smably

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I do think it's fair to ask the applicant to do a master plan for the entire site. Even if they have no immediate plans to proceed with development of the south half, it's important to have a cohesive vision for how to fit the different pieces together when it does come time to redevelop the rest of the site.

On the other hand, I can't help rolling my eyes at the city's obsession with height and density. We're living in a housing crisis and this is a huge lot next to a major transit node. I care about architecture, heritage, affordable housing, neighbourhood amenities, public realm, pedestrian experience, materials, massing, and a million other things more than I care about the height of the towers here. Sometimes the planning framework in this city feels like it's optimizing for all the wrong things.
 

ADRM

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Sometimes the planning framework in this city feels like it's optimizing for all the wrong things.

100%. Maybe this is just a different way of saying the same thing, but to me the overarching issue with Planning's approach to development is that it's process-driven rather than outcomes-based. While I acknowledge that the latter is tougher to administrate and more difficult to hire, train for, and manage, I can't really think of a different way to systemically reframe their approach to city-building.
 

interchange42

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I do think it's fair to ask the applicant to do a master plan for the entire site. Even if they have no immediate plans to proceed with development of the south half, it's important to have a cohesive vision for how to fit the different pieces together when it does come time to redevelop the rest of the site.

On the other hand, I can't help rolling my eyes at the city's obsession with height and density. We're living in a housing crisis and this is a huge lot next to a major transit node. I care about architecture, heritage, affordable housing, neighbourhood amenities, public realm, pedestrian experience, materials, massing, and a million other things more than I care about the height of the towers here. Sometimes the planning framework in this city feels like it's optimizing for all the wrong things.
I don't see any advantage in asking for a master plan for the entire site if one has not yet been envisioned. This is what I consider to be overreach on the part of the City. It's still private property that's been proposed for redevelopment, and if the owners are not ready with the plan for the south end, the City still has an obligation to review the plan for the north end. It's not the CIty's place to give them marching orders.

42
 

smably

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I don't see any advantage in asking for a master plan for the entire site if one has not yet been envisioned.
I disagree! I think the onus should be on the applicant to envision how the entire site could be redeveloped. I can see plenty of practical issues that could arise from considering the site in a piecemeal way. Some of those specific issues are identified in the report:
The applicant has received feedback in terms of how the proposed development blocks and road may be modified to accommodate a future street network while providing better connectivity with existing or planned streets, including the public extension of Pauline Street secured through the Bloor-Dufferin site. Staff have expressed concerns with the proposed road, specifically with respect to the provision of a private street rather than one that is public, and its current alignment, as the north-south portion jogs around the existing footprint of the mall. The proposed road has the potential to form a primary north-south connection through the mall site, as it connects from Russett Avenue north of Bloor through the Bloor-Dufferin development. With respect to the location of the proposed public park, a masterplan is required to understand how the park may be expanded upon within a future open space network through the mall site.

I'm also not convinced by the argument that the mall will remain in physical stasis just because some mall tenants hold 25-year leases on their spaces. Nobody can predict the retail landscape even five years from now, let alone 25. Leases can be broken by mutual agreement. Think about what retail looked like in 1995 vs today. I just don't buy the idea that we can ignore the rest of the site because there's no immediate plan to redevelop it.
 

PMT

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Subdivision Approval application filed on August 26:

 

Northern Light

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Part of the parking lot has been fenced off with a bunch of trailers inside and a "Lions" sign. I'm guessing drilling to collect soil samples will occur?

Hmmmm.

Well, changes are coming to 900 Dufferin.

The following Permit issued:

1612198676062.png
 

adHominem

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Does "RTU" mean Retail Tenant Unit? This is interesting. Maybe all renos to the Wal-Mart? The McDonalds in the food court is long gone; the only one is inside the Wal-Mart.

I also noticed yesterday that the Marshall's (at the Sylvan entrance) is gone – the space has been gutted. That might be unrelated.
 

Northern Light

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Does "RTU" mean Retail Tenant Unit? This is interesting. Maybe all renos to the Wal-Mart? The McDonalds in the food court is long gone; the only one is inside the Wal-Mart.

I also noticed yesterday that the Marshall's (at the Sylvan entrance) is gone – the space has been gutted. That might be unrelated.
Substantively, the answer is 'yes'.

The way I've seen it used most often is

Retail Tenancy Unit

So I would read this as being about WalMart.
 

Northern Light

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I don't see any advantage in asking for a master plan for the entire site if one has not yet been envisioned. This is what I consider to be overreach on the part of the City. It's still private property that's been proposed for redevelopment, and if the owners are not ready with the plan for the south end, the City still has an obligation to review the plan for the north end. It's not the CIty's place to give them marching orders.

42
I disagree! I think the onus should be on the applicant to envision how the entire site could be redeveloped. I can see plenty of practical issues that could arise from considering the site in a piecemeal way. Some of those specific issues are identified in the report:


I'm also not convinced by the argument that the mall will remain in physical stasis just because some mall tenants hold 25-year leases on their spaces. Nobody can predict the retail landscape even five years from now, let alone 25. Leases can be broken by mutual agreement. Think about what retail looked like in 1995 vs today. I just don't buy the idea that we can ignore the rest of the site because there's no immediate plan to redevelop it.

Well, the developer appears to have gone 1/2 way.

In the most up-to-date Planning Rationale Report, which with most other Docs was updated Sept 17th last year, there are now 'demonstration plans' for the mall lands.

Three of them: (from said report)


1612205844273.png

1612205869117.png
1612205899022.png



From the same report, the accompanying text:

1612205965816.png
1612205990737.png



1612206011011.png
 

Northern Light

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Of the above, I'm inclined to favour concept A.

I tend to favour larger parks that can serve a greater range of users/amenities vs smaller ones that cannot.

Its also the only one that seems to break-up the more northerly block.
 
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adHominem

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Agreed. They seem to be pitching A as an extension of Dufferin Grove Park, which, since those two spaces are separated by a very busy arterial, I don't really buy, but at at least "Dufferin Common" would be versatile in and of itself. With B and C you wind up with two awkward spaces, neither of which seem as useful or sensical.
 

Towered

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Of the above, I'm inclined to favour concept A.

I tend to favour larger parks that can serve a greater range of users/amenities vs smaller ones that cannot.

Its also the only one that seems to break-up the more northerly block.

Fascinating. Thanks for digging up that info. I also favour A.
 

Towered

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Substantively, the answer is 'yes'.

The way I've seen it used most often is

Retail Tenancy Unit

So I would read this as being about WalMart.

That Walmart has been undergoing some extensive changes lately. I can also confirm that the McDonald's within the store is gone and gutted.

Surprised by the departure of Marshalls - unless they're also just renovating?
 

ADRM

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Agreed. They seem to be pitching A as an extension of Dufferin Grove Park, which, since those two spaces are separated by a very busy arterial, I don't really buy, but at at least "Dufferin Common" would be versatile in and of itself. With B and C you wind up with two awkward spaces, neither of which seem as useful or sensical.

Interesting -- I actually come to the opposite conclusion based on the same premise described in the first sentence of this post! I would vastly prefer any interior placement of the park over one fronting Dufferin, both because the road is such an unholy mess of cars being driven at breakneck speeds, and it doesn't make sense to me to have an "extension" of Dufferin Grove because it's sort of just wasted space.

Also an interior siting makes for a less relentless block pattern, and improves the livability of the units fronting it.
 

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