2346 Weston Road affordable rentals ‘open house’.

The 2346 Weston Road site. From architect’s plans.

Toronto with a vacancy rate of 1.1% needs lots more rental apartments, especially affordable ones.  Very few have been built in recent years thanks to rent controls keeping margins low and there being much more money in building and selling condos. City incentives are in place to encourage new rental buildings. I attended an ‘open house’ last night held at 1901 Weston regarding an application to build an affordable rental building at 2346 Weston Road.

Quite a few people attended but there was no presentation made, organizers choosing to scatter their people around the room and answer questions one at a time. Councillor Nunziata was on hand too.

A typical floor layout proposed for 2346 Weston Road. Click to enlarge.

The development will be a 15 storey building; the typical floor having 11 apartments as in the floor plan above; rents will not exceed the amounts posted below – 2018 numbers:

  • 1 studio apartment – 280 square feet – $922 monthly
  • 6 – 1 bedroom apartments – 409 – 473 square feet – $1,097 monthly
  • 3 – 2 bedroom apartments – 570 – 635 square feet – $1,284 monthly
  • 1 – 3 bedroom apartment – 807 square feet. – $1,477 monthly
  • No balconies
  • Each apartment will have one bathroom only.
  • The building will have one elevator.
  • There will be 52 underground parking spaces.
  • Heating will be forced-air gas and the building will not be air conditioned.
  • Tenants will pay their own utilities
  • Residents may install their own window air conditioners.
  • Rents will be controlled / held to inflation for 25 years.
  • The building owner will get property tax breaks and other financial incentives.

Comments: If we are trying to keep low income people in one area, this building will do the job and fit quite nicely into the current stock of accommodations along Weston Road. In fact, it may even be more bare-bones and certainly less roomy than others along the strip. It’s great that affordable rentals are being built but does Weston have to roll over and be grateful for what is just a modern-day continuation of the awful apartments of the 70s? The place won’t even be air conditioned – in 2018.

52 parking spaces would be admirable for a downtown building with 157 apartments. In Weston, not so much.

The fact that there will be one elevator serving 157 apartments and two levels of underground parking will be a serious issue when it inevitably fails and vulnerable tenants are stuck on upper floors.

Can we not do better than this?

For comparison, the renovated rental building next door has a spacious 2-bedroom 1-bathroom apartment with balcony going for $1300 monthly. Utilities included.

Read the complete set of application documents here.

There was a form handed out at the meeting requesting comments on the proposal. The application reference number is: 18 120119WET 11 OZ.  Email Councillor Nunziata with your comments at: councillor_nunziata@toronto.ca

The true measure of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. Gandhi.

14 thoughts on “2346 Weston Road affordable rentals ‘open house’.”

  1. Definitely not the best given the track record of this developer. They know how to do this better given their rehabilitation of another local property on Lawrence near Jane – why cheap out for this one? But what if it was a designated ‘seniors’ building’? How would that change the design/layout/parking/amenities? Do we need more rentals in the city that are affordable? Absolutely! Is this the best that can be done? Nope. A conversation to be sure. Hoping that we can have a meeting with the developer and city to discuss.

    And those rents seem to still be quite high to me if someone is on assistance – so why are people freaking out? It’s not TCHC for sure… which we know are badly kept and badly run. I’m okay with offering seniors on limited income a decent place to live in a community they know. Why would this be an issue?

    1. Weston is already lined with poorly run properties. The thought the building only has one elevator and no air conditioning sounds completely ridiculous. Why does Weston get stuck with garbage?

  2. Thanks, Roy.
    For attending and posting your report.

    And, if the report is somewhat accurate, I can’t really disagree with your observations and those of Worker & Truth, too.

    Is this not criminal?

    Can you even build a 15 storey building and only provide one elevator?
    And, does one even have to list the reasons why there should be more than just one?

    Plus, given what we know about extreme heat & health, how does an architect omit very important hvac needs in this age?

    For reasons of efficiency and aesthetics alone, why not build it correctly the first time, and cost it into those high rental rates proposed?

    Hey, good luck summoning first responders to quickly assist those sickened with heat stroke with west facing windows.. in those little match box units!

    What are they to do – climb & descend the stairwells.. or fire escapes?

    And, if true that the developer planted people in the room to help with a smoother flowing Q&A – putting out feelers to see how much or how little might be tolerated by the community, then the councillor should show them the door – without us even having to ask her to do so.

