Thank you to all of the community panelists, city planning and each of you who took the time to attend Tuesday’s (July 7th) community meeting for this proposal. The meeting was recorded, so if you were unable to attend, you can watch it by accessing this link and emailing me at email@example.com if you have any questions or comments.
I hope this letter finds you and your family well as we navigate these very challenging times. While much of the world has been put on hold, the development review and approval process has been pushed forward by the provincial government and we are faced with making an important decision for the future of our Yonge & St. Clair community.
As you may know, the property owners of 1 Delisle submitted a development application to permit a new condominium tower at the south west corner of Yonge and Delisle. At a community meeting held in the winter of 2019, I heard a number of very valid concerns about the development. Following this meeting, a community working group was formed in an effort to address a number of issues with the original proposal.
Significant improvements were made with how the building interacts at street-level including a vehicular drop-off was included on site rather than on Delisle and the Delisle elevation adjusted to better relate to the buildings on rest of Delisle, as well as a 2,506 m2 city park on the west side of the site. Through the working group process, the height was slightly reduced from the original proposal of 48-storeys, to now 44-storeys. While the community members in the group tried to lower the height further, the developer was unwilling to make further changes in this regard.
The City Planning department reviewed the revised development proposal and submitted a report (link here) in March recommending that Community and City Council approve the revised development application at 44-storeys. Given the community’s opposition to the proposal, as your representative, I did not believe I had a clear mandate on behalf of the community to support City Planning’s recommendation and deferred the item until I had an opportunity to consult with you. I had planned to hold another meeting at Yorkminster Baptist Church, but as you know, meeting in person is not an option at this time due to the pandemic.
Council has now resumed and is tasked with making a decision to either approve, or oppose this development application. While I, along with the community working group, have advocated strongly for a proposal with a height that does not exceed the former Wittington proposal, City Council does not have the final say on what development is appropriate in Toronto. If City Council opposes the application, developers have the option to appeal to the provincial Land Use Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT), formerly the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), to make the final decision for our community. I am very concerned about what the LPAT might decide, especially given the fact the City’s planners have recommended the proposal.
I, along with local representatives from nearby Delisle Avenue condo boards and the Deer Park Residents Group, who have demonstrated strong community leadership throughout, would like to meet with you by video conference to, facing this development, discuss the path to protect and improve the quality of life in our neighbourhood before the next Toronto and East York Community Council meeting on July 16th.
I hope this finds you and your family well and in good health.