LUVIT!

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Amen. It should be noted that the protection of sunlight is not afforded evenly across the city. For some reason City Hall has determined that the wealthiest Torontonians are in dire need of sunlight, lest they become pale and wither away. Funny how in working class areas there seem to be less angular planes. Wonder why?

Also I find it a bit amusing to encounter voices on this forum who are otherwise pro-development using phrasing like "in MY neighbourhood". Sounds pretty NIMBY to me.

There is no right to sunlight in one's back yard, and for the city to use this excuse to deny housing to people in need is... unethical? classist? anti-newcomer? reactionary? all of the above?
Your comments are interesting considering this IS a 'working class' neighbourhood which is a phrase meaning anyone that has to work IS working class unless extremely wealthy. Yorkville is 'wealthy' however there are many tall towers placing shade on neighbouring 'wealthy' properties. Most people whether home owners or tenants would prefer to live in a peasant 'sunny' neghbourhood unless one is a worm or a mole. I did not see anyone wishing ' to deny housing to people who need it'. You said that. So let us propose a 20 story slab tower here and see how that goes ?
 

Northern Light

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There is no right to sunlight in one's back yard, and for the city to use this excuse to deny housing to people in need is... unethical? classist? anti-newcomer? reactionary? all of the above?

This building is not a Housing Now site or otherwise 'affordable housing'........so let's just be clear that this is not a trade of housing the homeless vs not doing on on this particular site.

****

As to the rest there are simply three issues as I see it:

1) Irrespective of the merits of any given policy, every policy or action has stakeholders who have some degree of influence and sway. One must be cognizant of that. This is not a discussion in a vacuum, it's in the real world.
You might wish that people of inordinate wealth had no inordinate influence, but that does not make it so. Should we try to execute reforms to processes and policies where practical?, Of course. I was very active in getting parking minimums nixed. But one has to consider in each case the liklihood of success, and the opportunity cost of myopically focusing on one change that probably won't happen, and won't make a big difference if it does, vs many other changes that are easier to achieve and have greater potential to ameliorate social ills.

2) While it is certainly true that there is no inherent right or constitutional right to sunshine; in that same way there is in fact no legal right to private property, nor to housing, nor to healthcare.
If there were, everyone would be housed, there would be universal pharmacare, dentalcare, physiotherapy and medical device coverage. (for the record, I would favour that)

All 'rights' are conferred by statute, or through by-law, regulation or policy. All are repealable or amendable in theory.
But in reality it's about what one can persuade politicians, bureaucrats and your neighbours to support. Which is invariably something less than 'utopia'.

3) Sunlight, makes plants grow, which provide oxygen you require to breathe; it also helps fight climate change, the impacts of which may kill tens of millions of people around the world and displace hundreds of millions more.

That is not opposition to height or density, my track record here speaks to that; rather it's a call for a more nuanced understanding of the issues; and more pragmatism too!

PS, I'm not rigid on the angular plane or any other rule, I simply understand why they exist, the purpose they intend to serve, the stakeholders who value said rule and the politics of changing it.
Where there is merit, the City is perfectly capable of bending the rules, and it does from time to time; perhaps not as often as one might hope; but that's really an entirely different thread.
 

Lenser

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I don't think the argument has to be simplified to big, blocky condos on arterials vs. nothing at all. It's a big city, with plenty of opportunities for densification via easing permits to build laneway housing and infill housing on lots with particularly deep or wide yards, or converting a couple of detached homes into a nice four or five story multiplex, etc. The bigger obstacle remains essentially political in nature, with entrenched, wealthy neighborhoods fighting to keep their exclusive status quo. The Beaches are a prime example of this, but there are many more pockets scattered throughout the city where smart infill could happen. Citizens living in these places will often elect officials who will fight for their cause and try to find ways around municipal and provincial governments' (often) misguided attempts to solve the housing crisis. Entrenched resistance to change is difficult to overcome, but hardly impossible.

