Amare

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Crossposted from the SQ1 Office Building thread in Mississauga.

If the City is adamant that this project should have a very high percentage of office space, then they might want to consider a similar program to this.
It's funny, Toronto does have a program like that: The Toronto Imagination, Manufacturing, Innovation and Technology (IMIT) program.

However the way it's being implemented currently is problematic, and in my opinion misused because it's encouraging a concentration of office development in the downtown core (where frankly there doesnt need to be any added incentive to locate at the moment). I've been calling for Toronto to scrap the program for the downtown core and instead use it in our "city-centres" (ie: Midtown, Etobicoke City Centre, NYCC) as a way to encourage more office development in those areas.

 

AlbertC

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A coalition of residents in the Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue neighbourhood are asking the city to make potentially big changes on the city-owned Canada Square site on the south-west corner of the intersection – and put a hold on any application to redevelop the land by its long-term lease-holder, Oxford Properties.

Oxford’s $2.5 billion proposal would sit on top of the Eglinton subway station on Toronto’s Line 1 and see four massive residential towers – 70, 60, 54 and 45 storeys tall – along with 12.1 hectares of open space, 1,000 square metres of community space and replacing the office use that’s on the site now.

But for the coalition of residents who came to Toronto’s Planning and Housing Committee June 28, that wasn’t enough to push back against the substantial growth in high-density residential developments that has so far not been accompanied by social and public infrastructure.

“We have found that the application doesn’t really respond to (our comments) since 80 per cent of the application is residential, and only 1,000 square metres is community space – and employment replacement is less than what’s there today,” said Andy Gort, president of the South Eglinton Residents and Ratepayers Association.

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Over the course of four meetings over the late spring of 2021, the group came up with a set of priorities for the land that Oxford is proposing to redevelop.

The site should become a new Town Centre for Midtown Toronto first and foremost, with a public square, parkland and open space, a higher-learning incident, community facilities, cultural and performing arts spaces, with a new elementary school and a limit on residential development.

Ann King, a tenant representative of the Stanley Knowles Housing Cooperative said the affordable housing component was key.

“There is an abundance of residential housing and more on the way – we are under siege by developers whose primary goal seems to be to put up more towers, but one thing that’s in short supply is affordable housing,” she said.

Urban Strategy’s Christine Fang-Denissov, speaking on behalf of Oxford, told the committee that while there were many elements of the working group’s document that Oxford agreed with, the city needs to balance “city-wide objectives” with the community’s needs. She said Oxford would work with the city to accommodate those needs.

The three local councillors – Josh Matlow, Mike Colle and Jaye Robinson – supported an immediate endorsement of the plan holding off on moving ahead with Oxford’s plans until city planners could assess ways to incorporate the priorities of the working group.

But Toronto’s Chief Planner Greg Lintern cautioned that delays could endanger the terms of the 200-year lease between the city and Oxford Properties, signed in 2018.

“We run the risk of running out the runway and having Oxford decide it doesn’t want to engage further,” Lintern said, noting that Oxford could revert to a previous lease.

The committee has recommended that council schedule community consultations on the development, and left it to city staff to report on the implications of holding off on approving the applications before the working group document can be further studied.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Northern Light

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It’s a stalling tactic: since it’s city land, put a bunch of requirements that are well-meaning in isolation and hard to refute, and taken together kill the viability of development.

Let's not overblow this.

Most of the asks are reasonable and are nowhere near development killer.

Keep in mind, this being public land, it's the City who will determine the lease-rate; and that number can be shifted around depending on what the City gets out of it.

A school is an entirely reasonable ask; so is shifting more of the POP space into a usable, and public, park.

The only real issues here will be office vs residential; and heights.

Truthfully I'm not hearing any negatives around height on Yonge or Eglinton, so the only issue there will be heights in the south and west extremes of the site.

I wouldn't expect any huge changes in that regard, as that does impact economic performance.

The City frankly wants more office space too, and I think it may well get it, but not likely with massive reductions in residential.

Also, I do expect we'll see an affordable housing component (which was not proposed); which speaks to @ADRM 's point.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Limiting the residential to only 25% of floor space is ridiculous - I mean, I support full replacement of existing office space (and even requiring an additional portion tied to the amount of residential), but to hamstring this development knowing full well there is not a huge demand for office at this location just sounds like bad faith to me.

AoD
 

Northern Light

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Limiting the residential to only 25% of floor space is ridiculous - I mean, I support full replacement of existing office space (and even requiring an additional portion tied to the amount of residential), but to hamstring this development knowing full well there is not a huge demand for office at this location just sounds like bad faith to me.

AoD

It is ridiculous.

It's not going to happen.

It's an inflated negotiating position; not so different from when a developer purposefully proposes 54 floors when they know the City will get them down to 42, a number at which they will make a healthy profit.
 

ProjectEnd

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From the above article:
The site should become a new Town Centre for Midtown Toronto first and foremost,
Sure.
with a public square,
Great!
parkland and open space,
Yep.
a higher-learning incident,
If by 'incident' they mean 'institute', it's a nice thought, but this is far more complicated as you need one to come forward and want / need to be part of the plans from the start.
community facilities,
Yep.
cultural and performing arts spaces,
Who is programing, activating, curating, these things? These are the same neighbours that wanted Madison to put the same sorts of things into the retail at 50-90 Eglinton.
with a new elementary school
If that's what's needed in the area, sure.
and a limit on residential development.
Absolutely not.
 

sunnyraytoronto

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City Council consideration on July 14, 2021
PH25.7
The Future of Yonge and Eglinton's Canada Square: Supporting Midtown Existing and Future Residents' Quality of Life - Special Study Area Report

CanadaSquare_TownCentre.PNG

 

Northern Light

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A report on this development is headed to the next Planning and Housing Ctte.

Report here: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-171558.pdf

The report discusses the feasibility of achieving assorted community objectives, and whether staff will work with the proponent on those.

The gist is thus; The City is prepared to work towards an enlarged public park (I would go so far as to say insist), and will work to facilitate a school in the second or subsequent phase.

There will be no attempt to limit residential on the site; but there will be zoning flexibility to support additional office instead of residential, should that be deemed viable in the future.

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Specific quotes from the report:

@HousingNowTO will wish to take note of this bit:

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Finally, the City has invited Enwave to the table as part of looking at the feasibility of a Net Zero development here.
 

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