A resident, Dan Harris, has written an awesome open letter to Jennifer Keesmat, the chief planner of Toronto, about the development at 22 John and 33 King. It’s well worth reading in its entirety.
Along with an excellent recent history of Weston’s zeitgeist, Harris proposes four important changes to the development, each of which is careful, considered, and exactly what city guidelines demand:
1. The deviation from [the height guidelines] must be a one-off. City Hall needs to reassert the 8-storey limit for the rest of our downtown…
2. The 40,000 sq. ft. of storage lockers should never have been considered and must be eliminated….
3. Retail frontage must be maintained at ground level on John Street and Pantelis Kalamaris Lane. Instead of townhouses at grade, retail frontages should be incorporated into this development….
4. The laneway between the east side of 35 King and the train tunnel needs to be properly finished as a pedestrian walkway/woonerf. This laneway does appear to be wide enough to accommodate the farmers’ trucks on market day….
Harris also points out a critical omission: the traffic effects were studied when the St John The Evangelist was not operating—the school moved temporarily several years ago, but it will return.
Harris’ recommendations come from the city’s own guidelines, and he only asks that these rules be upheld in Weston. He is not NIMBYing, nor asking for special treatment–quite the contrary: he asks only that we receive equal, and fair, treatment.