Weston Development (29 Storeys)

At the Community Meeting about the proposal for the development at the Greenland Farms site (Weston and Little Ave.), the developer’s agent tried to justify the immense building on the basis of the province’s plans to increase development around ‘Major Transit Stations’.  Weston GO station (as long as we keep our GO trains) is such a Major Transit Station.  The new provincial plans (now called ‘A Place to Grow’) require a planned density of 150 persons and jobs per hectare (1/100 of a square kilometre) around GO Stations.  From the city of Toronto, this definition:

So, what does this mean for Weston?  First, the 500 metre radius looks like this.

The Greenland Farms development will clearly be within that circle which extends north to almost King, south to part of Sykes, east along Lawrence to Pine, and west to just into Etobicoke.

But the real question is, how much density do we need to achieve the provincial plan?  Do we really need to permit several 29 and 36 storey towers?

The answer can be found in the 2016 Census.  Here is a map of the west part of Toronto with densities in different colours – dark blue being the densest.

The Census data is in persons per square kilometre.  Weston is already the densest part of the west end, with the possible exception of part of Dixon Road.  And the densities of the areas closest to the proposed development are already substantially more than 150 persons per hectare, not counting any jobs which may exist.

By small census areas, here are the actual densities.

35204426 – West side of Weston Road, Little to St. Phillips – Density 153.3 persons per hectare

35204415 – East side of Weston Road, King to John to tracks – Density 181.73 persons per hectare

35204414 – North side of Lawrence to John St, Little to tracks – Density 177.57 persons per hectare

35204413 – South side of Lawrence, Hickory Tree to Weston Rd. – Density 292.12 persons per hectare

35204412 – South side of Lawrence, Weston to Pine and south to Denison – Density 69.19 persons per hectare

35204411 – West side of Weston Rd., Bellevue to Wright – Density 133.72 persons per hectare.

The 2016 census was before the building at 22 John was occupied.  So the density is already greater.  And the count does not include jobs, which takes the count even higher.

Weston is already plenty dense enough.  Developers cannot point to the provincial growth plan and claim a right to make it denser.  Even the legally allowed 8 storey maximum for development on Weston Road would significantly increase the density.

The city can and should say no to any more monstrous buildings in Weston. And defend such decision at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (successor to the OMB) should the developers appeal.  Developers who thought we’d be an easy mark can think again.

Twenty-Nine Storeys and 240 Metres.

At the Jan 8 Community Council meeting, councilors accepted the report of the city planning department regarding the proposed 29 storey twin-tower development at Weston and Little Ave.(the Greenland Farms site). The report essentially said the plans were too much for the current zoning and official plan, but planning will work with the developer on amending the plans. Councillor Nunziata amended the motion to add that another community meeting should be held prior to any new reports about this development being given to the Community Council, with notices to land owners and residents within 240 metres of the development, at the expense of the developer.
Two Hundred and Forty Metres is not very far. It gets south to Lawrence, east to the train tracks, west to the park, and north to King St. No notices to old Weston, nor to the apartment dwellers at the twin towers, nor 5 Bellevue, nor 29 South Station. The councilor did reserve the right to expand the notice boundary.

York Memorial information meeting

From The Star.com

This Sunday morning, January 12, a question and answer session will be held to provide clarity on the current state of affairs at York Memorial Collegiate which burned down in May last year. Students are continuing their studies in temporary accommodation in Etobicoke. Shortly after the fire, Toronto Council passed a non-binding resolution to re-build the school.

The meeting will provide residents with a Q&A on topics including,

  • Future plans for the site and respect for its heritage
  • Current impacts on student population, and efforts to mitigate those issues
  • The investigation, its findings, and clarity on lingering rumours
  • Effects on local businesses and what support is available to them

Councillor Nunziata, MPP Hassan and Trustee Tonks will attend.

Where: York Council Chambers,
2700 Eglinton Avenue West
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Toastmasters is coming to Weston / Mount Dennis.

From inc.com.

Would you like to improve your public speaking skills and your confidence in front of others? Toastmasters is an organization that helps people do just that. They hold weekly meetings where participants perform fun exercises with the goal of becoming more confident in social situations.

According to an old survey, most people fear public speaking more than death itself. Toastmasters can help with that.

A brand new Weston / Mount Dennis branch of Toastmasters is opening on January 23 at 7:00 at the Artscape Weston Hub – 34 John Street. Meetings last 90 minutes and are held weekly.

For more information click here.

No Pearen Park rink this year

Sad news: there will be no Pearen Park skating rink this year. The MDCA announced that a combination of global warming and few volunteers has led to the difficult decision.

Simon Chamberlain and other excellent residents put endless hours of work, always in the cold and often in the middle of the night, into the community rink, which they hoped would help newcomers enjoy winter in Canada.

The MDCA says they “the fall, we will decide if the rink can ever be re-activated, and what to do with the skates, helmets, and clothing.”

It will be much missed.

 

Some openings

Hot on the heels of Black Cat Espresso comes another sign of Weston’s hipness: Pilates classes.

Christina from Matter of Movement will be hosting Tuesday night classes at Artscape (they’re full, alas). If there’s interest, there may be Thursday classes, too.


In other fitness (and Artscape) news, we’ll be getting our first dojo since Seneca taekwondo closed .  Yoyo Dojo is opening at Artscape and having classes for youth on Mondays.


Finally, I hear Tim Horton’s is open on Weston Road. I haven’t been, and I likely won’t.