The Canada Square site at the northwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton presents a historic opportunity to improve the quality of life for Midtown residents. Designated as a Growth Centre by the Provincial government in 2006, the Yonge-Eglinton area has experienced rapid development and a corresponding increase in population over the past decade and a half. Unfortunately, the Province did not ensure that community services and infrastructure would keep up with the pace of growth. As a result, there is a recognized lack of schools, parks, recreation space, child care, and other neighbourhood amenities.
The City received a development application on the site from Oxford Developments late last year that offered very little in the way of public benefits. Since that time, I’ve worked very closely with Residents’ Associations to advocate for more community infrastructure and social services in the development, including a much-needed new school.
In 2018, the City entered into a conditional agreement with Oxford Developments, which purchased the original Canada Square ground lease many years ago from another private owner and has rights over the property until 2071. At that time I was able to ensure that Oxford would not be able to appeal a City decision to the LPAT (previously OMB) and that there would be a local process to assess any proposal.
That’s why I’m concerned that Council voted last week to have the project considered by the centralized Planning and Housing Committee instead of the more local Toronto & East York Community Council. That committee is more likely to view developments through a city-wide lens instead of considering Midtown’s specific needs. Our community will now need to work harder to ensure that neighbourhood amenities are delivered.
If you would like to have your voice heard on this project, please contact the Senior City Planner for the project, Alex Teixeira, at 416-392-0459 or at Alex.Teixeira@toronto.ca
For more information, please see this article.