The long awaited condo apartment building at 10 Wilby being built by Options For Homes will be launched to the public next month, OFH announced yesterday. The Wilby Crescent condo, aka, The Humber, will have 22 storeys and thanks to a no-frills design and its unique financing scheme, purchasing will be a more affordable option for people looking to buy a home. OFH is also touting the advantages of the location which includes convenient access to schools, extensive parkland, proximity to the GO / UP Express and south west views of the Humber and Raymore Park. Prices start at $350,000
Toronto City Council and its local equivalent, Etobicoke York Community Council is a strange beast. Its decisions often leave people scratching their heads. This time they’ve managed to do something right. You’d think it was an election year or something.
On July 4, the Community Council dealt with rezoning the land at 10 Wilby. Readers may remember that non-profit builder, Options for Homes has proposed a 22-story, 233-unit condo apartment building at that location. OFH prides itself on making home ownership affordable. What they do is supplement an owner’s down-payment by up to $75,000 so that the mortgage is reduced. When the owner eventually sells, OFH gets back their contribution along with a proportional increase if the apartment has appreciated in value. As a tradeoff, features like swimming pools and gyms are eliminated so that prices are held down.
The address of 10 Wilby is an interesting one as it is at the top of the Humber Valley with potential access to parkland and the Pan Am Path. Our longer term residents may remember it as the former site of the Ministry of Transportation licence office.
10 Wilby is above a curve in the river so views from the new building’s upper floors will be spectacular.
As an added bonus, Weston GO and UP Express stations are a short walk away.
In order to erect a building on the smallish Wilby site, a land swap was arranged with the business opposite so that there was enough room to meet code requirements. In rare and sensible use of Section 37 money, the Community Council on Wednesday approved rezoning and a plan that would see OFH donate and spend $800,000 in order to:
- Make a cul-de-sac at the end of Wilby
- Build a sidewalk along Wilby and connect it to Weston Road
- Plant 25 new trees on the property and adjacent city land
- Convert the Hickory Tree Road lands abutting the subject property to parkland conditions
- Improve local parkland and connectivity of local parkland to the Humber River valley; and
- Provide streetscape improvements along Wilby Crescent, Weston Road and Hickory Tree Road which comply with the Streetscape Manual and are to the satisfaction of the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning.
- Perform an archeological study
The Community Council also thought it would be prudent to warn purchasers that local schools may not be able to accommodate pupils from the building.
For readers who are puzzled by the site actually being on Hickory Tree Road yet having the 10 Wilby address; you’re not alone. The comments following this earlier article may help.
Incidentally, there was one dissenting vote opposing the rezoning amendment; that of Ward 7’s very own (and almost Brampton MPP), Giorgio Mammoliti.
Next stop, City Council on July 23.
Anticipating the impending legalizing of marijuana, Options For Homes announced on Friday that it will ban smoking anywhere inside or on the property of its new 22 storey condo apartment at 10 Wilby Crescent.
Non-smokers who live in apartments already may know that stale cigarette smell can drift insidiously through conduits and other gaps between apartments. The impending legality of marijuana has prompted OFH to get ahead of the game and ensure a smoke-free environment for occupants. Vaping will be allowed – so it’s not a complete ban.
Re-writing an existing condominium corporation’s declaration to ban smoking in a building is a major undertaking requiring an 80% vote of owners in favour. Options For Homes feels that starting off with a no smoking ban will put the condo board ahead of the game and make the issue up front so that purchasers can make an informed decision. OFH claims that 75% of prospective purchasers are more likely to purchase in a smoke-free building.
Apparently landlords of rental buildings can ban smoking in all or part of a building and a rental building can eventually become smoke free by requiring new tenants to not smoke. Existing tenancy agreements must be honoured but once the smoker leaves, landlords can insist on no smoking from the new occupants.
Options for homes believe that their new smoke-free building will be a first for Toronto. Read more here.
