The owner of 1288 Weston Road is asking the city for permission to demolish a house and convert the space into a parking lot to serve the growing medical centre next door. The pink-clad building is certainly no beauty.
City staff recommend that the Etobicoke York Community Council either:
Refuse the application, because no building plan has been filed
Approve the application and ask for a beautification agreement, or
Cut the guy a break and let him demolish his building without a beautification agreement.
The MDCA approves of the plan to build a parking lot, according to city staff.
Thanks to a lapse in memory, I wasn’t able to attend Tuesday’s meeting to hear plans by the owner of 1965 Weston Road. Marion at Weston’s BIA, helped out by getting me in touch with Grenville Dungey who was there and kindly shared his impressions. Here are some of Gren’s take-aways of the proposal.
The proposal is in its very earliest stages. There was a conceptual drawing but nothing else. The basic idea is for a 6-story podium building with 4 floors residential and 2 floors of retail. On top of the podium would be a residential tower that would have a smaller footprint taking the height up to 28 storeys. Residential units would be mainly one and two-bedroom with some bachelor apartments. The owner said that wind tunnel tests would be performed on models of the tower to make sure that the building didn’t create undue wind patterns.
Gren got the impression that the owner is very keen to have community input but the owner also said that if the numbers don’t work, it won’t get built. (I’m interpreting that to mean the height of the building). There would be underground parking for residents which would be accessed from the Lawrence Avenue entrance to the site.
The next meeting with more concrete ideas will be sometime next spring. If building starts it will possibly be around 2020 before anything gets started and the construction might take between 30 and 36 months.
What does the City of Toronto say about that part of Weston?
Back in 2004, the City put into place guidelines for Weston, designed (among many other things) to stop further deterioration of Weston Road into a high-rise corridor. It stipulated that new buildings along the Weston Road Corridor where the GF building now stands, should be limited to a maximum of 8 storeys. Reading the guidelines almost makes one despair at the lost opportunities as they have been totally ignored in the intervening years.
No doubt the current owner bought the site for the purpose of making money by developing to a height far beyond the guidelines. When people spend money on a property, they perform some due diligence to make sure that their plans are achievable. It seems there must be high confidence that 28 stories will pass muster at council.
Incidentally, the Greenland Farm people no longer own the building and have put the business up for sale.
Greenland Farm at 1956-1966 Weston Road is a one-store supermarket that occupies a site once used for the same purpose by Loblaws many years ago. If you like fish, or a wide variety of products from all over the world, then GF is a great place to shop. It has for example, more types of hot sauce than you would find in a lifetime of searching through any chain supermarket.
It turns out that the owner would like to develop the site which is quite large as it includes the supermarket itself and a fairly substantial parking lot also fronting onto Weston Road. According to the latest newsletter from Councillor Frances Nunziata, there is interest in, “…redeveloping the site with commercial uses at grade level and residential above.”
In many ways, this is a vote of confidence in Weston but the quality of the proposal, the appropriate use of land and the height of the residential component will need to be carefully scrutinized.
A meeting will be held to discuss the owner’s thoughts and for residents to provide feedback so that a submission proposal can eventually be drawn up and presented to the City (which will be represented at the meeting).
In the formative stages of this idea it’s probably a huge opportunity for Weston residents to make their ideas and opinions count.
The meeting will be held at the York West Active Living Centre, located at 1901 Weston Road.
This is the first in a hopefully-short series on waste in Weston: wasted opportunities, wasted money, and wasted space.
Today, a wasted opportunity. The 85-year-old and very pretty Satin Finish office was torn down this week, in exchange for a ‘beautification agreement’¹ with the builders.
Your correspondent had other, better plans. It could have been a small rec or youth centre, with after-school programming for the many kids in the new development. Imagine a sunlit space with oak beams and hardwood floors—a nod to its history—with an AV lab, a homework space and a videogame room, where kids could go and play LAN games.
We could have had an institutional daycare—there hasn’t been one since the Weston Village Childcare closed up more than 4 years ago. Or perhaps it could have had a meeting space or a job centre, where we could go, network, and post and find work.
Like Weston and Mount Dennis, Parkdale was devastated by changing circumstances in the 1950s and 1960s. Recently, Parkdale has been gentrifying and residents have formed the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust in order to have some control over the current boom in development.
Last month using fundraising and grants, the trust purchased land that had been denied building permits. The Trust had already received permission to garden on the 5000 square foot site. Ownership will mean that future gardening at that location is guaranteed.
In celebration of endless slow news days the many things happening in Weston, here is a new feature for our eagle-eyed viewers. Can you identify the part of Weston where a photograph has been taken? The images are either of businesses or the public domain.
Write your guess using the reply button and win incredible prizes street cred (literally) with your friends if you’re first to correctly locate the image.
Here’s the first and it’s a pretty easy one to start with.