Important planning meeting

It’s been a while since we last heard from the Greenland Farms developers. Now, the city has scheduled a meeting to discuss two very large buildings they propose for the corner of Little Avenue and Weston down to the Dollarama.

Despite opposition from city planners and the community, the owners seem to be proposing to increase the size and height of the development. They want one tower to be 35 storeys (up from 29) and to the number of apartments from 592 to 739. (Those numbers were, in turn, an increase from a single 28-storey building.)

From UrbanToronto.

The meeting will be June 27 at the Etobicoke York Community Council, starting around 9:45 a.m.. The meeting will also be streamed live. You can give feedback or register to speak by email: [email protected]

Today in Weston April 3, 2019

Greenland Farms has sprouted some new signage on its windows. Work is going on inside to renovate the building and apparently it will reopen as a retail entity later this year. The final incarnation of the store is still unclear but this is a promising sign.

The building will eventually make way for development but in the meantime Weston residents may have fresh produce once again within walking distance. Thanks to Suri at Squibbs for the information.

Another loss for Weston

I too will miss the loss of Weston’s last supermarket. Greenland Farms may have had an odour – show me a fish store that doesn’t smell- but it served the community well for many years providing a large selection of produce along with amazing foods from a variety of ethnic sources.
Sadly, we have a council, mayor and councillor bent on austerity; unwilling to do anything to mitigate the effects of uncontrolled development on our community.

No doubt our councillor will reassure us that the new building will have retail and food stores on the ground floor but the truth is that the community has lost yet another vital asset and the alleged replacement is many years away.
Surely Ms Nunziata must concede some measure of responsibility for Weston’s decline over the past decades of her incumbency? Her voting record seems to reflect a service to the development industry rather than to her actual constituents.

As former prime minister and reformed secular saint, Brian Mulroney famously observed, ‘You dance with the ones that brung you’.

And the music plays on.

zài jiàn, sayonara, annyeonghi gyesipsio, tạm biệt, Greenland Supermarkets

It looks like Greenland Markets has shut its doors for good.  The expansive room is empty, and the fixtures are gone.

I can’t find any development applications for the site, though it seems likely to be rebuilt. The business is also for sale, though, which seems odd. Your input is welcome.

I really liked the grocery my kids grew up calling “the stinky store”. It had a crazy mix of wildly different foods from all around the world, and it was cheap. I eventually changed my kids’ minds with Pocky and other gooey Japanese snacks.

They’ll miss it too.

Someone’s playing a game of Monopoly in Weston.

Areas in pink have been acquired so far. (Click to enlarge) Map adapted from Google Maps.

A source tells me that a company by the name of Weston Asset Management Inc. has bought a couple of properties near its recently acquired Greenland Farm property at 1966 and 1956 Weston Road. These are the people who have proposed a 28-storey apartment building with retail at the base. In addition to #1956, the parking and laneway to Lawrence Avenue that comes with Greenland Farm, Weston Asset seems to have acquired 1952 (next to P&Ms) and 1980 Weston Road.

1952 Weston Road.

1980 Weston Road (tall building on left).

Attempts to find out anything about Weston Asset Management have proved to be futile as the company seems to have no web presence. Any web sleuths out there?

Let’s hope that they will be more forthcoming about who they are and their plans at the next community consultation meeting which should happen this spring.

Will Weston become a food desert?

 

The Greenland Food Market property has been sold and the business was recently put up for sale. What will become of food shopping in the walkable areas of Weston? The GF supermarket building is large – it once housed a Loblaws and has an excellent selection of produce and ethnic foods and spices. It serves hundreds of people within walking distance. The next nearest supermarket is the Loblaws Superstore at Weston and the 401 which is a considerable way when carrying groceries. The term ‘food desert‘ has been applied to areas in the U.S. where there is a lack of a healthy variety and selection of food. Weston may be in grave danger of becoming a food desert when Greenland Farm closes.

Greenland Farms produce section (file).

The GF site owner and developer has shown some attractive artist renderings indicating that a food retailer may be occupying the ground floor of the proposed high-rise. The bottom line is that the attractive drawings are done purely to attract support for the project. The actual building may be completely different. Without a legal requirement, the developer has neither wish nor obligation to specify the businesses that may lease space in their building.

Let’s hope that our councillor is working to ensure that vibrant and varied food sources are available in the densely populated parts of Weston and Mount Dennis.

Greenland Farm Update.

Thanks to a lapse in memory, I wasn’t able to attend Tuesday’s meeting to hear plans by the owner of 1965 Weston Road. Marion at Weston’s BIA, helped out by getting me in touch with Grenville Dungey who was there and kindly shared his impressions. Here are some of Gren’s take-aways of the proposal.

The proposal is in its very earliest stages. There was a conceptual drawing but nothing else. The basic idea is for a 6-story podium building with 4 floors residential and 2 floors of retail. On top of the podium would be a residential tower that would have a smaller footprint taking the height up to 28 storeys. Residential units would be mainly one and two-bedroom with some bachelor apartments. The owner said that wind tunnel tests would be performed on models of the tower to make sure that the building didn’t create undue wind patterns.

Gren got the impression that the owner is very keen to have community input but the owner also said that if the numbers don’t work, it won’t get built. (I’m interpreting that to mean the height of the building). There would be underground parking for residents which would be accessed from the Lawrence Avenue entrance to the site.

The next meeting with more concrete ideas will be sometime next spring. If building starts it will possibly be around 2020 before anything gets started and the construction might take between 30 and 36 months.

My Comments:

What does the City of Toronto say about that part of Weston?

Back in 2004, the City put into place guidelines for Weston, designed (among many other things) to stop further deterioration of Weston Road into a high-rise corridor. It stipulated that new buildings along the Weston Road Corridor where the GF building now stands, should be limited to a maximum of 8 storeys. Reading the guidelines almost makes one despair at the lost opportunities as they have been totally ignored in the intervening years.

No doubt the current owner bought the site for the purpose of making money by developing to a height far beyond the guidelines. When people spend money on a property, they perform some due diligence to make sure that their plans are achievable. It seems there must be high confidence that 28 stories will pass muster at council.

Incidentally, the Greenland Farm people no longer own the building and have put the business up for sale.

The current listing for the business. From realtor.ca