Not every street has to be a retail street - besides in this case you are right at the edge of the institutional zone, less street retail is to be expected - and it isn't like we are having a deficit of retail spaces available now or in the foreseeable future.

This stretch of Church has been barren for as long as I've lived on this city (many years). It is interesting however that the side streets in this area have always been of interest to me. I remember when the townhouses just south of Carlton were built and I thought how suburban the were then and still are. Having said all that this proposal IS a little bland but will bring some needed density. As Ksun said it would be great to have more retail along this stretch, Build it and they will come.
Not every street has to be a retail street - besides in this case you are right at the edge of the institutional zone, less street retail is to be expected - and it isn't like we are having a deficit of retail spaces available now or in the foreseeable future.


true but it is not like there is much retail on Jarvis, Mutual, George, or Sherbourne either, or Gerrard or Carleton for that matter.

When you said "institution" I guess you mean Ryerson. Experiences elsewhere seems to indicated that universities are usually surrounded by small retail because those students mostly don't cook. You may not agree, but I do think we have a deficit of retail spaces downtown, especially east of Yonge st. We are talking about the city centre of Canada's largest city, and I am afraid the retail we have access to right now between Bathurst and Don Valley is far from satisfactory.
Based on the decision, it wasn't such a good Christmas for CHC MPAR Church Holdings Inc.

Without having time to read everything now, I can see that the OMB cites the Tall Buildings Design Guidelines in numerous ways, and goes into particular detail regarding the transition to heritage buildings to the north, agreeing with the opponents' position, (opponents including the City), that the development "fails to achieve the relevant heritage policies or respond to the facilitating guidelines.'

They'll have to rethink this proposal considerably.

Yeah, it comes out very strongly against the project on the basis of Heritage considerations. Which is very strange, because the heritage character of that building went away when it was repainted awfully and added to clumsily (with windows boarded up). There's considerable reference to the fact that there is a 0m setback on the north, yet elsewhere in the City (notably at 21 Grenville) there are 0m setback conditions which deal even less with the Heritage property.

They make a lot of references to the fact that the property may just be too small for a tower, so the big remaining question is... even if the Heritage concerns are satisfied, would they still accept a tower on the site? From the way they repeatedly talk about merging the sites to make the whole project work, it's almost an implicit rejection of the way the current pub owner has handled the property, and it seems to me that the City wants the owner to merge the sites so that they can get a S37 contribution / heritage easement to fix up the building and repair the damage that has been done to it... similar to what is happening with 21 Grenville.
I am a little surprised given 365 Church is just across the street and they also have another large development just kitty corner to it at McGill and Church. This one will get reworked and then approved. A shame they could not somehow incorporate the old Barn building into the overall design. It would make one heck of an interesting front entrance.
Some more analysis on this precedent setting OMB decision on adjacency and heritage buildings:

[off-topic but adjacently relevant: This corner has a fascinating recent history with the OMB; the OMB decision at 365 Church which deemed that the city should not get any section 37 dollars.

Outlined here:
"Finally, the Board firmly rejected the City’s argument that it was justified in seeking a $1.23 million cash contribution from the developer, to be used for capital improvements to Allan Gardens and other nearby parks. This money was being requested under s. 37 of the Ontario Planning Act, which permits the City to authorize increases to development heights and density in exchange for “community benefits.”

The Board said the developer had “legitimate concerns” about the City’s request since the City had not provided a detailed costing plan to explain how it calculated the amount requested. “The use of section 37 must be grounded in fair, clear, transparent, predictable and specific requirements that are set out in the Official Plan and that are not arbitrary in their application. The Board is adamant that the Applicant has a right to know how the figure is derived in sufficient detail.”

Since the City had not “sufficiently” assessed the requirement for a s. 37 benefit in this case, and did not establish a nexus between the amount of money sought and the development site in question, the Board refused to require payment of a s. 37 benefit."]
Interesting that they're seeking something so tall here. This site was explicitly downzoned to 'Mixed Use Areas 3' in TO Core to placate McGill Granby residents. This will be an interesting test of how strictly Planning wants to enforce their shiny new policy.
6.28. Development in Mixed Use Areas 3 will be in the form of low-rise and mid-rise buildings.


6.30. Mid-rise development will be in keeping with the Mid-Rise Buildings policies of this Plan.
^they may not have to play ball strictly by the rules if they get in before TOCore comes into force. Not that the City isn't going to try any way, and with the OMB changes, they may have to listen a little..

Given the talk coming from the new provincial housing minister - I wouldn't be surprised if we see some major changes to TOCore via provincial fiat anyway.
New OPA and ZBA application(s) submitted:

Development Applications

Project description:
Proposal for a 39-storey mixed-use building having a non-residential gross floor area of 719 square metres, and a residential gross floor area of 25,125 square metres. The proposal includes the creation of 319 purpose-built rental units.