Haggling over a condo's roofline and trading arguments over the benefits of sunshine or the relative aesthetics of blocks vs. angled setbacks has their merits, but the bigger picture is one of missed opportunities and myopic, complacent communities that typically want the crisis to be solved "elsewhere."
 

LUVIT!

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This building is not a Housing Now site or otherwise 'affordable housing'........so lets just be clear that this is not a trade of housing the homeless vs not doing on on this particular site.

****

As to the rest there are simply three issues as I see it:

1) Irrespective of the merits of any given policy, every policy or action has stakeholders who have some degree of influence and sway. One must be cognizant of that. This is not a discussion in a vacuum, it's in the real world.
You might wish that people of inordinate wealth had no inordinate influence, but that does not make it so. Should we try to execute reforms to processes and policies where practical?, Of course. I was very active in getting parking minimums nixed. But one has to consider in each case the liklihood of success, and the opportunity cost of myopically focusing on one change that probably won't happen, and won't make a big difference if it does, vs many other changes that are easier to achieve and have greater potential to ameliorate social ills.

2) While it is certainly true that there is no inherent right or constitutional right to sunshine; in that same way there is in fact no legal right to private property, nor to housing, nor to healthcare.
If there were, everyone would be housed, there would be universal pharmacare, dentalcare, physiotherapy and medical device coverage. (for the record, I would favour that)

All 'rights' are conferred by statute, or through by-law, regulation or policy. All are repealable or amendable in theory.
But in reality it's about what one can persuade politicians, bureaucrats and your neighbours to support. Which is invariably something less than 'utopia'.

3) Sunlight, makes plants grow, which provide oxygen you require to breathe; it also helps fight climate change, the impacts of which may kill tens of millions of people around the world and displace hundreds of millions more.

That is not opposition to height or density, my track record here speaks to that; rather it's a call for a more nuanced understanding of the issues; and more pragmatism too!

PS, I'm not rigid on the angular plane or any other rule, I simply understand why they exist, the purpose they intend to serve, the stakeholders who value said rule and the politics of changing it.
Where there is merit, the City is perfectly capable of bending the rules, and it does from time to time; perhaps not as often as one might hope; but that's really an entirely different thread.
Well said thank you! When I said peasant neighbourhood I meant pleasant!
 

torontologist

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Your comments are interesting considering this IS a 'working class' neighbourhood which is a phrase meaning anyone that has to work IS working class unless extremely wealthy. Yorkville is 'wealthy' however there are many tall towers placing shade on neighbouring 'wealthy' properties. Most people whether home owners or tenants would prefer to live in a peasant 'sunny' neghbourhood unless one is a worm or a mole. I did not see anyone wishing ' to deny housing to people who need it'. You said that. So let us propose a 20 story slab tower here and see how that goes ?

It was working class 30 years ago. I will admit that it has maintained wider economic diversity than most "Angular Plane" neighbourhoods in the Old City. But let's not pretend that there isn't a significant contingent of 50-80y.o. people there who bought their home more than 20 years ago, are economically well off, and have all the time and resources in the world to influence city councillors to bend to their desires. And their desire is for the neighbourhood to stay the same and for new people and apartment housing (condos are also apartment housing) to stay out. Or at least to be as diminished as possible.

Have councillors or city staff ever opposed the positioning of a new apartment tower that would shadow St. James Town? Not that I know of.

This building is not a Housing Now site or otherwise 'affordable housing'........so lets just be clear that this is not a trade of housing the homeless vs not doing on on this particular site.

****

As to the rest there are simply three issues as I see it:

1) Irrespective of the merits of any given policy, every policy or action has stakeholders who have some degree of influence and sway. One must be cognizant of that. This is not a discussion in a vacuum, it's in the real world.
You might wish that people of inordinate wealth had no inordinate influence, but that does not make it so. Should we try to execute reforms to processes and policies where practical?, Of course. I was very active in getting parking minimums nixed. But one has to consider in each case the liklihood of success, and the opportunity cost of myopically focusing on one change that probably won't happen, and won't make a big difference if it does, vs many other changes that are easier to achieve and have greater potential to ameliorate social ills.

