Wasted Weston part 1

This is the first in a hopefully-short series on waste in Weston: wasted opportunities, wasted money, and wasted space.

Today, a wasted opportunity. The 85-year-old and very pretty Satin Finish office was torn down this week, in exchange for a ‘beautification agreement’¹ with the builders.

Former Satin Finish buildingYour correspondent had other, better plans. It could have been a small rec or youth centre, with after-school programming for the many kids in the new development. Imagine a sunlit space with oak beams and hardwood floors—a nod to its history—with an AV lab, a homework space and a videogame room, where kids could go and play LAN games.

We could have had an institutional daycare—there hasn’t been one since the Weston Village Childcare closed up more than 4 years ago. Or perhaps it could have had a meeting space or a job centre, where we could go, network, and post and find work.

Instead, it will be townhomes.

 

 


¹ Nobody knows quite what that means.

 

 

Historical properties register to be considered

How can we get heritage properties listed (and protected) faster? City staff will update the Toronto Preservation Board next week with some answers. It matters: properties around Toronto, including in Weston, are torn down before they can be inventoried.

8 Oak

8 Oak Street—to my mind at least, a lovely property with much potential—was one such unprotected property. It will be torn down to make way for high-density homes.

 

Getting heritage properties inventoried has been a struggle: Councillor Matlow has been asking staff for more than two years for some better ideas on how to do so. Among the possibilities: a citizen-led database, vetted by staff.

Satin Finish meeting coming up

Frances Nunziata’s email circular says that the Satin Finish developers will be having an open house on March 2 between 7 and 9 pm at Weston Memorial.

The developers will have a lot to answer for: they’re quintupling the density, destroying the historic building, and increasing traffic on a busy street.

8 Oak demolition opposed at City Council

8 oak streetThe demolition of 8 Oak Street will be opposed at City Council at the end of the month. Etobicoke York Community Council has asked the city to refuse a demolition permit and to find out whether the building should be added to the municipal heritage property list.

The Satin Finish development has been controversial. The developers had planned a small community of townhomes, but revised the plan to ask for more than five times as many residences. Now they are asking for 509 units, with apartment buildings and a retirement home. They are also asking to demolish the 85-year-old office building.

City Council will also be asked to oppose the division of 104X Wendell Avenue into two undersized properties.

Fight brewing over Satin Finish development.

The city is gearing up for a fight over the Satin Finish development on Oak Street.

The original plan had called for 99 townhomes; the developers now want about 500 units, including two 8-storey apartment buildings and a retirement home—and only two entrances off Knob Hill.

New development map

The developers are appealing to the OMB, and City Council approved sending a lawyer to oppose the appeal and insist that:

  • The plan meets the bylaws (1, 2) about lot size, setback, and maximum height
  • That traffic flows have been studied and accepted by the city
  • Stormwater will be managed
  • There are community benefits, and that “the required warning clauses from the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Green Standard requirements” are given.

 

 

Satin Finish developers to go to OMB

The Satin Finish Company owners are hoping to build 99 three-storey townhouses on the site. They were rebuffed in their initial—and, honestly, quite reasonable—request to change the zoning to allow residential development. They’re now taking their case to the Ontario Municipal Board.

The Satin Finish subdivision as proposed has problems:

  • It doesn’t have enough shared green space
  • It has only one playground
  • It’s poorly connected to the rest of the neighbourhood, with only one street entrance
  • There is little effort to preserve the beautiful buildings

That said, it’s hard to argue that these should remain employment lands; homes have already popped up all around them, and a new factory in their midst would be disruptive.