Weston Asset Management Development questions

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On Thursday November 28, at Weston Collegiate Institute, a meeting will be held to assess public reaction to a huge development proposed for Weston’s old ‘Main Street’.

There’s no doubt development is needed in Weston. The question is what form should it take? Do we want the familiar streetscape of the current architecture (Bloor West Village style), something moderately larger or are people ok with the gargantuan development being proposed. Once a pattern of new development along Weston Road is established, it will set the trend. Until recently, the plan for Weston was for something moderate that would fit into the streetscape.

Now there is no mention of Weston in Toronto’s official Plan and it seems strange that this has happened without community input.

Here’s what the old guidelines said about development in the area.

GUIDELINES

The following general objectives have been established for the Weston area.

Weston will be recognized as a distinct and significant community within the City of Toronto,
as a community rooted in its history. Weston has experienced considerable change in land use, employment, retail activity and residential character and will continue to experience these changes in the future. The challenge is to recapture Weston’s unique character of the past within a greatly changed urban area and reality. These guidelines will help manage any future change within Weston in order to achieve the following goals:

  • The revitalization of retail and community activity along Weston Road as the strong and attractive heart of Weston
  • The maintenance of the quality of life in the neighbourhoods
  • The introduction of new residential development along the Weston Road corridor
  • The generation of new employment opportunities on former industrial lands
  • The enhancement of the Humber Valley as an environmental and recreational asset for the city.

All buildings located in Weston Village will be limited to a maximum height of 24 metres with the following exception:

– buildings fronting onto Weston Road and/or John Street will be limited to a maximum height of 3 storeys or 9 metres for all portions of the buildings located within 6 metres of the street line. Any additional height above the third storey will be set back a minimum of 3 metres from the face of the base building to a maximum height of 8 storeys (24 metres) 

Why is 8 stories no longer the limit? Surely Councillor Nunziata should have kept the community informed of this change, official or not. To go from 8 to 29 stories is a huge increase.

There seems to be an effort from supporters of this project to put their thumb on the scale – one person alone commented 9 times on the previous article. The attitude from some supporters seems to be, “Shut up and be grateful NIMBY”.

There’s nothing wrong with development provided it enriches the community – not just the developer. This project is way too large and will do nothing for the community except add traffic, shadow and sewage issues.

It’s not as if we haven’t learned this lesson before. When the Weston Hub was proposed, it was going to be a shining beacon and provide all things to all people, including an indoor / outdoor farmers market and community centre. Now it looks as if there won’t even be room for the Farmers Market when traders use the designated space next May.

Questions that should concern every Weston resident:

  • Do we want to place these huge high rises in the heart of Weston?
  • Why is this development not in keeping with the scale of the area.
  • Why has the project doubled in size since the last public consultation?
  • If this project is approved, where will the considerable Section 37 monies be spent? (Let’s hope no more Nychtophilias)
  • Why are there so few parking spaces allocated? (There are 7 above ground parking spaces (for visitors) and 174 below ground for a building that will house more than a thousand people. Weston is not downtown Toronto.)
  • If a supermarket opens on the second floor, where will people park and how will they carry groceries to their cars?
  • Where are the shadow studies for the winter months?
  • Who are the people behind Weston Asset Management?
  • Why does Weston Asset Management have no web presence?
  • What is Councillor Nunziata’s position on this development?

Read more about the project here. The developer’s application materials can be found here.

If you cannot attend the meeting, and would like to provide input, Rory McNeil at the City Planner’s Office would like to hear from you:

by email: [email protected]
by Phone: (416) 394-5683
by letter: City, Planner, Etobicoke York District, 2, Civic Centre Court, Floor 3, Toronto ON, M9C 5A3.

Planning Application Consultation:
Date: November 28, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: Weston Collegiate Institute; 100 Pine Street.

9 thoughts on “Weston Asset Management Development questions”

  1. Be careful with any project with Nunziata leading the way….Weston has fallen so far behind the rest of Toronto, it makes you wonder if there is a motive by political leaders to make Weston the armpit of Toronto.

  2. I’m a little confused at being worried about increased traffic AND suggesting there’s too little parking. Less parking is the way condos SHOULD be built moving forward, especially near transit.

