matlow in several meetings to push this forward. Last fall, it was agreed that the first step would be development of a "Vision statement" setting out goals and policies for the "public realm", meaning what pedestrians see at grade. This led to a half-day workshop organized by Community Planning and the Urban Design Group last Thursday, attended by representatives of all of the known current and potential developers in the area (including the Racquet Club, which is about to sent out a request for proposals to the development community) as well as by Cathie, me, and some other residents from Deer Park. There was a good consensus at the meeting, looking in particular to the need for (1) wider sidewalks, (2) additional parks within development proposals, (3) more trees, (4) off-Yonge pedestrian routes (eg from Pleasant to St Clair behind the 1421 develpment), (5) improvements to car traffic [corner widenings, Heath realignment), (6) additional signalized intersections to slow traffic through the area and increase pedestrian safety (new traffic signals on Yonge at Pleasant Blvd and DeLisle and on St Clair at Alvin), (7) appropriateness of a 2-4 storey podiums, and (8) potential for integration of the Catholic cemetery into a path system. The focus was mostly on public realm issues; the height issue was identified as a key issue but obviously not resolved. The discussion on built form focused on (1) the importance of precedents, and (2) the need for access to sunlight on the two avenues. There was no consensus as to the appropriate height limit for towers, but a general acceptance of the political opposition to heights above 30+ storeys.
Planning staff undertook to report on all of this to Council in late spring, step 1 to a "master plan" for the area that can become the basis for a revised secondary plan. It was agreed by the planning staff that a wider revised secondary plan is necessary and will need to be undertaken, I expect that to be a political issue (the planners need direction from Council) later this spring.
2. PARTICULAR PROJECTS
1) 1 DeLisle
The proposal is (a) excellent in its treatment of the public realm --significantly wider sidewalks, preservation (with a setback) of the historic mid-block facade on Yonge St, and a new addition to the public park on the south side of DeLisle-- but (b) excessive in height (asking for 48 storeys). The public meeting on Jan 22 focused mostly on opposition to the height and on concern about traffic and drop-off issues, esp. for the condo to the west.
2) 1365-1375 Yonge Street
The public meeting on Jan 24 focused on height and setbacks. The current OP requires an angular plan setback above 6 storeys to minimize the visual impact and sunlight access as seen from Yonge, and this was also emphasized at the Feb 7 charette as well as overall height. The developers of course submit that a straight line from the Jack (the building under construction at Yonge and Jackes) to what got approved for 1421 should define the height We naturally submit that a straight line from the height of the building at the SE corner of Rosehill and Yonge would be a better guide.
3) Other Yonge/St Clair projects
a) Bank of Nova Scotia building. Slate is to renovate, no significant change to height or mass.
b) Wittington project (block between Yonge and Alvin north of Loblaws, including City parking lot on Alvin). Since approval of a 37-storey mid-block tower and park scaling down to townhouses on Heath back in 2008, Wittington has succeeded in buying up all of the properties it did not own on the east side of Yonge St up to Heath. They are currently in the process of putting together a revised application.
c) Racquet Club property. As part of the rebuilding of the Club buildings destroyed by fire, the Club is looking to combining its future rebuilt space with a proposal for two towers.
4) Towers at Yonge and Bloor (Bloor to Yorkville)
There are at least four megatowers proposed in this area, all of which are likely to be approved. The one good thing is that City Planning has successfully negotiated the provision of two pedestrian walkways and linear parks from Cumberland to Yorkville, a significant improvement in public realm achieved through a negotiation with developers similar to the process now underway for Yonge/St Clair.
Developments at Yonge/St Clair
January 22 & 24, 2019: 1 Delisle and 1365 Yonge Public Community Meeting Notice. For more details please click here.
July 6, 2018: 36 ROSEHILL
--- developer has agreed to redesign pavilion near reservoir to reduce visibility, plant more trees
--- negotiations are proceeding with developer to reduce footprint of podium
--- Community Council agreed July 4 to send issue of City position on to City Council without recommendation to allow more time for negotiation
--- further meeting with Josh Matlow, City planning, developer, and residents' representatives (participants at May 22 OMB prehearing) to occur shortly
--- whether we can reach settlement now, we will find out soon (otherwise we will ask City Council through Josh to reject the staff report favoring the development and move to OMB mediation)
March 6, 2018: The Rosehill apartment project is going to the OMB, pre-hearing in early May. The SRA will be coordinating with Josh Matlow on this, following up on a meeting we had two weeks ago.
