Staying In Touch

Change, as we all know, is inevitable. Sometimes positive, sometimes more challenging, but change is one thing we can always count on. 

When it comes to development in our communities we seem to have a little of both. Given that reality, my job in part, is to ensure that when change is proposed the community is heard. Weighing input from all of the stakeholders is essential to good decisions. At times decisions can be a little more challenging when weighing in the net benefits and impacts to the immediate community, the ward and the broader city. At the end of the day, we usually manage to strike the right balance and satisfy most of our residents. Good communication and public consultation are essential especially given that Ward 20 is one of the busiest areas for development in Scarborough.

Long and McQuade is one very positive change coming to our neck of the woods. This new addition will be located at
3313 Danforth Avenue near Pharmacy Avenue. Having this anchor business is exciting news welcomed by area residents. It will serve the community as an employer, and a great resource for seasoned and budding musicians. This project application will be coming before the Committee of Adjustment on November 14th.

The Quarry Lands at 411 Victoria Park are now in the hands of the Create TO – the agency responsible for the city’s real estate assets – who recently announced the selected developer – Diamond Kilmer.  On September 23rd I hosted a community meeting to introduce Diamond Kilmer to our community. They presented a new conceptual framework for the development of the Quarry lands. These new plans include an updated configuration for more usable parkland and a variety of townhomes, low and midrise apartment units – including market value units, affordable ownership and rental homes. One of the concerns for development in this area has been vehicle and access impact to Gerrard Street and Clonmore Avenue. The plans presented do not have access from Gerrard. With that being said, I will be working closely with City Staff and the developer to ensure a comprehensive community consultation remains an important part of the process. There will be many opportunities for revisions and discussion as we move forward.

Initially a little more challenging was an application for 1386 Kingston Road. With that being said, in response to the concerns from the community, the developer Atria revised its original submission to a lower 6-storey, plus mechanicals, residential building with 30 units. This application is with Planning and going through the final circulation to staff.

The large property which Eli Lilly has owned for decades will soon be vacated. I’ve already started working with City Planning and Eli Lilly on future planning for this land parcel. I’m pleased that Lilly’s corporate philosophy is to “leave the property better than when they acquired it”. I will keep you in the loop every step of the process.

The Housing Now Projects at 705 Warden Avenue and
777 Victoria Park Avenue have yielded much understandable attention and have involved considerable community input. In each case there has already been two community consultations and one roundtable discussion. Clarity around the proposals has been extremely important. Part of the agreement with Housing Now requires developers to keep the rental units affordable for at least 99 years and they must satisfy the various family needs of households earning between approximately $21,000 and $52,000 per year. Providing housing for working families near transit hubs is part of the Housing Toronto Action Plan. More than one million people are expected to come to Toronto by 2040. There are 11 sites across the GTA which will support this Smart Density initiative. The Warden Avenue site has mixed income housing and an expanded park, with anticipated construction mid 2020-2023. The Victoria Park Avenue site proposes a new mixed use development connecting Victoria Park station to Danforth Avenue. Residents are encouraged to provide feedback with regard to community uses and activities, types of retail/commercial spaces and types of public realm features.
I continue to value your input. Please feel free to contact my office and one of my team will set up a meeting so that we can chat. 416-392-4052.