Earlier this year, the applicants for the Art Shoppe development chose to bypass the democratic process and take their proposal directly to the OMB. At the pre-hearing, I ensured that our community’s interests were well represented by City Planning and Legal staff. The OMB suggested mediation instead of a full hearing.
I worked very closely with the South Eglinton Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (SERRA) and the Quantum Owners and Residents Association (QuORA) representing the nearby condo owners. The results of the mediation was presented as a confidential item to City Council in late August. I am now legally allowed to share the results of the mediation.
The community representatives were able to reduce the proposal from two towers of 38 and 29 storeys to one 28 storey tower on the north side of the site stepping down to a 12 storey midrise on the south side. Also, the building will step down to 6 storeys on the eastern side.
While I would have preferred the entire site to be a midrise building, I believe the community members and City staff were able to achieve the best result possible, given the situation. I, along with local residents, fought hard to mitigate the impact this development could have on the adjacent neighbourhood and condos next door.
We were able to secure 1,100 square metres of new park space on the east side of the building by having the developers give the first two houses east of Yonge street on Soudan over to the City. The City will connect this new park to the existing one on Hillsdale. This park will create a buffer between the new building and the neighbourhood to the east.
Importantly, by lowering the height to 12 storeys on the south side of the development, we were able to help protect Yonge Street, south of Hillsdale, from being developed with heights greater than midrise.
You can see the full details of the mediated settlement here.