North York Civic Centre
Main floor, 5100 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON M2N 5V7
Attention: Carlie Turpin
RE: NY26.10 Preliminary Report – Zoning By-law Amendment and Plan of Subdivision Applications – 1 to 3 Concorde Gate and 10 to 12 Concorde Place (Ward 16)
Dear Chair, Councillor James Pasternak and Members, North York Community Council,
This is to provide our concerns about the above noted staff report and its recommendations. FoNTRA would not generally get involved with “local” applications; however frankly this is an audacious application – out of scale, scope and context for the area.
The Rezoning Application and associated Plan of Subdivision application propose to demolish the existing office buildings on the lands at 1 to 3 Concorde Gate and 10 to 12 Concorde Place, and to redevelop the lands with five residential and mixed-use buildings consisting of nine towers ranging in height from 40 to 52 storeys. Overall, the application proposes a total of 4,086 dwelling units, 307,004 square metres of residential space, 841 square metres of retail space, and 437 square metres of community space. The overall gross floor area proposed is 308,284 square metres, which results in an overall density of 9.95 for the lands.
The concerns noted in the Preliminary Report include:
- demolition of the existing commercial space without providing for equivalent (or more) space in the new development;
- the degree of intensification and the impact it will have on the neighbourhood;
- the location of the proposed parks and adequate indoor and outdoor amenity space, and
- the lack of sufficient Community Services and Facilities in the area.
We strongly support the Report’s Recommendation No. 3 – that staff undertake a “Focused Area Study” of the area surrounding the Subject Site. We agree with the Staff Report that “a planning framework, including a set of policies to guide development for a complete community”, is required.
However, we do not support Report’s Recommendation 4 to direct staff to review the applications concurrently and within the context of the Focused Area Study.
Instead we recommend that approval of the Preliminary staff report be deferred pending completion of the Focused Area Study (FAS).
It is our view that, effectively, you can NOT simultaneously run a planning study, while also conducting a review of an application that may contradict the likely outcome of the planning study. The FAS needs to have the full attention of the staff and community without having the intervention of the deadline for the completion of the application review.
Finally, we feel that it is surprising that this wholesale change from employment to residential uses in an area designated Mixed Use is allowable by ZBA i.e. without full examination through an OP Amendment. This is certainly something that the City should reconsider in the OP Review currently underway.
CC: Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division
Melanie Melnyk, Project Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Policy & Analysis
Philip Parker, Project Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Policy & Analysis
cc: Marian Prejel, Senior Planner, North York Community Planning
John Andreevski, Acting Director, North York Community Planning
Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division