Meeting about 38-storey building: I’m not convinced.

On December 7, the city hosted a meeting about the proposed 38-storey building at 1821–1831 Weston Road.

Representatives of the developers gave a brief presentation and answered questions about the building, which, if approved, will be the tallest in Weston.

Your correspondent was left unimpressed. The developers were asked why they planned such a tall building. Louis Tinker, from Bousfields, said the province considers areas near transit hubs to be ‘strategic growth areas’ and “the tallest buildings in a particular geographic area… are often found in the closest proximity to the station entrance”.

That may be so, but the representatives did not offer a reason why such a tall building would be good for Weston.

I asked, directly, because other developers, including Castlepoint Numa, Rockport, and Options for Homes, have worked with the community to offer benefits beyond those required by law. They’ve sought more than our permission; they came with offers and ideas.

It didn’t seem that Bousfields had any of those planned. Tinker did say “we haven’t reached that point in the discussion” and that they would consider benefits “if people have ideas that they want to share”—but it appeared to me that he was discussing how to disburse only the benefits the city requires.

The architects did, however, present their new plans for the façade, which they say integrates more aspects of the streetscape and community history.

From the presentation

I’m not an architect, but I think this was a weak effort. The F-shaped elements, for instance, are supposed to hearken back to the CCM factory as viewed from above.

I love Weston, and I love bikes, but I’m over Weston as the home of CCM. We have a lot more to offer than that ancient history (supposing you can find the history in the façade). How about a riparian theme? Or one that nods to our intersection of water, rail, sky, and road? Perhaps a celebration of our present as the home to many new Canadians?

So, in short, no.

If you ask me, it’s too big, and too ugly, with too few benefits to offer.

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

3 thoughts on “Meeting about 38-storey building: I’m not convinced.”

  1. This is a revision of the rejected plan that offers no real change or improvement AND adds 4 more storeys. It’s all about money, and getting around height recommendations.

    It’s ugly and of a piece with destructive “development” that gave us the bleakness of high rise buildings from Church St to St Phillips.

    Our Councillor and the city planners need to pay attention to the need, in this neighbourhood, for street-friendly, pedestrian friendly development.

    This is not progress.

  2. Re Meeting about 38-storey building: I’m not convinced (Dec 13):

    I attended the meeting on December 7 and found it informative (albeit very technical) . As it currently stands however, the proposed building would be a missed opportunity to shrink the size of the affordable housing problem in Weston. It’s my understanding that the City has a draft Plan and Zoning Amendments that includes a framework for Inclusionary Zoning, but that won’t be considered before early 2021. Besides helping increase the stock of affordable housing, something akin to IZ at 1821-1831 Weston would support a healthy and safe mixed income neighbourhood. It wouldn’t be a Panacea for the housing crisis but it would mean more than the CCM inspired upgrade.

    For those interested in, the City produced a Housing Need and Demand Analysis, which outlines what are strong and moderate market areas for IZ. (e.g. condos prices and price escalation, average rents, development activity). Weston falls within the “York” market area and this area only passed 2 of the 9 criteria, placing Weston as a challenged area for inclusionary housing policy. (The one exception seemed to be Condominium Development with a 10% Inclusionary Zoning requirement.)

    It raises questions on whether IZ can actually work in Weston or whether it might scare away future development? I won’t pretend to know the answer to that…if the City were willing to offset some of the costs of desirable development and ease the requirement percentage over time it might continue to spur growth outside of the downtown core.

  3. One comment on another poor development along Weston Rd. I think folks are tired of Weston Rd. Awful.

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