Big Hole Meeting – Tuesday

DECA is devoting its January meeting to discuss the development at Woodbine and Danforth (formerly the Home Hardware lumber yard).

Where:  Kimbourne Park United Church – 200 Wolverleigh Blvd. (Two blocks north of Danforth, just east of Coxwell).  Parking immediately around the church is limited  and if you’re parking on the street, check the parking signs carefully as the parking rules are unusual – and strictly enforced. Please enter through the side door – not through the children’s centre entrance.

When 7:30 p.m.

This is a link to the Rezoning Application Preliminary Report, which provides some background on the development.

Thanks to Kimbourne Park United Church for their very kind hospitality.

0 comments to “Big Hole Meeting – Tuesday”
  1. I am thrilled to see a well-planned proposed mixed use building for this hole!

    The drawings and unit breakdown clearly depict how this building will complement our already great neighbourhood. By offering mostly 1-bedroom units, this project is targeting single professionals and seniors looking to move down. Currently our neighbourhood has no affordable options for single professionals and seniors looking to move down and who want to remain in the neighbourhood they have grown-up in.

    More density will ALSO increase street traffic and help local businesses grow in our tough economic times. And, more importantly this “big hole” improvement will overall help increase the neighbourhood real estate value, especially for the houses backing onto the unslightly pit.

    Bravo to the developer! I hope this building is approved and goes through.

  2. ^^^^ Agreed. Adding density to the Danforth will only help business and I hope DECA gets behind this proposal. Oh yeah, it also looks good too and that’s really important for our neighborhood and the improvement of the Danforth.

  3. Perhaps this development can be a model of how green condominiums can be built and sustained. Did the proposal include a green roof? How about solar panels?

    I would be proud of a building that is on the cutting edge of sustainable, vibrant living. People are hungry for economic and environmental solutions. We can have both!

    http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/inpr/su/su_005.cfm

    http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/the-righteous-small-house-challenging-house-size-and-the-irresponsible-american-dream/?searchterm=condominium

  4. It was a very interesting meeting. I went into it feeling fairly positive about the proposed building. But the skeptics in the audience have changed my mind. I know we’re all desperate for “the hole” to be developed. A 12-storey condo is not the answer. I agree with those in attendance last night who argued that this proposal is completely out of character for the neighbourhood. It really will stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. I’m convinced it will ruin the streetscape, not improve it. Higher densities could help revive the Danforth (although density alone is not the answer — far from it.) The avenue could accommodate four and five-storey buildings, but not a 12-storey tower. One gentleman said last night that if this proposal were slated for Greektown, ten times the number of people would have shown up last night to oppose it. But developers and Toronto’s so-called city planners think they can shove any development on Danforth East. (Look at the horrors we already have.) Residents of Danforth East should rally to modify or defeat this proposal. I don’t think we can count on Sandra Bussin. Her mind already appears to be made up.
    By the way, a shout out to two new businesses at Woodbine and Danforth. Celena’s Bakery (www.celenasbakery.com) is opening this Saturday, Feb. 6, across from Better Bulk. And Hirut Fine Ethiopian Cuisine looks ready to open soon. Very encouraging.

  5. Really that is what you took away from the meeting!?

    First and foremost the audience was clearly divided on the proposed building, some for and some against it.

    Also Sandra clearly indicated several times throughout the meeting that she was simply relaying the current status of the city’s various departments on the proposed building (which were in favour of it). She also explained that she was attending our residents’ meeting to find out the neighbourhood’s response is to the proposal. This way Sandra could take the residents’ concerns into consideration when the proposal was going through the city’s process.

    Next, if you listened to both the city representatives attending the meeting, you would have heard that ALL the major avenues are scheduled for more density developments in the coming years with a new standard of 9 stories!!! So yes, this may be the first building in the area at 12 stories, but it won’t be the last. Heck, there is a 4-5 floor medical centre going on the corner of Aldridge.

    The reality is the main streets of Toronto/East York are changing and in my opinion for the better.

    On a side note, for those of you with side street 1hr parking limit issues, you simply need to contact the city to request that the time limit be changed to 3 hrs or something else. If you have guests who stay over longer, such as over night, simply go online and purchase a temporary street parking permit for $20 which covers them for a full week.