Slate (the owners of the four corners at Yonge/St Clair) is bringing an application forward for a high-rise at Yonge and Delisle. Josh Matlow has asked John Bossons (SRA) and John Plumadore of Deer Park RA to attend a meeting with Slate. Here is a an update as at July 6:
--- many of you will have received an invitation to an announcment event for this project that occurred last night
--- major good features: increased sidewalk setbacks, additional park on DeLisle
--- unacceptable proposed height (50 storeys)
--- Cathie Macdonald (Deer Park) and John Bossons (Summerhill) participated in meetings with the developer and Josh Matlow re. this project, they are all on the same page as to goals.
July 6: YONGE /ST CLAIR (work on revised secondary plan for commercial areas)
--- preliminary consultation to occur this summer
--- primary goals: better public realm (wider sidewalks, parks) and more effective control of height and bulk of new buildings (including new proposals for NE corner of Yonge and Rosehill, SW corner of Yonge and Delisle)
July 6: YONGE CORRIDOR (Midtown in Focus -- Yonge/Eglinton secondary plan)
--- Geoff Kettel and John Bossons (Summerhill) presented FoNTRA brief to Planning and Growth committee (PGMC) emphasizing lack of infrastructure and insufficient capacity of Yonge subway line
--- PGMC amended staff recommendations to direct staff and TTC to report to Council in 2019 on capacity of Yonge Subway vs current and anticipated OMB development approvals, and also on short-term and longer-term means of dealing with the lack of transist capacity
--- PGMC also notably asking staff to report on means of imposing holds on development
--- first steps only, but all we could ask for at this point
--- we (FoNTRA) anticipate further meetings with city transportation planning staff and TTC on this issue through the fall
Development at Scrivener Square - please click here for the latest
For the background profile click here
Resubmitted plan information click here
Globe and Mail article about overshadowing click here
April 9, 2017: 44 Jackes & 33 Rosehill Avenue - see attached for details of the Community Consultation Meeting
April 9, 2017: 1417 - 1429 Yonge Street Development - see attached for the proposed development details
March 13, 2017: Letter to the OMB - http://www.summerhilltoronto.ca/assets/uploads/OMB.pdf?
News Release: February 2, 2017
Pilot mediation program launched to resolve disputes on minor variance and consent applications in Toronto
The City of Toronto is launching a city-wide Mediation Pilot Program today to assist in resolving disputes for minor variance and consent applications being considered by the Committee of Adjustment.
This free program strives to assist disputing parties in reaching a voluntary, mutually-acceptable solution for some or all of the issues in dispute. The program is intended to help foster a collaborative process with neighbours as well as to reduce costs, provide access to neutral professional expertise and increase the likelihood of a settlement.
"Toronto is investing in providing smart and efficient City services that respond to Torontonians' needs," said Mayor John Tory. "The hope is that through the Mediation Pilot Program, residents can resolve disputes quicker and at reduced costs – and reduce the number of appeals."
"The planning process can be overwhelming. Residents concerned about minor variances or consents may not have the experience or financial resources to challenge lawyers and planners hired by applicants," said Councillor David Shiner (Ward 24 Willowdale), Chair of the Planning and Growth Management Committee. "I am hoping that mediation will provide an opportunity for neighbours to get professional assistance and avoid expensive appeals."
The mediation sessions will be conducted by a neutral third-party mediator and a neutral, experienced professional planner with knowledge of the City's Official Plan and zoning bylaws, including applicable minor variance and consent legislation. The Committee of Adjustment renders the final decision and is not bound by the mediated agreement.
The program will roll out across the city and will be available through the Committee of Adjustment starting with North York on February 9, followed by Toronto and East York on February 15, Scarborough on February 16, and Etobicoke and York on February 23.
More information about the Mediation Pilot Program is available at http://www.toronto.ca/cofa.
Media contact: Cheryl San Juan, Strategic Communications, 416-397-5305, firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Toronto provides a searchable data base for all development proposals by ward. The link to the site is here: