Greenland Farms Developer Doubles Up!

Tucked into Councillor Frances Nunziata’s latest newsletter is this gem:

1956-1986 Weston Road and 1 Little Avenue

In August 2017, I held a community meeting with the owner of 1956-1986 Weston Road and 1 Little Avenue to discuss their future plans for the site and what the community would like to see in advance of an application being submitted to the City. Yesterday, an application was formally submitted to construct two 29-storey residential towers including a 12-storey mixed use podium and underground parking.

The approximate boundaries of the development at 1956-1986 Weston and 1 Little Avenue. Click to enlarge.

The councillor didn’t mention any concerns she has with the proposal. The property is huge and runs north-west to the corner, including 1 Little Avenue.

At the meeting back in August 2017, the site owner, Weston Asset Management Inc. showed some vague (but seductive) concept drawings and proposed a single 28-storey tower atop a 6-storey podium. Two years later they’re proposing two 29-storey towers on a 12-storey podium.

Based the recent Official Plan Amendment and Rezoning Proposal, the community must have voiced its overwhelming support for the tallest and most crass development that could be squeezed onto the site. I’m guessing the community said, ‘Please destroy any remaining main street feeling on Weston Road and put up a hugely out of scale development that will overwhelm everything in the area and lead to further eyesores’.

As with other developments in the past, outrageous proposals lead to slightly less outrageous proposals. The project if built could add more than 2000 people to the already busy Weston and Lawrence intersection. Let’s not even think about the additional load placed on our inadequate sewage system (you can be sure nobody else will).

The attitude in City Hall seems to be, “It’s Weston, they should be grateful for any development”.

In most Toronto neighbourhoods, 12 storeys is a huge building. Here it’s merely a base.

Senior Planner Sabrina Salatino is asking for community input on the proposal.
(416) 394-8025
[email protected]

Councillor Nunziata would probably like some direction too:

(416) 392-4091

[email protected]

16 thoughts on “Greenland Farms Developer Doubles Up!”

  1. As long as it’s a condo with air conditioning and decent amenities, I don’t see much concern. Developers are not going to come to Weston or Jane and build 12 storey mid rises and believe that there is profit potential here. Use your brain. If you had money to spend would you invest in Weston unless given some incentive? The developers came in a couple of years ago and took the time to address the community’s concerns. Residents were asking for boutique coffee shops and an upscale grocery chain. THIS IS A GOOD THING!

    1. There are many in Weston who can not afford to shop at an upscale grocery store, much less patronize a boutique coffee shop. Yes, a grocery store is much needed in Weston but not an upscale one. We need to remember the people who live in Weston and their needs before outpricing them on their own main street

      1. Yes. And 29 storeys with or without air conditioning is way way too big for the site!

        Not at all what the heritage designation on Little Ave will allow and not what the intersection or Weston Rd can handle.

        Nunziata? City planning? C’mon.

  2. In reply to TruthTeller: I repeat; we don’t need to be grateful because someone wants to develop in Weston.
    There’s no guarantee that the building will be an air-conditioned condo. We don’t know what the amenities will be or what kind of tenants will occupy the retail space.
    The developer showed some attractive artist’s concepts along with drawings of one tower and a 6-storey podium. After public input, it’s now two towers and a 12 storey podium -an even bigger breach of the official plan. If the size can arbitrarily change, everything is up for grabs.
    Residents may want boutique coffee shops and an upscale grocery chain but the developer has no control over who rents space in the new building. I can show some pretty pictures and claim that Neiman Marcus or Starbucks want to occupy my new building. It sounds good but means nothing.
    If the the developer has to ruin our main street in order to make money, perhaps they should look elsewhere and perhaps Councillor Nunziata should be acting in the best interests of residents and calling for further input now that the project has changed so drastically.
    We can wait for better ideas to come along.

    1. While I think the development seems too big (12 storey podium?? QUE). There really isn’t any special about the main strip. A bunch of variety and convenience stores does not make for a vibrant street. As it is many of the residents don’t even shop locally because 1. they are poor 2. There is nothing of interest. Attracting more people of different incomes will bring more business and restaurants and maybe a good grocery store to the area. Also a development like this close to transit makes sense.

  3. Nunziata did not send anything out to the community to ask what we think.
    This development will end being another slum location, just as John St West 22 is starting to show.
    To dump more garbage in an already garbage community is a complete disgrace and the failure of the BIA, residents group and politicians….
    Nunziata only wins because of speed bumps and nothing more….this is a complete disgrace.

  4. Whether one likes another’s politics or not, I for one have always valued the importance of a good “watch dog” when it comes to politics no matter the community or riding.

    And, you can really be a bull dog, Roy.

    So, no matter what your personal motivations with any of your reports & commentaries, thanks for your note & thoughts. Because otherwise, this could & would pass most of us by – in a New York minute!

    This kind of “shell game” happens much too often, everywhere in the city – where many of us it seems are more interested in other things in life, like is Kwai staying or going. And more recently, what have the Leafs done with Mitch Marner’s contract, who will be Captain and where does the parade route begin, again?

    Who doesn’t like or need a good distraction- they’re important, right?
    (And, I like them, too.)

    For now, and this may just be me & this darn iPad, but it is taking some kind of special tech-skills to actually see the latest developer applications on the City’s “Development” search site. (?)

    This shouldn’t be so hard to do, when invited in the Councillor’s news letter to just “click here” to view any application – while rearranging the filters & addresses, every which way to do so.

    And still, nothing from the City’s web page.

    WTF!
    (What’s the damn combination to view?)

    Nevertheless..

    A few years back it was important to hear what these developers (a multi-generational family group?) had to say quite politely & quietly, their first time around.

    And, it sounded somewhat encouraging then, given the landscape in town.

    But, no time frame was ever really offered or given. And, off they went with a few thoughts and sentiments from those in attendance, and with the rules of engagement from City staff & officials.

    Time passes.

    Then, another important store – a food store, an actual grocery store – is making an exit from Main Street, in Weston.

    Not good.

    And, certainly not good for many folks who would walk in to town and arguably, shop the most important section in that store, the Produce dept.

    More time passes.

    But now finally, the developer’s back – with a vengeance. And, wanting to “double” their investment pleasure in this vacant landscape (perhaps created by design).

    This has now deceptively, become an entirely different issue, or so it seems.

    So, here we are once again – time to sit up & pay much more attention to an important issue. Another important issue & meeting to consider – usually, sparsely attended by many who express concern about the state of the old village.

    Whatever your stance – whether you view this as the “right or wrong” approach, here we go again with an investment group & their associates (architects & lawyers) who initially asked for an important community meeting a few years back – properly announced by our Councillor for all to consider – and now they’re back for round two, with questionable “tweaks” to their initial proposal.

    If you don’t remember, the proposal then was to build a single, multilevelled project on the site of the old grocery store which would include a brand name grocery store with residential units above the commercial enterprise, with parking for customers included, similar to other notable neighbourhoods in our city.

    All apparently, technically well designed & constructed to enhance and improve the commercial area, with apartment-like dwellings, above.

    Complimented by decent public transit near by, too.

    But, even more time flies.

    And, we still have a very vacant store with for a short time, signage that advises,
    “Under renovation. Coming Soon..”

    Hmmm.

    What was coming soon?
    (A “For Lease” sign?)

    Not many reasonable types would deny an investor a hopeful expectation of a positive return on their investment or gamble – no matter the neighbourhood.

    But, this is looking more odd & dubious by the moment.

    It’s looks like, as attempted a few times in the past, that a “blockbuster” investor is settling into this large section real estate, poised and prepared to grow bigger.

    Sure, it’s understood that these chunks of commercial real estate were for grabs at some point. And, it’s also understood that this may very well be a case of, “you pay the piper, you get to call the tune”.

    But, not everyone enjoys “karaoke” – no matter how well performed by wanna be stars.

    So, I’ll continue to make occasional attempts at seeing this developer’s proposal, and then watch for an upcoming meeting.

    But for now, this ain’t going away.

    In the mean time, it may be important to go and have a proper listen to what was said in an important discussion this week on TVO’s, “The Agenda” – where Steve Paikin and his guest panel discussed all the new development in the Toronto, and how high is too high, with all our new building developments.

    Like Roy mentioned, there are real infrastructure issues & problems to address.

  5. There is a very good chance this change is due to the Province’s Bill 108, which basically overrides municipal zoning around transit stations. I think everything within 500 m around stations is effected, and this development is well within that area. So we can thank Doug Ford for this mess.

    The other issue is six of these properties are designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. http://cot-planning.maps.arcgis.com/apps/PanelsLegend/index.html?appid=a90bf1e72b694db5a4892dc6b170688d

      1. John st development came before Doug, and I blame nunziata and the BIA and the resident group for that failed attempt to revitalize Weston.
        John St development simply means all the poor planned developments can come to Weston and be approved….only time a development is stopped is when OH MY a Victorian house on the other side of the track is going to be demolished….

  6. Maybe it’s just me..
    and my encroaching myopia.

    Then again, maybe not.

    At first glance, the “Greenland Farms Developer Doubles Up” article that Roy served up here had me thinking that this development was just for the old grocery store site @ 1956-1966 Weston Road.

    Not so.

    And, that assumption probably because we attended the initial meeting for this site’s development back on August 29, 2017 – where I’m pretty sure the proposal was for 1966 Weston Road, only.

    But, I misunderstood this latest note because of the “Greenland Farms” reference.

    Upon further review, this ownership group hopes to develop the entire block, and not just the grocery store.

    As noted in Roy’s article (and the Councillor’s newsletter), this “sky high, twin tower proposal” is regarding plans for the many commercial properties from 1956 to 1986 Weston Road – which is pretty much from John Street to Little Ave., and then around the block, toward a very vacant, 3 Little Ave.

    Suddenly, I think I understand the massive size & scope of this proposal. And, how it’s possible to have two 29 story towers on a 12 storied podium base. Owning the entire block helps that effort.

    Looks like there’ll be an important meeting to attend, very soon.
    (Hey, who knows – it might be good news for the old village.)

    In the mean time, Roy has addressed this topic many times. And, if you’d like to review those articles they’re easy to access via the “search” engine, right here.

    For starters, try these three related reports from: August 26, 2017, August 31, 2017 and then this one was quite good, about someone “Playing a Game of Monopoly in Weston”, from January 17, 2018.

    These are definitely worthy of another read, given the latest news around here.

  7. It appears the supporting documentation for this application has now been uploaded to the City’s website here:
    http://app.toronto.ca/DevelopmentApplications/associatedApplicationsList.do?action=init&folderRsn=4646369&isCofASearch=false&isTlabSearch=false

    As a recent homebuyer and young professional in Weston, I believe this project (designed and built properly) will assist in creating a revitalized Weston Village and improve the safety, quality and retail/food options for residents along Weston and in the surrounding area.

    Before saying no, I think we need to review the studies and plans completed by the developer and understand what till be done to the streetscape in this area, how sunlight to the greenspace and streets will be protected, what the developer is going to provide to the community and City in exchange for higher densities and how the city is going to utilize development charges and parkland levies in our neighboured. I am not saying these two 29 story towers as designed are the right solution to a revitalized Weston Village, but something needs to be done and we have a chance to drive what the future of Weston Village will look like.

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