The lady doth protest too much

Frances Nunziata’s office pamphletedIMG_20150429_223023~2 Weston this week with a defence of the proposed 30-storey tower on King. The new proposed tower will be much taller than original proposal, which had only 18 storeys.

Nunziata’s flyer says that “a[n opposing] flyer has been circulated throughout the community to rally support for an 18-story tower which will result IMG_20150429_223055in greater shadow impacts and less public space for the community’s use, including the Farmers’ Market.”

Her flyer, by contrast, says that the 30-storey proposal is necessary to meet the Tall Building Guidelines, “which apply across the city” (her emphasis). This taller building will also, she says, reduce the impact of the shadow and allow for more community space.

I don’t believe that these statements are true.

The Tall Building Guidelines say,

Tall buildings are desirable in the right places but they don’t belong everywhere…. When poorly located and designed, tall buildings can physically and visually overwhelm adjacent streets, parks and neighbourhoods. They can block sunlight, views of the sky and create uncomfortable wind conditions in adjacent streets, parks and open space, and create traffic congestion. For these reasons, tall buildings come with larger civic responsibilities and obligations than other buildings.

The longer report also says, very clearly, that the guidelines are guidelines and should be used with other important documents like the “Official Plan, applicable Zoning By-Laws, Secondary Plans and Heritage Conservation District Plans”. They also “should also be afforded some flexibility in application” (Page 12).

Far from being binding on Weston, as she suggests they are, the guidelines themselves say that tall buildings should “fit within the existing or planned context and provide an appropriate transition in scale down to lower-scaled buildings, parks, and open space.” It is not clear to me that this building is in context with the rest of our community.

I do not think that Nunziata’s shadow argument is very good either. The area of a shadow is the function of the height and the width. Certainly, a wider building casts a shadow that lasts longer in the area that it reaches—but a taller building casts a longer shadow and reaches out farther. The area affected will be, mathematically, exactly the same.

Nunziata’s pamphlet says that there will be rezoning meetings and a community consultation. I certainly hope that we can get more facts with less spin than we received this time from our councillor.

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

4 thoughts on “The lady doth protest too much”

  1. Confusing. The 30-storey proposal is for the not-yet-built project on John St. There is (roughly NW) an existing 26-storey “residence” at 33 King St. (which presumably your shadow map illustrates). Any argument about shadows cast by the new project should take this into account.

  2. Building height is an issue but surely another equally important one is the shrinking amount of space that will be left for the Weston Farmers Market, a community asset which deserves protection from the developer’s greed. Have any figures been published comparing the size of the current Farmers Market area and the proposed “new and improved” Farmers Market? The local community, the farmers and local entrepreneurs should be rallying to defend this historic asset or before long all we’ll be left with is a one very sad big box store to do our grocery shopping. Instead of helping nurture the growth of Ontario farmers and local entrepreneurship, Nunziata has once again chosen to back the wrong horse, her deep-pocketed develop pal but no surprise there.

  3. wonder how much section 37 money Nunziata is getting……bad on the Weston Resident Group for supporting this…..the building will do nothing for the area…

Comments are closed.