    What a shameful, shoddy investment proposal – clearly only worthy of an unethical investor/land lord – all made worse if true that you have and can do better with this type of development.

    Not many of us suggests that any investor should take a loss. But, please define loss in any market governed by supply & demand.

    Plus, with safety codes & bylaws of this day & age alone, this proposal should surely be tossed out – and right into the Humber, never to be seen again. (No wait, the water is dirty enough.)

    Councillor, we know you, your team and the so-called developer’s team are paying a certain amount of attention to detail here. So, why not encourage the developer to step up and do the right thing the first time?

    If you’re going to sign your name to this project..
    ..then do the best job you can.

    You’ll not only win, you’ll be a champion.

    1. Thanks for your pertinent observations Anon.
      I should make clearer than I did in the article that the people helping in the room were from a variety of organizations including the city’s Affordable Housing Office along with the developer, architect and other non-city folk. It was my feeling though that the format was designed to prevent an informed and open discussion of the issues in front of all those present so that some of the more thorny issues could be acknowledged, addressed and discussed.

  3. Thanks for doing all this research, and analysis. Weston deserves better and whenever complaints are made to Ms Nunziata about the rental buildings on Weston Rd she claims it’s all before her time.

    This one isn’t and we need better facilities to house our neighbours. Time to act for better standards, and not just go along with the developers.

  4. Stop this now! Ms. Nunziata don’t let this happen. Put a stop to the property tax rebates. Surely it is illegal to have a building that size with only one elevator,no A/C, and limited parking spaces? Surely one parking spot per unit should be the minimum. Seriously folks…we don’t need more of this nonsense in our neighbourhood.

  5. These rental costs are still above survival rents.. My husband and I are both on OAP and CPP.. We would not be able to afford living in the one bedroom, as it would take up 90% of our OAP, and leave us with our CPP to pay bills and eat… Nothing else…

    How is this lower rental?? Is low rental not accountable to geared to income of the specific person renting the unit. What we bring in with those earnings each would expect the rent to be $435.00 per month… After subtracting 1 bedroom rent from our income, we would have $643.00. How do you pay bills, utilities, try to buy food and try to survive with no A/C . On elevator,,what happens in an emergency… especially for some one who is disabled and can’t do stairs.

    Lets get real…

  6. Diversity within city neighborhoods is not just about race. The media likes to focus on that, but income diversity is far more important. Weston is already massively scewed in this regard toward low income. These types of buildings should be built in areas that are scewed in the other direction. (not that the plans for this are remotely acceptable for any modern city)

    Adding more ghetto type buildings just makes things worse for everyone in this community. There is no pride of ownership or community. Low, middle, and high income kids need to go to school together. They need to be exposed to the other side, see the expectations, goals and dreams. That’s the only way these kids have a future. If your only surrounded by poverty, good luck knowing anything else. Add in a nice mix, and low income kids will have friends in the other categories. They will see another future is possible.

    This process has to be corrupt. There is no other explanation. There is no way you can drive down Weston road and think adding more trash buildings is a solution to better our community. People need a place to live? Definitely. But why does it all have to be in Weston? Developers want to build a glitzy building at Yonge/st Claire, well build a low rent one as well. Not willing? Then we don’t need you. Go build in New York

    1. Weston is the new armpit of Toronto. This is evident with this garbage building built. Again, a building of that size, no air conditioning, one elevator…oh please can I move into that building?
      Thanks to all those that supported Weston Common building on John St, this is the result of us selling out.

  7. Raise the rents higher please!! Its the only way to save Weston. No more affordable this and affordable that. Want to live in Weston? better be in a dual income family. Sorry refugees, sorry welfare collectors, sorry drug dealers and petty criminals. Bring in my yuppies and dual income familes. You’ll see less crime, less littering on the streets (every drive along Weston or Jane) looks like a third world country with run-down storefronts and litter on the street.. do these people think they’re still back home? Get with the program. And you Westoners better wake up and change your mentality!

    1. Pick up the litter, then, and set an example. More money does not make for better people: less financial stress for people in financial distress, or in a strange new environment, does.

        1. I can tell you it wasn’t done based on low income housing containing useless members of society.

          If we can create a environment here for hipsters to flourish, one that allows for cool coffee shops, music, restaurants and the arts then the yuppies will come…unfortunately I don’t think hipsters are good at dodging bullets so their staying in Parkdale.

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