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.
The owners of 1821 Weston are proposing a 38-storey, 446-unit building that would, according to city staff, violate:
- The Provincial policy statement
- The Growth Plan
- Toronto’s official plan
- “Area specific and city wide guidelines”
City planners say it does not fit the local built form, is too close to property lines, and is “out of scale to its surroundings”, and will “negatively impact adjacent lands—among many other complaints.
Development on this site could be supported, if it provides appropriate setbacks, separation distances, massing, building height and density, as directed in the Official Plan, the Weston Urban Design Guidelines, and the City-Wide Tall Building Design Guidelines in cooperation with adjacent property owners.
City staff also oppose the 35-storey, 372-unit proposed building on Locust Street.
They say it violates:
- The Provincial Policy Statement
- The Growth Plan
- Mount Dennis’ urban design guidelines
It is also, they say, too tall, too close to the property line, and out of context with the neighbouring buildings, again, among other complaints. “Given the existing and planned context for the subject property and the surrounding area, the proposed density, height and massing proposed in its current form cannot be supported by staff.”
In both cases, staff recommended “that City Council direct the City Solicitor, together with appropriate City staff, to oppose the current proposal at the OLT and continue discussions with the Applicant to resolve outstanding issues.”
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.
People were upset when 22 John asked to build a 29-storey tower. People were upset when the Greenlands developers asked to build two 29-storey towers.
Now, the developers of 1821 Weston have asked to build a 36-storey tower that resembles, well, I leave it to you to decide, but the little black moustache at base doesn’t make me think the tower is a nose.
1821 Weston is just south of Lawrence on the east side. The developers would like to build 454 condominiums with insufficient parking.
Another development is in the works on the Scotiabank lot, just north of there, at 1871 Weston, and a third is being planned just down the street at 1695 Weston.