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Tag Archives: condo developer

Possible four-storey, low-rise condo envisioned for 35 Wabash Avenue

Many neighbouring residents not happy with the proposal, especially those on Lukow Terrace

Hilary Caton – Parkdale Villager

Condominium developer Curated Properties has a vision for 35 Wabash Avenue. It includes transforming the abandoned industrial lot that was once home to a sock factory into a four-storey condo complete with a rooftop terrace and underground parking.

But neighbouring residents aren’t sold on the vision.

It’s too big, too high and too dense, according to North Parkdale residents who came out to the pre-application meeting at Greek Cathedral Church, held by Curated Properties and hosted by Ward 14 councillor (Parkdale-High Park) Gord Perks.

Comment: Four storeys is too high? Wow… yet again, Toronto NIMBYs raise their heads to complain. Because yes, that nasty vacant lot is SO much better than a new building.

35 Wabash Avenue
The majority agreed the building simply does not fit the character of the neighbourhood.

Comment: The current character in the immediate area is a dilapidated abandoned factory and a vacant lot, next to the train tracks. How is a small 4-storey building going to make that worse?

However with the proper re-zoning and approval from the city, 35 Wabash Avenue could become a 70,000 square foot residential property containing 58 units, all of which are a minimum 1,100 square-feet, with 22 one-bedroom units, 28 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units.

Comment: Exactly what the city needs. Low rise buildings in existing neighbourhoods with units large enough for families. But no, god forbid, can’t have that in MY neighbourhood.

The front of the condos, designed more like townhomes, will face Wabash Avenue with ground floor units equipped with separate entrances.

The overall concept, however, is still preliminary, according to the developer and its architect Roland Colthoff from RAW Design, who presented the concepts to about 30 residents.

But preliminary design or not, the residents along the east side of the proposed building are not happy with the idea that people in the new condos will be able to see into their backyards.

Comment: Like there is anything to see in their backyards. Why everyone gets so wiggy about that, I just don’t know. My neighbours behind me can see into my backyard from their second floor. Who cares? Why would they be staring at me? I just don’t care… Plant a tree if you want more privacy.

“That, to me, is a problem,” said Julie Pigozzo, a homeowner on Lukow Terrace who “spent a fortune” on her home last January and has a long list of concerns regarding the development.

“My main concern is privacy,” she told the Villager, visibly upset during meeting Thursday night, Jan. 15.

“This potentially has 14-20 units staring into our backyards and a fifth story staring down on us too. My second concern is if I did turn around and try and sell this house, who wants 20 people looking into your backyard?” Pigozzo asked, concerned about her home’s future resale value.

Comment: You know what? Most people really don’t care. My dad lives on a very posh street in Toronto. Years ago an old church was converted to condos, overlooking his yard. Did his property value go down? Nope. Still worth a fortune.

She suggested the idea of a fence for the rooftop portion, but according to Curated Properties’s president Adam Ochshorn that would only create “a jail-like” atmosphere. Instead, he said the best option is four-foot planters will be used as a buffer. He also added this building would not have balconies to encourage the overlook.

Attendees also brought up the issue of density. The building, if approved, would have a density of 2.7 in an area that allows 0.6. With such an increase it could put a strain on the community in a variety of ways, including parking and traffic issues.

Comment: Except the units would have their own parking. And 58 units might bring 58 cars, probably less. There is very little traffic in that area now, that tiny increase would not even be noticed.

“It’s additional traffic and it’s additional pressures on the community infrastructure which is very old as it is,” said Brian Torry, co-chair of the Roncesvalles-Macdonnell Residents’ Association (RMRA).

Comment: Maybe this would provide the final impetus needed to get working on the old Canada Linseed factory across the street. Renovate it and create community infrastructure. Two problems solved.

“Parking and traffic is a huge issue in that section of the community, especially because everything around it is small. Sorauren is very small, the streets aren’t built to accommodate that kind of increased density they’re thinking about putting in there. They’re just not.”

Comment: 58 units. This is the density they are freaking out about. 58 units.

Councillor Perks plans to ensure all the necessary studies are done through the city to ensure the impact the building will have on the area is minimal.

“The things we look at will be shadows, pressure on existing community services like daycare, parks, recreation facilities, libraries. We look at traffic, look at whether or not it creates problems and if the overall design is nice,” Perks explained. “It’s a very comprehensive process.”

During the meeting’s question and comment period, it was clear residents don’t approve of the proposal and would prefer single family homes be built on the lot, especially the residents on Lukow Terrace.

One resident suggested the condo developer consider a “good neighbour” incentive, which would have the developer contribute and maintain a community amenity, in turn for building this condo. Examples included maintaining and paying the maintenance for an ice rink that can operate at night with proper lighting, or contribute to beautifying the nearby Charles G. Williams Park.

“It’s something we’d consider, depending on what it was (that they want),” Ochshorn admitted, who added he’s open to hearing more about what the community wants from them.

“We’re not like, this is it and we’re going ram it down their throats. If someone told me they wanted me to build bigger and fewer units, I want to hear what the neighbours want. We’re open to anything. All these things are still evolving because it’s so preliminary and we’re going to regroup and see how our design will evolve and get ready to apply (to the city).”

Comment: But the residents need to stop complaining and turning little things into huge issues. Calm down and work with the city and the developer. Come up with something that works. Complaining doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.