Weston Development (29 Storeys)

At the Community Meeting about the proposal for the development at the Greenland Farms site (Weston and Little Ave.), the developer’s agent tried to justify the immense building on the basis of the province’s plans to increase development around ‘Major Transit Stations’.  Weston GO station (as long as we keep our GO trains) is such a Major Transit Station.  The new provincial plans (now called ‘A Place to Grow’) require a planned density of 150 persons and jobs per hectare (1/100 of a square kilometre) around GO Stations.  From the city of Toronto, this definition:

So, what does this mean for Weston?  First, the 500 metre radius looks like this.

The Greenland Farms development will clearly be within that circle which extends north to almost King, south to part of Sykes, east along Lawrence to Pine, and west to just into Etobicoke.

But the real question is, how much density do we need to achieve the provincial plan?  Do we really need to permit several 29 and 36 storey towers?

The answer can be found in the 2016 Census.  Here is a map of the west part of Toronto with densities in different colours – dark blue being the densest.

The Census data is in persons per square kilometre.  Weston is already the densest part of the west end, with the possible exception of part of Dixon Road.  And the densities of the areas closest to the proposed development are already substantially more than 150 persons per hectare, not counting any jobs which may exist.

By small census areas, here are the actual densities.

35204426 – West side of Weston Road, Little to St. Phillips – Density 153.3 persons per hectare

35204415 – East side of Weston Road, King to John to tracks – Density 181.73 persons per hectare

35204414 – North side of Lawrence to John St, Little to tracks – Density 177.57 persons per hectare

35204413 – South side of Lawrence, Hickory Tree to Weston Rd. – Density 292.12 persons per hectare

35204412 – South side of Lawrence, Weston to Pine and south to Denison – Density 69.19 persons per hectare

35204411 – West side of Weston Rd., Bellevue to Wright – Density 133.72 persons per hectare.

The 2016 census was before the building at 22 John was occupied.  So the density is already greater.  And the count does not include jobs, which takes the count even higher.

Weston is already plenty dense enough.  Developers cannot point to the provincial growth plan and claim a right to make it denser.  Even the legally allowed 8 storey maximum for development on Weston Road would significantly increase the density.

The city can and should say no to any more monstrous buildings in Weston. And defend such decision at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (successor to the OMB) should the developers appeal.  Developers who thought we’d be an easy mark can think again.

Author: Mike Sullivan

Mike Sullivan has lived in Weston since 1992, with his wife Andrée and at various times their seven children. He has helped with or led community causes – protecting our street names from amalgamation, burying trains, getting a stop, getting bridges and noise walls, promises of electrified trains and lowered fares. He was a Union Representative working for NABET and CEP (now Unifor) dealing with broadcasters and newspapers. He ran for Member of Parliament three times; elected in 2011. While MP he helped deal with street crime by leading the charge to force phone companies to refuse to activate stolen phones. He was critic for persons living with disabilities, helping get disabilities listed as one of the ‘hate crime’ prohibitions. He presently serves as a member of the Board of Weston King Neighbourhood Centre, and of the advocacy group TTC Riders.

5 thoughts on “Weston Development (29 Storeys)”

  1. No, thanks.
    Clearly, topped up, already.

    Go spread the altruistic joy elsewhere.

    (Thanks Mike, for illustrating.)

  2. Thank you for this analysis: confirmation of the reality of Weston’s population density gives resisting the developers’ schemes a firm basis.

    You, Roy and Adam do the hard work of keeping us informed, and many thanks!

  3. When 22 John St was under development I was sceptical, my fear was a new 29 story development would add to Weston’s already congested streets disrupting my daily commute. After the completion of the project I found what 22 John brought was a new demographic into Weston, a new coffee shop emerged on Rosemount (with a famous breakfast sandwich). Weston is definitely lacking when it comes to good eats & if new developments also means more businesses open up shop then bring on new developments. It’s a good thing for everybody. My grandmother lives over on King St and I know she & her friends are looking forward to the potential new grocery store. Although I champion only allowing mixed use development (20% of units allocated for affordable rental). New development also brings the City much needed revenue to address some of Weston’s more difficult problems. We need to come together as neighbours & work on bridging the gap between the Youth & organizations. Although Weston has some amazing local organizations for the youth to utilize I find there is still a major disconnect. Urban Arts is a good example of a great Urban youth organization that has the ability to connect with the youth. Urban Arts greatest success is the staff they’ve hired. Young, understanding & hip they’ve done a good job connecting with the youth of Weston. Other organizations have lost the ability to connect with youth, yet still feel as though somehow their views represent the youth of Weston. More youth spaces along with new development projects is a step in the right direction in the prosperity of Weston.

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