Ottawan

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How the site appears today:

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AlbertC

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Commentary from Councillor Layton and a local rep:


While the city has made it easier for homeowners to create laneway housing by removing the need for rezoning or gaining approval by the city’s Committee of Adjustments, local councillor Mike Layton said that this project is not considered laneway housing and so it does require rezoning.

Usually, there is one laneway house to one “parent” house, but this project would see three of them per “parent,” Layton said.

“But certainly it’s in keeping with the spirit of the laneway houses,” he said. “I don’t see anything else working on the site, given city planning has said you can’t demolish the building.”

However, local residents are still concerned there won’t be enough space in the back alley given the removal of the parking lot.

“There’s not a lot of room back there,” said Terry Montgomery, the vice-chair of the Annex Residents’ Association (ARA). “Our concern is with it being a bit crowded.”

Montgomery said that the project will remove a number of trees but there won’t be room to replace them, and there is also concern over garbage removal.

The project should receive a report by city planners in the next six months or so, according to Layton, and then it will go before Toronto and East York Community Council.
 

Msleylar

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The project should receive a report by city planners in the next six months or so, according to Layton, and then it will go before Toronto and East York Community Council.
 

concrete_and_light

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This looks great and delays and roadblocks to building it is ridiculous. Concerned neighbours should sell their extremely expensive houses they were lucky enough to gain significant wealth with due to the ever-increasing market and move the country or the suburbs if they're worried about this being "too crowded" for a city.
 

dusk

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This looks great and delays and roadblocks to building it is ridiculous. Concerned neighbours should sell their extremely expensive houses they were lucky enough to gain significant wealth with due to the ever-increasing market and move the country or the suburbs if they're worried about this being "too crowded" for a city.
Honestly I think it looks ridiculous. Why are we shoehorning homes into a laneway. Let's redevelop the area. We're building like it's 1850.
 

concrete_and_light

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Honestly I think it looks ridiculous. Why are we shoehorning homes into a laneway. Let's redevelop the area. We're building like it's 1850.

I'm definitely not opposed to more significantly redeveloping residential streets. Personally I think the city should be proactively designating at least one or ideally considerably more residential streets in every area and specifically allowing apartment buildings + mixed use to be built on it. And we'll need well beyond that to grow our city as it needs to grow, but that would be good as a start.

But within the scope of the current reality the houses on the lot have been deemed to be heritage and can't be demolished and there is no political will at this point to massively rezone and redevelop. Given that I think this is a good option to move forward in the meanwhile, and I personally like the buildings architecturally.
 
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torontologist

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Commentary from Councillor Layton and a local rep:

"While the city has made it easier for homeowners to create laneway housing by removing the need for rezoning or gaining approval by the city’s Committee of Adjustments, local councillor Mike Layton said that this project is not considered laneway housing and so it does require rezoning.

Usually, there is one laneway house to one “parent” house, but this project would see three of them per “parent,” Layton said.

“But certainly it’s in keeping with the spirit of the laneway houses,” he said. “I don’t see anything else working on the site, given city planning has said you can’t demolish the building.”

However, local residents are still concerned there won’t be enough space in the back alley given the removal of the parking lot.

“There’s not a lot of room back there,” said Terry Montgomery, the vice-chair of the Annex Residents’ Association (ARA). “Our concern is with it being a bit crowded.”

Montgomery said that the project will remove a number of trees but there won’t be room to replace them, and there is also concern over garbage removal.

The project should receive a report by city planners in the next six months or so, according to Layton, and then it will go before Toronto and East York Community Council."
Lol. "Crowded".

Crowded is 3 students living in a 600 sf "2 bedroom+den" condo next to Ryerson. Crowded is multiple families of new Canadians living in a small house in Scarborough because rents for houses near their community are astronomical. Crowded is a couple trying to live and "work from home" in a 1 bedroom rental.

I am so, so tired of the entitled people in this city who feel it is their right and prerogative to determine who gets to live near them and how many. And it is increasingly disappointing that our system of municipal governance gives them so much say in how everyone else in Toronto gets to live. The original proposal for this site was brilliant. It seems the developers faced so much resistance that it resulted in this plan for a few faux lane houses instead. And now the neighbours are fighting that!

I really hope we are approaching the tipping point at which exclusionary zoning is seen for what it is, and that NIMBYs (sorry, no better term) take a long look in the mirror and realize how their behaviour and entitlement affects the quality of life of others.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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I find disheartening that my city council is pandering again to the exclusive few that would likely never vote for him. /sigh
 

dusk

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The use of "heritage" is a dog whistle for classist and racist ideology that seeks to prevent neighbourhoods close to subway stations from gentrifying and mixed income families moving in. We can preserve heritage while building density. I don't want to hear "laneways" being mentioned anywhere in the downtown core.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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The use of "heritage" is a dog whistle for classist and racist ideology that seeks to prevent neighbourhoods close to subway stations from gentrifying and mixed income families moving in. We can preserve heritage while building density. I don't want to hear "laneways" being mentioned anywhere in the downtown core.
Not sure how "heritage" is a dog whistle for anything here, unless it's being used along with "woke" or "cancel"...

...that said, no heritage structures will be harmed in this proposal.
 

dusk

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Not sure how "heritage" is a dog whistle for anything here, unless it's being used along with "woke" or "cancel"...

...that said, no heritage structures will be harmed in this proposal.
I'll explain how. If we decide that a privileged (rich) few get to live in large homes in the middle (literally downtown) of a metropolitan city, we're saying that their comfort matters more than building density. For example, why can't sites like this be treated like The Selby? https://urbantoronto.ca/database/projects/selby

We can build a LOT of density while preserving our history. We don't because we don't want to displace the rich and almost exclusively white voters in the area.

So yes, saying "heritage" and then fighting over the smallest of density is a dog whistle. This location should have a building on it with a MINIMUM of 6 stories, not laneways.
 

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