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Tag Archives: unit condominium

Beaches condo project threatens nearby ravine

Renata D’Aliesio – Globe and Mail

This strip of busy Kingston Road in the Upper Beaches needs redeveloping. Four buildings shrouded mostly with beige clapboard sit empty, their windows boarded up with plywood, their exteriors dirty and worn.

A developer wants to transform the derelict stretch into a six-storey, 47-unit condominium, but the proposal would mean carving into a small ravine that is already choked with development – a scenario that a growing band of opponents argues is environmentally unacceptable.

Toronto is home to one of the world’s biggest network of ravines and the city should do a better job of protecting them, said Geoff Cape, executive director of an environmental charity and the brains behind Evergreen Brick Works, a ravine restoration project in the Don Valley.

“It’s easy to say, ‘Oh, we’ve had incremental development already so what’s wrong with a little bit more incremental development of the ravine system?’ But if you play that story out, you end up with nothing at a certain point,” Mr. Cape said.

The battle over the condominium on Kingston near Main is before the Ontario Municipal Board. If a settlement between the developer and opponents can’t be reached, a hearing will take place, likely in September.

Lawyer Amber Stewart, representing the project’s proponent, Kingston Road Development Corp., said the developer believes the site is appropriate for a multi-storey condo, noting the location is near transit and next door to an eight-storey apartment building.

The developer has proposed shifting the building closer to Kingston Road in response to concerns. The small Toronto firm also intends to create a ravine stewardship plan, which would include removing invasive plant species and replanting.

“We think we’ve done everything we can to minimize the footprint in terms of the ravine,” Ms. Stewart said. “The province has directed municipalities to intensify where intensification is appropriate and in our view this site is an ideal location.”

But several residents who live below the proposed condo believe this type of intensification will degrade Glen Davis Ravine. They’re also worried the large building, which would include an underground garage, will block sunlight from their houses, whose backyards are part of the ravine. They would rather see townhouses built.

“We’re not against development. It desperately needs development. It’s very scruffy,” said resident Jennifer Brass, who is part of Friends of Glen Davis Ravine. “But this is not sensitive to the ravine. This literally digs it up, excavates it and trucks it away.”

Residents opposing the proposal have garnered the support of their councillor, Mary-Margaret McMahon, and local provincial and federal NDP politicians. A fundraiser is being held Thursday to raise money for the Ontario Municipal Board challenge.

“Every citizen group deserves the right to be heard,” said MPP Michael Prue, who shares concerns about the project’s impact on the environment.

Ultimately, the decision rests with the Ontario Municipal Board. Earlier this year, Toronto and East York Community Council directed city staff to appear before the board in support of the developer’s application, as long as 43 conditions for improving the building were met.

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

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto Realtor 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.

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