We are a growing city. With just under 100,000 people moving into our downtown core on a yearly basis, we need to focus on providing cool, yet respectful residential space. Whether it’s Yonge and Eglinton, North York, or somewhere like Liberty Village, every area continues to do its part, absorbing its share of the new home infrastructure.
One area that hasn’t seen as many developments as others in the city is The Beaches. Outside of Kew Beach Living, Bellefair Kew Beach Residences, and Lakehouse Beach Residences, the area has avoided redevelopment. Recently, a group of beach residents began aggressively countering local development, under the acronym BRAT (Beaches Residents Association of Toronto).
At one point, BRAT took specific aim at Lakehouse Beach Residences, a development by Reserve Properties. Despite BRAT’s numerous arguments, the project was approved by counsel. Not to be undone, BRAT took Reserve Properties to the OMB, citing the development does not fit the area. On top of that, BRAT is now looking to have 1960 Queen St. East declared a heritage building, which is probably one of their more over-the-top moves.
“We also feel that this closure is somewhat premature, as the rezoning is still subject to the appeal before the OMB, which starts in January. We are concerned about the effect that Lick’s moving out of the store will have on the community – likely the buildings will be vacant for many months, and it is unlikely that any other tenant will move in for such a short time given the size and layout of the interior,” said BRAT representative, Suzanne Gibbon, in a release.
We respect that the residents of The Beaches love their area, and who can blame them, it’s flush with stunning architecture and fantastic green space. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t need new infrastructure to help the neighbourhood move forward. Reserve Properties is
not planning an 18-storey condominium in a low-rise area; they are building a respectful six-storey residence that will replace the missing retail. It makes perfect sense.
What are you thoughts on this development? Do you see this as a legitimate heritage claim?