  6. Pingback: Big Hole Summary « deca diaries

  7. I had to leave the meeting early so can’t say if the notes reflected an absolutely totally accurate consensus (someone questioned their tenor) but I suspect that the note taker did her absolute best and at least fro the time that I was there it seemed accurate to me. Two comments, I am concerned that ” the folks negative” to the development who were very active and seemed to be pretty well organized were letting themselves fall into the old trap of “the perfect becoming the enemy of the good”. I agree that it would be wonderful if the building was only to be about five stories (I would go to eight but that is a quibble) but this development is pretty good. It fits the official plan, doesn’t do any violence to the character of the area (which is no great shakes in any event). If it can be scaled down a bit great, but as one wise woman said at the meeting, “There is no assurance that if this were rejected that we would not get something worse.” (or words to that effect) My other comment is brief, this area of the Danforth is pretty forlorn and those wishing to believe that a two or three story street scape somehow represents some wonderful cultural statement are living in a land foreign to most citizens of the city. This area desperately needs something beyond the dreary development of, for example, those awful three story buildings that add nothing to the area between Glebemount and Woodington. This proposed development is not perfect but there is nothing else even remotely on the horizon. One last comment, one responder mentioned the bakery and the new restaurant, yes enouraging stuff. Hope we all support them both.

  8. I was hesitant about attenting this DECA meeting because the attendees at the original meeting with the architect’s presentation had been loudly negative about the proposal, which I supported. At that meeting, very few were brave enough to speak out in favour of it, including me. So, I was very pleased that the DECA meeting was civilized, and that a lot of support for the plan was voiced. I have a hard time understanding why homeowners who originally backed onto a busy lumber yard and are now backing onto a graffitti filled bomb crater have a problem with the proposed design which would have them backing onto an attractive landscaped property. As a number of speakers pointed out, this project is a positive step in improving this area of the Danforth visually and by increasing density to support local businesses. Kudos to DECA for all their efforts to date.

  9. Hi,
    I was at the meeting, too and I was glad to hear more positive comments.
    I am 100% in favor of this building and hope that constructions will start a.s.a.p. This building will improve the neighborhood – I am pretty sure that owners of restaurants in this area can’t wait for the construction to start.
    There is not really an alternative – a 6 floor building will use the full foot print and as one dircet neighbor at the meeting said, such a proposal would not find many supporters, too.

    The propossed plan is the way to go and I can only hope that those who are organizing petitons etc. against it have heard and are listening to the voices of those who are in favor of that building.

    It feelt to me that more and more people are joining those who are in favor of the building.

    Mark

  10. Hi,
    I was at both meetings and also would like to say that I am 100% in support of this proposal.
    The arguments for this have been listed in this post before me and I also hope that this proposal will be approved as soon as possible.

    Raphael

  11. Natasha’s summary is excellent with great links to background documents. Angela has also summarised the realities and benefits nicely. Hats off to all of you.

    I support the project as submitted for all of the reasons above. As many of you have seen in many North American cities (and in good old TO), a tall building (this one’s not that tall actually), can fit into a streetscape easily with good urban design such as setbacks, material changes, position, etc. This proposal seems to have used many of those techniques.

    I propose that DECA request that the City obtain the following from the developer:
    1. a quality retail space in height and glass area
    2. good facade detail in the podium so that connectivity to the existing 3 and 4 floor commercial strip is ensured
    3. a unique top to the building perhaps using LED lighting on the Danforth side
    4. ensure that the parking ratio is truly flexible and reflective of the future market needs. I would shoot for 1 per unit and up the visitor count
    5. more green
    6. proper street tree pits
    7. The ablity for local artists to use the retail space at no cost until leasing is complete
    8. a contribution to East Lynn Park

    Cheers

  12. I’m very supportive of this proposal.

    All other things being equal, bit less height would be nice, say 8 stories at top; but the set-backs largely offset this concern.

    There is no 12-storey street-wall at Danforth.

    ***

    That said, I’d like to echo a few things others have said, and toss in a couple more.

    1) Proper tree pits need to be installed on Danforth in front of this site (ideally the whole block), that means automatically irrigated, 2 tree per planter, open soil, this is the new standard at most downtown condos and offices and would allow bigger, healthier trees over time.

    2) I would like to see car sharing included in this proposal both for the residents and the community (in the surface spots)

    3) I would really like to see an effort to attract quality retail. While I would prefer independent retail overall throughout the community, I would no be adverse to marquee-chain names here, to help draw in shoppers.

    A high end coffee shop, like Starbucks with a patio would be nice; so would a Longo’s supermarket if space permits (they started around the corner)

    Alternatively, re-locating the Valu-mart and making it into a Loblaws (same company, nicer stores) would be good too.

    That would free up more room for Woodbine Station (not that it would get used that way)

    I suspect there isn’t enough retail space proposed for this, but I happen to like the idea anyway.

    *****

    On the whole though, I think this is a good proposal for the area.

    Now if only we could get the that 1-storey building with TD and the Mr. Sub, opposite the library, torn down in favour of something nice.

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