Options for homes has written an article entitled, ’10 Things You Didn’t Know About Weston’. It’s a nice tribute to the area where they will be erecting a 22-storey, 233 unit building at 10 Wilby Crescent.
Read the article here.
Readers, do you agree? What did they miss? I’d like to correct the 15 minute time to Union – it’s actually 14 minutes and while we’re timing things, 11 to Pearson and only 6 minutes to Bloor.
Personally, I’m fascinated by the mysterious Mason’s building at 2040 Weston Road. I’d love to get a tour one day.
Janes Walks are free, community organized neighbourhood tours, volunteer led by the people who live there.
Jane’s Walks encourage people to share stories about their neighbourhoods, discover unseen aspects of their communities, and use walking as a way to connect with their neighbours.
Named after American born community activist Jane Jacobs who moved to Toronto in the 60s. She revolutionized thinking about what it means to live in a city.
The Weston Historical Society has organized several Janes Walks over the past few years and they are offering another on Saturday May 5th at 10:00am.
A River Runs Through It – And So Much More
Led by Cherri Hurst and Mary Louise Ashbourne, Weston Historical Society
10 – 11:30 am | Meet at St. John the Evangelist School at 49 George Street, Weston.
Showcasing Weston’s history but informing participants of what is new and exciting about Weston will be the main theme of this year’s Walk. With some of it showing the Humber River’s part in Weston’s history and its present contribution to making Weston the place to be. Fourteen stops only begin to show what someone can find in the area. With participants ranging from the BIA to Options for Homes to the Lions Arena this year’s Walk promises to be interesting and informative. There is one downhill slope and one medium size uphill slope. Ramps on and off the bridge. The steps can be avoided by taking a secondary route. This Walk will end in front of the mural on the old fire hall in the parking lot at the corner of Little Avenue and Weston Road.
‘Riverstone Condos’ was to be a 10-storey building on Wilby Crescent, just off Weston Road, south of Lawrence. Many people put down deposit money back in 2013 in the hopes of getting an affordable condominium apartment in a beautifully designed 10-storey building overlooking parkland and the Humber. Hopes were dashed when the project fell through as prices were considerably higher in the proposed Riverstone than for existing condos on nearby Hickory Tree.
A year later and the project became 21 storeys and 235 units.
Now, according to Urban Toronto, a public relations organ for the local real estate and development industries, it’s going to be 22 storeys with 233 units. The article states rental units (not that there’s anything wrong with rental) however, Options For Homes confirmed that the units will be condos and not rentals.
Stay tuned. This may not be the final version.
Finally, last time we wrote about changes in the building design and height, Options For Homes sales director, Mary Pattison wrote the following and we’ll give her the last word:
Hi – this is Mary from Options for Homes. I would be more than happy to tell you why I’m so proud to work at Options for Homes and why I think this new building will be a positive addition to your neighbourhood. Please reach out directly at [email protected]. In the meantime, it’s helpful to understand two things:
1) We make home ownership affordable, not “affordable housing” (in the way that I think you’re referring to) Over the past 24 years we’ve often been at the forefront of the revitalization of neighbourhoods (eg. Distillery District, The Junction). We help middle-income Canadians (HHI 40-90K) with down payment support to accelerate home ownership dreams and ensure we combine that with the lowest maintenance fees in the city (about .46 a square foot presently).
2) The changes to the design are a function of increasing construction costs (due to demand) and development charges that have more than doubled in the time it’s taken to get the project approved by the city. We agree that it was lovely and we’re very proud of the new design as well.
We’re also proud of this video that shows many of our buildings and you can judge four yourself if this is what you think of when you think “affordable housing”
‘The Humber’ is planned as an affordable apartment building that is scheduled to ‘launch’ on Wilby Crescent by winter 2018. Its incarnation a few years ago was a rather attractive Frank Lloyd Wright style building. That failed to get off the ground thanks to low demand.
Sadly, the new version is a taller, less attractive building. Read all about it here.