City Council approved the motions to oppose the development at 1821–1823 Weston Road and 8–16 Locust St.
Both developments are being appealed at the Ontario Land Tribunal.
According to staff, the buildings violate provincial policy, the Growth Plan, and local planning guidelines. They are also too tall, too large, and out of context with the surroundings, among many other complaints.
Council will also consider whether to allow demolition of 975 Weston Road, which would allow it to be merged with two neighbouring vacant parcels and developed.
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.
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.
The City has responded to a 36 storey proposal for developing this pair of properties on Weston Road just south of the UP Express station.
The consolidated property consists of a former movie theatre (Biltmore Odeon) now used as a place of worship (Bethel Apostolic Church) and a two-storey mixed use building.
The developer is BSäR Group of Companies with a mostly positive reputation with this exception where in 2017, BSäR pleaded guilty to four counts of recovering possession of a rental unit unlawfully and was fined $14,000. Like many developers, BSäR has a minimal web presence. Established in 2007, its Principal is Tarek Sobhi and its President is Tyler Hershberg. The architects are Turner Fleischer.
Spoiler alert – BSäR wants to erect something too large for the site and build closer to the tracks and neighbouring properties than Metrolinx and the City would like.
lowlights highlights of the proposed building:
261 resident parking spaces
29 visitor parking spaces
5 retail parking spaces
463 bicycle parking spaces.
10,000 square feet (approx) of communal indoor space spread over 3 floors
10,000 square feet (approx) of communal outdoor space on the podium roof.
At grade retail on the first floor.
74% 1 bedroom or bachelor
16% two bedrooms
10% three bedrooms
City Planning Staff Concerns:
- Maximum allowed floor plate for tall buildings is 750 square metres; developer wants 820 square metres.
- Minimum allowed setback from property lines is 12.5 metres; developer wants to shrink to 10 and 7.5 metres.
- There will be strong shadow impacts on the UP Express station plaza.
- The development may limit the potential of future development on adjacent land.
- Rooftop communal area would be subject to uncomfortable and unsafe wind levels.
- There should be fewer bachelor and one bedroom apartments and more two and three-bedrooms.
Section 37 money.
(Section 37 money is a ‘fine’ paid by developers in exchange for crappy architecture or overbuilding on a site.) Here’s where the City thinks the money should go:
- Affordable housing or the securing of purpose-built rental housing at mid-range or affordable rent level categories.
- An on-site day care facility or funding for one.
- A contribution towards the revitalization of Weston Library.
- A contribution towards the replacement of the Falstaff Community Recreation Centre (not even close to Weston).
- Improvements towards local parks.
Other concerns from the City:
- Planners haven’t been told if the BSäR Group are building rentals or condos. They would like a range of affordable rentals / ownership units.
- Is the old Biltmore Odeon Theatre worthy of a heritage designation? Planners intend to find out.
- Dog relief stations will be needed to ease pressure on local parks.
Staff have told the developer to revise the proposal so that it is more in keeping with the City’s guidelines.
At the moment, City staff are sending notices about this development only to people living within 400 feet of the site. If you would like to comment or to be added to the mailing list, contact City Planner Rory McNeil at: (416) 394-5683 or,