2) While it is certainly true that there is no inherent right or constitutional right to sunshine; in that same way there is in fact no legal right to private property, nor to housing, nor to healthcare.
If there were, everyone would be housed, there would be universal pharmacare, dentalcare, physiotherapy and medical device coverage. (for the record, I would favour that)

All 'rights' are conferred by statute, or through by-law, regulation or policy. All are repealable or amendable in theory.
But in reality it's about what one can persuade politicians, bureaucrats and your neighbours to support. Which is invariably something less than 'utopia'.

3) Sunlight, makes plants grow, which provide oxygen you require to breathe; it also helps fight climate change, the impacts of which may kill tens of millions of people around the world and displace hundreds of millions more.

That is not opposition to height or density, my track record here speaks to that; rather it's a call for a more nuanced understanding of the issues; and more pragmatism too!

PS, I'm not rigid on the angular plane or any other rule, I simply understand why they exist, the purpose they intend to serve, the stakeholders who value said rule and the politics of changing it.
Where there is merit, the City is perfectly capable of bending the rules, and it does from time to time; perhaps not as often as one might hope; but that's really an entirely different thread.
I really don't agree that this isn't affordable housing. What you're referring to is subsidized housing that serves people who are very low income. The vast majority of working class people have to make do with the cheapest offerings from the market housing sector. The wait for subsidized housing is way too long for most people to sit around and hope that something comes their way. Furthermore, we've reached a point where even middle income people can *barely* afford to RENT in central Toronto. All apartment housing, including condos, is relatively affordable and thus fits within my definition of "affordable housing". Incomes are simply not keeping up with housing costs. It's apparent to me that older people and those who are in comfortable situations aren't exactly aware of what it's like for most young people, lower-to-middle class people, and newcomers in this city. There's a huge generational divide and the situation is very dire. From my perspective, it's ludicrous that city policy imposes angular plane restrictions that reduce housing supply and impede on the viability of new developments. And it absolutely reflects on the privilege afforded to certain groups and not others.

You point out that there isn't a right to sunlight, housing, healthcare, etc. That may be true, but there is a hierarchy of wants and needs. Housing/shelter is a need, and accessibility of housing should always trump having a sunny patio in a just society. The fact that the provision of housing in Toronto often takes a back seat to certain peoples' distaste for change or new neighbours is pretty indicative that our city council is not as progressive as they like to think they are, and I'm just calling that out.
 

LUVIT!

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Oh brother we’re chatting about an architectural style not a war or a battle.. Lighten up a little please..
 

Lenser

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Still... wars of ideas take up astonishing amounts of time and effort - they'll bung up yer social feeds like nobody's business.
 

AlbertC

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View of the current building on site:


20220415_154637.jpg
20220415_154657.jpg
20220415_154724.jpg
 

Northern Light

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AlbertC

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Perhaps this 2-storey section (shown below) along Queen East could be maintained and re-integrated somehow in a modified grade level treatment. Otherwise, I don't feel the remainder of the existing structure is that physically significant. A commemorative plaque highlighting the history of the China Lily business operations here would be more meaningful.


20220415_154657-jpg.394323
 

Northern Light

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Perhaps this 2-storey section (shown below) along Queen East could be maintained and re-integrated somehow in a modified grade level treatment. Otherwise, I don't feel the remainder of the existing structure is that physically significant. A commemorative plaque highlighting the history of the China Lily business operations here would be more meaningful.


20220415_154657-jpg.394323

i can't say I'm sold on retaining that bit either; In its current form, it's clearly nothing special to look at; it's also, rather obviously been altered over the years, neither of those windows are original, nor are in they in their original placement either, and how much 'original' brick is left there.........? I count at least 3 discrete types on the ground level.
 

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