With space running out in the downtown core, we have noticed that many developers are targeting sites on the perimeter of the city, but at locations where transit allows for easy access to downtown. The issue with presenting proposals for some of these sites is that they are located within well-established neighbourhoods, consisting of mostly low-rise homes, and the residents usually aren’t excited about the possibility of a high-rise in their backyard.
The Daniels Corporation and their proposed High Park development for 1844 Bloor St. W. is currently entangled in complaints, concerns, and demands, voiced by residents of the neighbourhood. On March 1, a community consultation meeting was led by Parkdale-High Park Councillor Sarah Doucette, where Phil Carvalino, a city planner, and Neil Pattison, the director of development for Daniels, explained the current status of the proposal and also listened to the residents’ opinions on the matter. The typical concerns were voiced, such as height issues, shadowing, and noise.
Another goal of the meeting was to initiate a design committee consisting of several residents of the neighbourhood to work with Daniels. It was decided that between the end of March and the first couple weeks of April, the committee would meet at least three times. Hopefully, the group can come up with something that pleases the majority of the residents in the area. Daniels has already stated that they are open to design recommendations and they are interested in hearing what kind of input the community has to offer, hence the committee. In fact, Daniels has already gone to the community three times for consultation, when only one consultation is required.
Last January, the zoning by-law amendment of the 14-storey plan was refused by council, even though Carvalino recommended its approval. Daniels has appealed the ruling to the OMB, and we are pretty confident that they will win the case, mostly because Daniels is reaching out to the community for answers far more than they are required to, discussing everything from design to materials to landscaping. We believe that the area is lucky to be dealing with The Daniels Corporation because they are always respectful of the neighbourhood they are adding to, they always produce thoughtful designs, and they have provided Toronto with some top quality residences. As of March 16, the OMB has not scheduled a hearing for the case, but we will be keeping our eye on it.
After all the complaints, voices of outrage, uneducated assumptions, and varying opinions, a design committee will be formed, and the rest of the development’s fate lies with the OMB.
What do you think of a condominium at this location?
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