    1. Well, as I said, we’re not downtown (not all the 1000+ residents will find GO or UP Express the only transit they need) and many people will use cars to come and go, whether they drive their own or use Uber – so it will still add a lot of traffic. This is without considering the purported second floor supermarket.

  3. Add to your note about Uber vehicles (for those who’ve perhaps decided that they don’t need a car in between their transit choices) those many who’ve decided that Skip the Dishes is the best way to go in their busy days.

    Any way you slice it, traffic’s not going away – even down here, just south of the 401 & 400.

  4. re: above poster’s

    “.. it makes you wonder if there is a motive by political leaders to make Weston the armpit of Toronto.” ?

    The intention may not be overt, but it may turn out to be what happens when things are relatively, hastened through government without thorough and proper consideration – because the elected officials are being pushed & shoved by lobbyists and protesters.

    (See: Housing Now)

    Last night, while watching “The Agenda” on TVO, the host & guests discussed the disparity between urban & rural areas in Ontario – which soon included the other regions in Canada.

    And then, the USA.

    Eventually, the term “Opportunity Zones” was introduced as a possible investment solution to these social & economic disparities, with hopes of sparing the tax payer the mammoth & inherent costs.

    A partnership, I guess you could say.

    In this chat about their current released study (and noting that the provincial government is seriously considering the possibilities with this concept) the study’s authors reminded and soon encouraged the host & viewers to consider the positives of these so-called, “Opportunity Zones” – and that it’s the current social/economic experiment in Trump’s America, led by his real estate developing son-in-law, Kushner.

    These identified, “Opportunity Zones” are areas where the Trump government & like minded people are encouraging deep pocketed developers to come in to down trodden areas in the States to kick start housing & job development – in exchange for tax breaks or “waivers” (as Adam called them in his report).

    After a few years of this hard push toward more and better community development in hard luck areas in America, they (reporters from the New York Times, for example) are finding that this relationship is not always delivering the intended promise of good and decent housing & jobs for these priority areas, still wanting for improvements for the greater good.

    Maybe not surprisingly, it seems that developers have figured out that they can massage the rules of this “Opportunity Zone” concept – thereby convincing politicos that their tabled proposal is really actually eligible for the tax breaks & waivers available to them.

    And, in a number of cases so far, it’s been discovered that the developers actually, are the true beneficiaries when they’ve targeted certain communities leaving the community with many concerns unresolved.

    America..
    ..they sneeze, we catch a cold.

    So now, back to our neighbourhood.

    Could this municipal (provincial/federal) “Housing Now” push upon us here in the Weston Village be something similar, whether we know it or not?

    Is Weston Village seen as an “Opportunity Zone”?

    (How ‘bout you, Mount Dennis? You want in? No? You’ll soon have a major transit hub down there, too. High rise development can’t be too far away.)

    Anyway, just wondering..
    ..as we head toward another developer’s meeting, tonight @ 7, WCI.

    It’s probably just me, but it’s getting harder to keep up and follow all the players in our passion play.

    (Hey, did immigrants from long ago really believe that the streets were paved with gold and that beer ran from the hydrants?)

  5. Oh, and before I forget..

    A great pre-meeting note, Roy. One of your best (of many). Easy to follow & well covered.

    There’s gotta be a decent, non-polarizing middle ground somewhere to be found.. hopefully.

    Thanks, for your ongoing positive efforts, sir.

  6. Ha-ha..

    And, thanks too for reminding about that dubious piece of “art” work down there in Mount Dennis, “Nyctophilias”.

    For me, it will forever be a, “WTF!” publicly supported project.

    (Check the photos.)

    They, the artist & star struck supporters from the neighbouring area certainly weren’t thinking neighbourhood aesthetics or “green”.

    No solar lighting way back then, I guess.

    (Trust it helped that “starving artist”.)

  7. Have any of these development pushers even considered what these high-rises will do to our infrastructure? We still have brick sewers in our neighbourhood which are already overloaded. Traffic? Amount of residents? The toll on ttc services as thousand more will need to pile onto already overcrowded buses??

    SPEND OUR MONEY, YES, OUR TAX DOLLARS, ON THINGS THAT ARE NEEDED LIKE STREET CAMERAS AND OTHER THINGS TO DETER ERADICATE THE RISING CRIME AND VIOLENCE IN WESTON.

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