Developer: How about 62 Stacked Townhomes?

Wednesday’s meeting to discuss the latest development proposals for the old Beer Store property at 2059 – 2069 Weston Road was deja vu all over again. The developer, Jack Morelli from First Avenue Properties and Councillor Nunziata met with residents last October and the proposal at that time was for 38 townhomes on the site.  

First the good news:

One of the developer’s other properties, the old Post Office building at 2050 Weston has found a major tenant. A medical centre (relocating from Mount Dennis) will occupy the entire 20,000 square feet of the ground floor next Spring. The upstairs will contain 15 new apartments.

Now the bad news:

After being sent back to the drawing board by various city agencies, Mr. Morelli has returned with a revamped proposal that now consists of 3 buildings occupying a smaller footprint but containing 62 condominium stacked town homes (a 63% increase) measuring between 500 – 1300 square feet. Each of the buildings will contain 24 underground parking spaces; one per townhome and 10 extras for visitors to the 62 homes. The townhomes will form a frontage along Weston Road. Once again, the city (represented by Natasha Lang) will study the plans to see if they comply with city requirements.

The developer stated that, ‘This is the new concept of town homes and it’s what people want’. He also justified building town homes instead of retail since it took such an effort to find a tenant for his retail space across the street, and besides, ‘There’s too much retail space in Weston anyway’, and, ‘Retail is out of the question’ (on the site).

Apparently the MCR (not R2) zoning on the site allows an 8 storey building on the property. This was repeatedly hammered home by both the developer and Councillor Nunziata. MCR zoning permits a retail ground floor that could form the exterior of the project along Weston Road in keeping with the rest of the historical ‘Main Street’.

All of this seems to be posturing. Mr. Morelli, like any developer, wishes to generate the largest amount of money from the site. He is not doing Weston any favours. To point out that he could put up an 8-storey building is an empty threat. If Mr. Morelli could make more money by erecting such a building, you can be sure he would do so.

The people of Weston will be left with this development for many decades. Townhomes will be a classic case of bad planning along Weston Road in the middle of a retail stretch. While there is a demand for housing, any city planner will tell you that developments need to fit in with their surroundings. As currently proposed, these townhomes will look like missing keys on a piano or the gap in a hockey player’s smile.

The Weston Road Frontage.

The proposed Weston Road Frontage.

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3-D view showing the street entrance of the development.

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Plan view of the development.

Mr. Morelli agreed to the formation of an advisory committee that would work to consider the wishes of area residents. This will be done in conjunction with the Weston Village Resident’s Association.

Fire destroys townhouses

A three-alarm fire destroyed at least three townhouses on Lippincott Street this afternoon. One person had minor injuries.

Dave Bennett sent in pictures and some video. The Star says the cause is not yet known.

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Lipincott St is in the south end of Weston, near Denison. Thanks to Dave for the photos and the tip.

Weston soldier honoured

Chief Warrant Officer Stuart Gordon Hartnell, from Weston, received the Meritorious Service Medal yesterday from Governor General David Johnston. The medal goes to people whose “specific achievements have brought honour to the Canadian Armed Forces and to Canada.”

CWO Hartnell has served for 28 years in the military, including in the Airborne and special operations.

As battle group sergeant-major in Afghanistan from April to November 2010, Chief Warrant Officer Hartnell was a key player in high-intensity counter-insurgency operations. Tenacious in combat and a firm disciplinarian, he was respected throughout the unit as a model for others to emulate. Whether providing advice to the commander or leading soldiers in combat, Chief Warrant Officer Hartnell demonstrated impressive leadership and soldiering ability, which proved to be critical to the battle group’s operational success.

 

 

Missing man

Toronto Police are looking for a man who went missing in the Lawrence and Jane area:

Wayne Leslie Carrick, 61, was last seen on Sunday at 10 pm. He is 5’9″, 168 lbs, with white hair.

Call 222-TIPS if you’ve seen him. Police are worried about his well being.

Noise wall designs complete

Metrolinx has released the final designs for the noise walls that will cut through Weston.

Almost all of northern Weston, from St Phillips to Coulter, will have concrete walls.  At Coulter, there will be a small art wall.

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From King, where the tunnel emerges, to Lawrence, the east side will be mostly ‘film strip’. The west side of the tracks will be the uglier concrete, except at the John Street crossing, which will be transparent, and the Farmers’ Market, which will have art.

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3asouthsidearoundjohn1Around south station st

Around the GO train parking lot south of Lawrence, Metrolinx will be building  art and film strip walls. These are the last nice walls for some distance.

Through south Weston and Mount Dennis, they will be building precast concrete walls—starting at Victoria and going all the way to Black Creek Drive, with only a brief glass reprieve at Eglinton.

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Your humble correspondent cannot help but believe that GO gave the squeaky wheel grease. While Mount Dennis gets concrete, The Junction—which had been vociferously opposed to the walls—appears to get mostly glass and filmstrip.

 

 

 

Gospel Music at Weston Park Baptist Church

The TC3 Concert Choir

The TC3 Concert Choir

While some Westonians were watching Santa go by, others were cozy and warm listening to some stirring gospel music from TC3 (Toronto Children’s Concert Choir & Performing Arts Company) and their special guests, the U of T Gospel Choir.

U of T Gospel Choir.

U of T Gospel Choir.

TC3 recruits students between the ages of 7 to 18 from all over the city with the aim of enriching academic and artistic talents of their members. An impressive 90% of TC3 alumni continue to higher education after high school.

Founder and Choir Music Director, Reverend Denise Gillard expressed the hope that one day, TC3 members would be singing in the U of T Gospel Choir.

In addition to their busy touring schedule, TC3 will be performing on Breakfast Television in the next few days.