Councillor Josh Matlow

Post City: Developer pledges to work with community on 42-storey condo plan at Yonge & St. Clair

November 20
Angela Hennessy
Post City Toronto


Josh Matlow stands in front of the proposed site

Josh Matlow stands in front of the proposed site


Terracap developers were told to go back to the drawing board last month after Toronto and East York Community Council rejected their proposal for a 42-storey building near the southeast corner at Yonge and St. Clair.


Their original proposal called for a mixed-use building with 420 residential units, two levels of retail space and 136 parking spaces.


The proposal was refused largely because of the height and density, as well as the narrow setback that would have taken away sidewalk space.


“It would have just felt like a big wall on Yonge Street,” Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow said.


A public meeting had been held in June with several hundred in attendance, and although only one person spoke in favour of the project, others took to social media and accused the councillor of NIMBYism (“not in my backyard”). But Matlow said it really has nothing to do with that.


Midtown has seen no end to development in the past decade with many applications still in process for the area. But Matlow said the neighbourhood is not against this — what they are against is ignoring zoning restrictions and packing as many units into one building as possible.


“This location was zoned for mid-rise, not towers,” said Matlow, who added that reducing the argument down to pro- or anti-development positions would be missing the point.


Jason McAuley, vice-president of planning and development for Terracap, said the company wants to work with the community.


[It’s] too premature to say whether we will scale back in height.… However, when it comes to the pedestrian realm, architecture for the building, we feel we can work with that, no problem,” said McAuley.


Another part of the issue lies with the Toronto Transit Commission and the concern over the St. Clair streetcar being blocked by the building. But McAuley said they are in active talks with the TTC to work around this, although he would not say what that could look like.


City planner, Emily Rossini said she wishes developers would come in with applications that are actually suitable for the land space.


“We always prefer when applicants want to work with us and work with the community to work on the site. We hope that something comes in on the site that is more appropriate,” she said.


From here, Terracap has two options: head back to the drawing board and negotiate a plan that works for the community or appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.


At this point McAuley said it’s too soon to say what they will do next but that a plan is in the works.


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