An awesome letter to Keesmat

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.


Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

6 thoughts on “An awesome letter to Keesmat”

  1. I applaud this individual. We need to come together as a neighbourhood to strengthen it for the better.

  2. I read the letter, and I applaud Dan Harris for his efforts. He certainly addressed my views and concerns on point number 2, and made me more aware of items I didn’t even consider previously. I hope he is at our community meeting tomorrow night.

  3. I’m in agreement with most all of his points (particularly #2), but I would hesitate to reassert for a limit to 8 stories.

    In the context of a newly upgraded Weston GO station and added UP stop (and future all-day 15 minute service, I may not support 30+storeys, but 15 doesn’t seem unreasonable, and 8 seems under-built.

  4. 30 stories is excessive. I have lived in Weston since I was a kid. I remember all the arguments against 33 King Street. Both for and against. All centered around ‘revitalizing’ our town. It didn’t revitalize anything. Just a monstrous eyesore (from the viewpoint Weston householders ‘below’). Sorry Ms. Keesmaat, but your academic take on ‘not being afraid of height’ doesn’t wash. 8 stories works for me. 15 yeah, maybe. But thirty? No way. Just stop this ongoing destruction of Weston by a thousand cuts. We have a community. We have a neighbourhood. We don’t need one ‘constructed for us’.

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