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Condos in Toronto

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Tag Archives: condominium unit

Burgers bow to condos in the Beaches

Peter Kuitenbrouwer – National Post

Carl, a mechanic with Black & McDonald waiting in line at Toronto’s original Licks Homeburgers/Ice Cream Friday, expressed shock when he learned more condos are coming to the Beaches.

“I didn’t think they would put a condo in the Beaches,” Carl says. “I thought this was sacred.”

Not any more. Carl hadn’t noticed the big colour sign on the front of Licks: Developers plan to knock the restaurant down and build a six-storey, 29-unit condominium unit, with 27 underground parking spaces.

A red banner on the front of Licks — an institution on the corner of Kenilworth Avenue and Queen Street East since 1985 — promises, “Our homeburgers are getting a new home. New Beach location coming soon.”

Shane Fenton, 28, who with his father, Shelley Fenton, does business as Reserve Properties, bought this site two years ago. Mr. Fenton vows, “Licks is not leaving the neighbourhood. We are working with them to find a new site.”

The Beaches, or The Beach, as some prefer to call it, is among Toronto’s original genteel old-money residential neighbourhoods, a redoubt of gardeners and sailors and studied elegance: mobbed by tourists in summer and braved by dog-walkers in winter. But lately a new group has shown up: developers, buying single-family homes to assemble parcels of land, and turn them into condo projects. Many locals are not amused.

“The downtown core is expanding into these established neighbourhoods,” says Bill Burrows, owner of a business that helps people find companies via the Internet. He has lived on Kippendavie Avenue for 10 years; his front yard is Garden of Eden, resplendent with a koi-stocked pond, six varieties of Japanese maple, a twisted baby locust, rhododendrons and Japanese carpet junipers.

Recently a developer bought six houses next to Mr. Burrows and proposed an 83-unit, six-storey condominium building with an underground garage.

“Many of us understand and appreciate the need to intensify,” Mr. Burrows says. “It should be done according to the neighbourhood. The character of the Beach will change: ‘Kippendavie got it, so why can’t Beach Avenue or Silver Birch Avenue?’ ”

After a long battle, most members of the Kew Beach Residents’ Association have nearly settled with the developer, in exchange for a reduction to 60 units and the developer’s agreement to name adjacent homeowners as co-insured on its policy.

On Monday, two hold-out residents at No. 60 Kippendavie will face the developer at the Ontario Municipal Board, and Mr. Burrows notes, “We haven’t formally settled. We agreed to pospone the OMB hearing for a week so our water expert can review the city’s water report.” Basement flooding is a huge problem here.

Also Monday, Beaches residents gather at 7 p.m. at the Beaches Recreation Centre, 6 Williamson Rd., for a public meeting about the Licks condo plan.

“We expect a full house,” says Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Beaches-East York). “We’re going to get development. We just want to get smart development and want to attract ethical developers who care about the neighbourhood. … We need something more small-townish feel down on the Beach.”

Even so, the Fenton family has made friends with its modest plan to leave standing the Bellefair Methodist Church (1922), at 2000 Queen E., and repurpose it into 23 condos and six townhomes, complete with parking stackers, a kind of elevator for residents’ cars. The developers have converted the sanctuary into a sales centre.

“If you come in with the right attitude and the right approach and work with the community, it can work,” says Shane Fenton, dressed casually in a checked purple shirt with the top two buttons undone, and bell-bottomed jeans. Both Ms. McMahon and Mr. Burrows say they like the Fenton approach, though Ms. McMahon wonders whether six storeys at the Licks site — where adjacent buildings are one and two stories — may be too high.

A few blocks west, there is a standoff. Queen Street East Properties has assembled all the addresses but one on the north side of Queen between Rainsford Road and Woodbine Avenue. The house at 1878 Queen St. East, home to Barber Cuts and Design Wardrobe and, in back, the Pooran family, has held out. Ruth Pooran, who lives here with her son Anthony, says the developers have approached the family “many, many, many times,” to sell the house, built in 1901, but her father refuses.

On Friday, a backhoe pawed at the rubble that was her neighbour’s house to the west (future home of a condo tower). A sign indicates the builder plans more condos to the east.

“It’s rather troublesome,” says Anthony. “I try to study and there’s constantly dust flying.”

“I’ve been to all the meetings,” says Ms. Pooran. “They are all against all the condos because it is ruining the entire Beach. This has always been this way and it shouldn’t change.”

Still, she admits, “ask me in a year when they are digging an 80-foot hole beside my house.”

Contact the Jeffrey Team for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin & Natalie Jeffrey are Toronto Realtors with Century 21 Regal Realty.
They did not write these articles, they just reproduce them here for people
who are interested in Toronto real estate. They do not work for any builders.